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Best Hyper-V Setup using Two Hosts

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I currently have 2 Physical Servers running Windows 2008 R2 as such:

Server 1
32 GB Ram
C: Drive: OS with 22 GB Free
D: Drive: Empty with 680 GB Free

Server 2
32 GB Ram
C: Drive:  OS with 22 GB Free
D: Drive: Empty with 250 GB Free

The D Drives on both are RAID 5

I need to run 2 or 3 VM's on each.

With this hardware, would it be possible to setup Failover Clustering in case one Server dies and the VM's need to migrate to the other server?

If yes, can you point me in the right direction on configuration.
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Question by:rubendn
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by:Glen Knight
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by:Svet Paperov
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You definitely need SCVMM to do live migration but you cannot achieve that kind of failover with only this hardware.

If you want to be able to move your virtual machines on another Hyper-V host in case that the primary host dies, your virtual machines should be hosted on external storage, an iSCSI storage, for example.   You will also need a third host to serve as SCVMM manager.

Another way to implement redundancy is to use Windows Server clustering but you still need an external storage. You can read something about clustering here http://www.microsoft.com/Windowsserver2008/en/us/failover-clustering-main.aspx

I would go with SCVMM solution instead of Windows clustering because it allows us to use both servers as active Hyper-V servers instead of having the second one in stand-by only mode.


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kevinhsieh earned 100 total points
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Sorry to the other experts, but you do not need SCVMM to do Live Migration. Live Migration only requires that you have a Windows 2008 R2 failover cluster. SCVMM won't help you at all for failover.

For clustering, you need to be running Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. You can not use Windows 2008 R2 Standard. You also need shared storage. You can use an external SAS or iSCSI array. There is also software available from Starwind Software that can take space on your two hosts and turn it into a highly available iSCSI SAN such that you can run everything on either host.

Keep in mind that if you do migrate everything over to a single host that you need to have that host licensed for all of the Windows VMs that you are running at that time, and you can only transfer Windows licenses from host to host every 90 days.
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by:walter_christian
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I have to agree with Kevin on all fronts and I would recommend that you use Windows Datacenter as it allows unlimited Windows VMs

I am actually in the process of acquiring the hardware to do the failover design as described and I will be leveraging Windows clustering with an ISCI SAN.

I also have the SCVMM and it is not really worth the price tag, and it does not know how to read the dynamic memory of a SP1 server while running on a now SP1 server
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by:Greg Hejl
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I would suggest to format your data drives to RAID 10

a drive failure in a raid 5 array will affect VM performance during a rebuild.

striping in a 4 disk raid 10 array will improve i/o performance - disk performance is the greatest performance bottleneck for virtualization.

Live Migration is not a fail over solution.  it's a tool to manage resources in a sizable virtual environment.

to design for high availability you need redundancy - use NLB and Server clustering -  this will allow you to take resources off line for maint/repair/upgrades/etc
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