Hyper V HA Cluster help needed?

Posted on 2010-11-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a customer that ask me to setup Windows 2008 Hyper V Mirror with NAS storage and they want we to use a Supermicro X7DB8 server clustered with a Supermicro X6DVL-EG2 server. MS Hyper v best practices strongly reccomends using identical software. They are on a budget,. Is it wourth tryiing or could I see problems?

Question by:355LT1

Accepted Solution

Armenio earned 250 total points
ID: 34227626
you should try and have teh same hardware were possible. but in theory it should work. also if it does not do the auto fail over you can always do it manually.

the main reason you would use the fail over clustering would be mainly for overbalancing of multiple virtual server. if this is not the main priority but rather fro redundancy then you could always just migrate the VM's manually when the need arises crating only a few seconds of down time wile you pause the VM and then start it on the other one.

so what im saying is look at what your needs are and then look at your set up if load balancing is the main priority then id say get identical hardware. if business continuity is and they can live with a few minus down time id say go for it with your current setup.

Id say give it a go  but bear in mind that auto failover clustering can be iffy evan on identical hardware.

just to check is that NAS or SAN storage you can not have a fail over cluster on NAS storage you need SAN as the storage location uses iscsi to appear as a local drive on the server of both server  thus you can install hyper v on each server and it looks at the"local"(SAN STORAGE)"Drive" for the VM's now at this point you do not need identical hardware at all. you can just run the VM on witch ever machine you want but only one at a time. now if yo cluster them then you can do live migration with out having to stop the VM  at this point it should work but not sure. and if you go the full hog and have auto load balancing the server moves the VM as it sees fit  to the server with the lowest load on it.( the reason for identical hardware is that if you are running it with a hypervisor layer it sees the hardware and if the drivers are different to whats loaded in the software it will crash. (so depending on how you set it up  and  your needs yes you can use the different hardware but i dont thing the load balancing option will work very well and may crash but if your shutting down the VM and rebooting it when moving to the different hardware or if you choose the generic drivers if should be ok . hope this helps you a little.

My advice try it out  and see what happens
LVL 42

Assisted Solution

kevinhsieh earned 250 total points
ID: 34228307
For a Hyper-V cluster, here are the basic requirements:

Every host server needs to have the same brand processor (all AMD or all Intel)
Every host needs to be running the same general revision of Windows (2008 or 2008 R2)
Every host needs to be running either full Windows or core installation
Full installation of Windows on the host needs to be Enterprise or Datacenter. Hyper-V Server 2008 (and R2) is essentially Windows 2008 Datacenter Core with Hyper-V role, and can be placed in the same cluster with other hosts running Core installation
Shared storage must be iSCSI, FC, or SAS. NAS is not supported.

If your NAS can also be used as an iSCSI target, and your two servers are both of the same processor type (Intel or AMD), you should be good to go from a hardware perspective. Your hosts do need need to have the same chipsets, processor generation, processor stepping, identical NICs, or anything else other than processors from the same manufacturer that support virtualization. I am currently using Xeon 5100, 5300, and 5400 processors together in the same cluster with Live Migration running just fine. Hyper-V abstracts the hardware from the VM, so it doesn't matter if the VM moves from an Intel NIC to Broadcom; the VMs can keep running without skipping a beat.

If you are just getting started with Hyper-V, it's easier to start with a full installation of Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise. If you don't have access to it, you can download an evaluation copy from Microsoft. Once you are comfortable with Hyper-V, I prefer Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 because it's free, and the lack of the normal Windows GUI is fine since I just use the tools remotely and there are fewer patches to install.

I am not sure what you mean by "mirror" in your question. You can run a Hyper-V cluster where a VM can run on either host, and it can be moved from host to host in a planned manner without downtime, or it can be restarted on the other host if something happens to the original host. There is still only a single copy of the VM, and the Hyper-V clustering does not protect you against a problem with the VM itself that would get saved to disk, such as deleted files, crashing software, etc.

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