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.

Hyper-V 3.0 Leaked Screen Shots From Windows 8 Create A Buzz

Well, last Monday, June 20th 2011 was quite a twitter active day about some leaked Windows 8 screen shots that lifted a tip of the veil  about Hyper-V 3.0 / Hyper-V vNext or Hyper-V 3. You can take a peak here (Windows Now by Robert McLaws) and here (WinRumors) to see for yourself.

Now Scot Lowe also blogged on this but with some more detail. The list below is the one form Scott Lowe’s blog but I added some musings and comments to certain items.

  • Virtual Fibre Channel Adapter  ==> nice, I guess the competition of iSCSI was felt. How will this turn out/means with regards to SAN/DRVIVER/HBA support is interesting and there is a mention of virtual fiber channel SAN in the screenshots …
  • Storage Resource Pools  & Network Resource Pools   ==> this could become sweet … I’m dreaming about my wish list feedback to Microsoft but without details I won’t speculate any further.
  • New .VHDX virtual hard drive format (Up to 16TB + power failure resiliency) ==> This is just plain sweet, we’re no longer bound by 2TB LUNs on our physical storage (SAN), now we can take that to the next level.
  • Support for more than 4 cores! (My machine has 12 cores) ==> I say “Bring it on!”
  • NUMA – Memory per Node, Cores per Node, Nodes per Processor Socket ==> Well, well … what will this translate into? Help deal with Dynamic Memory? Aid in virtualization of SQL Servers (i.e. better support for scaling up, for now scaling out works better here).
  • Hardware Acceleration (Virtual Machine Queue & IPsec Offload)
  • Bandwidth Management ==> Ah, that would be nice 🙂
  • DHCP Guard  ==> This is supposed to drop DHCP traffic from VM “masquerading” as DHCP servers. Could be very useful, but need details. Will a DHCP server need to be authorize?. What with non Windows VMs, do you add “good” DHCP servers to an allow list?
  • Router Guard  ==> same as above but for rogue routers.  Drops router advertisement and redirection messages from unauthorized virtual machines pretending to be others. So this sound like an allow list.
  • Monitor Port Provides for monitoring of network traffic in and out of a virtual machine. Forwards the information to a monitoring virtual machine.  ==> Do I hear some cheering network engineers?
  • Virtual Switch Extensions.So far, there appear to be two filters added: NDIS Capture LightWeight Filter and WFP vSwitch Layers LightWeight Filter.

All of this is pretty cool stuff and has many of us wanting to get our hands on the first beta 🙂 I’ve been running Windows Server tweaked as desktop since Windows 2003 so I have Hyper-V already in that role but hey bring it on. I ‘m very eager to get started with this. I have visions on System Center Virtual machine Manager 2012, Hyper-V 3.0 with very capable recent SAN technology … Open-mouthed smile