Hyperv server 2012R2 High Availability and Replication advices

Hi guys, I have a couple of questions regarding  HyperV Server 2012R2 Cluster Failover with High availability.

I have 3x R720 DELL hosts with H700 RAID and no NAS, only locally attached disks (DAS?) since the host have enough storage and buying a dedicated storage is currently not an option i would like to set up HA or at least some kind of fault tolerance.

VMs hosted on the servers would be Exchange, DC, SQL, and IIS. I would just like a general guidline how to accomplish this so I can investigate further.

Is it possible to have everything on one host and have it highly available on the second one? Like a highly available replica ( if that even exists). A lot of stuff i have read involves some kind of a storage or virtual SAN but i am thinking that it should be doable with 3 servers.

And on a final note, is it better to do the HA part or just make replications where they are possible. (SQL, IIS and VPN servers can be replicated, for Exchange i would set up DAGs)

P.S. Small downtime (max 30 minutes) is an option if anyone is wondering and we have low workloads ( 100-150 users )
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gicagoAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Options you have, either create some shared storage (SMB3 or NFS/iSCSI), and then cluster your existing 2 Hosts, and use a single host as the SAN/NAS. - this will give you the HA you require, if a host fails, VMs will restart on the other hosts, downtime 1-2 minutes.

OR

Use Hyper-V replica to replicate VMs to another Host, again use 2 hosts for Production, and replicate using Hyper-V replica to a third host.

DR - start VMs on other host.
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gicagoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick answer, a couple of more questions if thats ok with you :)

Doesnt the first option have a single point of failure involving the SAN/NAS host failure?

Second option looks better, so, firstly i would have to distribute the servers over 2 hosts and then setup replication of VMs from 2 hosts to the 3rd host.

In that case if one server goes down everything should be operational in a matter of minutes (time taking me to start the VMs that are replicated).

Ok, one last question and im good... What is the easiest way to transfer a VM from one host to another. ( That may be a different topic but i had to ask :P )
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, the first option is a single point of failure, but the same as everyone that has a Single SAN! But you have quicker availability.

Availability and reducing single points of failure, is just money, add more money, and you can obtain better resilience.

So it comes down to how much downtime can your business afford, 1m, 2m or 1 hour versus outright failure.

which you should have backups, just in case you lose the site.

Second option looks better, so, firstly i would have to distribute the servers over 2 hosts and then setup replication of VMs from 2 hosts to the 3rd host.

In that case if one server goes down everything should be operational in a matter of minutes (time taking me to start the VMs that are replicated).

Ok, one last question and im good... What is the easiest way to transfer a VM from one host to another. ( That may be a different topic but i had to ask :P )

This is correct, transferring from one host to the other, Export/Import.
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gicagoAuthor Commented:
Great news, thanks a lot for your help. I will go with the replicating option since we can survive a 15-30 minutes downtime but we cant survive if it all goes down longer.

Also, with the replication part I would loose only a couple of servers if one host fails instead of all of them if my storage server fails.

Again, thanks for the info and have a nice day / weekend :)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems
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