Data Protection & Disaster Recovery in Windows 8 Server Hyper-V 3.0

The news coming in from the Build Windows conference is awesome. The speculation of the last months is being validated by what is being told and on top of that more goodness is thrown at us Hyper-V techies.

On the data protection and disaster recovery front some great new weapons are at our disposal. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Live Migration & Storage Live Migration.

Among the goodies are the improvements in Live Migration and the introduction of Storage Live Migration.  Hyper-V 3.0 supports multiple concurrent Live Migrations now, which combined with adequate bandwidth will provide for fast evacuation of problematic hosts. Storage Live Migration means you can move a VM (configuration, VHD & snapshots) to different storage while the guest remains on line so the users are not hindered by this. I’m trying to find out if they will support multiple networks / NICs  with this.

Now to make this shine even more MSFT has another ace up it’s sleeve. You can do Live Migration and Storage Live Migration without the requirement of shared storage on the backend. This combination is a big one. This is means “shared nothing” high availability. Even now when prices for entry level shard storage has plummeted we see SMB being weary of SAN technology. It’s foreign to them and the fact they haven’t yet gained any confidence with the technology makes them hesitant. Also the real or perceived complexity might hold ‘m back. For that segment of the market it is now possible to have high availability anyway with the combo Live Migration / Storage Migration.  Add to this that Hyper-V now supports running virtual machines on a file share and you can see the possibilities of NAS appliances in this space of the market for achieving some very nice solutions.

Replication to complete the picture

To top this of you have replication built in, meaning we have the possibility to provide reasonably fast disaster recovery. It might not be real time data center fail over but a lot of clients don’t need that. However, they do need easy recoverability and here it is. To give you even more options, especially  if you only have one location, you can replicate to the cloud.

So now I start dreaming Smile We have shared nothing Live & Storage Live  Migration, we have replication. What could achieve with this? Do synchronous replication locally over a 10Gbps for example and use that to build something like continuous availability. There we go, we already have requirements for “Windows 8 Server R2”!

NIC Teaming in the OS

No more worries about third party NIC teaming woes. It has arrived in the OS (finally!) and it will support load balancing & failover. I welcome this, again it makes this a lot more feasible for the SMB shops.

IP Virtualization / Address Mobility

Another thing that will aid with any kind of of site  disaster recovery / high availability is IP address Mobility. You have an IP for the hosting of the VM and one for internal use by VM. That means you can migrate to other environments (cloud, remote site) with other addresses as the VM can change the hosted IP address, while the internal IP address remains the same.  Just imagine the flexibility this gives us during maintenance, recovery, trouble shooting network infrastructure issues and all this without impacting the users who depend on the VM to get their job done.


Everything we described is out of the box with Windows 8 Server Hyper-V. To a lot of business this can  mean a  huge improvement in their current  availability and disaster recovery situation. More than ever there is now no more reason for any company to go down or even out of business due to catastrophic data loss as all this technology is available on site, in hybrid scenarios and in the cloud with the providers.

Build Windows Key Note 2011/09/13

Updated as we follow the key note

After the talk about Windows 8 being even better and greater for all form factors (hardware people, the ARM architecture, it will be fun to see how the competition responds) I want to dive into Windows Server 8. Yes I’m here for the server side. But as the Hyper-V is now brought to the client there is a lot to say about Hyper-V here as well. No problem. But not yet, not yet.

First, mobile devices. Lots of touch, looks all very cool with the Metro UI. As I live in the country with the most expensive smart phones & mobile data subscriptions in the world I’m not a heavy user. It’s a great market, it’s cool, it’s important, but it’s not my primary theater of operation so to speak. But I might need to get me some of those devices to play with Smile It really looks cool. It looks all very fast & fluid. And the resource hogging should be reduced. Bring it on I say Smile But don’t worry if you’re a “Grand Pa Box” keyboard & mouse jockey. Windows 8 works just as well for you. the idea is Windows 8 everywhere on every device & form factor.

Now they first need to talk about all the developers will be writing applications for Windows 8. Here comes Metro Style applications development. The bold WinRT API bet (yet another one). The languages used are the one we all know, love or hate Smile. No worries you’re coding skills have not been dumped into the toilet. Oh yes, Silverlight is not dead. An no .NET is not dead either. Really? Even COM+ is not dead yet. But Metro style development is the way ahead. But please dump the hyped drama and o continue coding on your current projects Winking smile They promised everything that runs on Windows 7 today will run on Windows 8. There you go Smile with tongue out You might say with less drama that Win Forms & co will be less dominant. Nothing that new. New form factors & mobility ask for new tools. But guess what you’ll be coding those apps in? Metro Style apps will be written in C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, HTML5/JavaScript and/or using XAML. XAML is for “Jupiter,”which is the XAML/UI layer on top of Windows 8 needed for Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) apps to work on the platform.

They are now coding on stage. Perhaps not the best use of time during a keynote but hey, we’ll get to the good stuff eventually. Once again we see the impression launched you can write apps in a couple of minutes with no knowledge at all. Take that devies! We IT Pro’s are not the only ones facing unemployment (cloud) Open-mouthed smile we’re all going to be replaced by a very small easy script with drag & drop. I know some hard core consultants/developers who are now buying stocks in their own company to cash in on the fixing of all that Smile

We’re treated to some very impressive hardware demos. Really impressive. Mobile device OS people we have met your competition and it is called Microsoft. The crowd goes wild when they are told they are getting a Samsung slate machine. Hmmm, why am I working instead of being at Build? My priorities are wrong I guess Sad smile

We’re shown deep freeze, the new task manager that look pretty neat.  The command line  to set a base line for your machine refresh is very appealing to me. At a point you have your machine just right => grab it for refresh if/when needed.

Metro over RDP looks awesome remote charms, virtual keyboard and of cause touch! I bet the VDI crow is going a little wild dreaming of the possibilities straight out of the box.

Hyper-V on Windows 8 client! We’re there Winking smile. The guy is storming through the features. He’s on the clock. We arrived at the business crowd. A lot of stuff for the desktop is also improved. Multiple Monitor support, control of Metro & desktop with shortcuts within the monitors. The UP button should be a good alternative to select delete in Window explorer paths. Lots of stuff to explore.

Windows Live integration with Windows 8 is extensive. The SkyDrive examples are impressive. Windows 8 will be the first mesh /hybrid / integrated OS. WinRT API exposes this so you can use that cloud extensibility in your Metro style apps!

Sorry if all this reads hectic, but it’s kind of hard to keep up. This is a tsunami of information! Keynote is wrapping up. The Hyper-V Windows 8 Server stuff will be for another day.

In the end a call to action for developers. Get the preview and get ahead of the pack delivering Metro style apps to a billion potential users. Up and at them developers!