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Recommended solution for High Availability on traditional File Services shares in a Hyper-V Failover Cluster

Posted on 2014-10-14
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Introduction: When establishing HA for Print Services in 2012, it is no longer possible to Cluster Print Services on the service-level, but instead we now have to cluster on the VM level through VM Monitoring. How about File Services running in VMs that expose tradional/Non-SOFS shares like redirected folders, user drives and Roaming profiles (in my case in combination with DFS namespaces). If we cluster on the service-level, we can still restart/shutdown/update one of the Windows Systems that holds the File Service at a time, but then we would have one extra Windows Server VM/system running/taxing the Host.

Question: Is it recommended to establish High Availability for virtual machines running File Services for generel use by clustering on the VM-level or on the service-level?
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Question by:jmateknik
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40379610
That depends on your tolerance for interruption. If you have mission-critical apps that cannot handle even minor filesystem delays then clustering at the guest level may be appropriate. For less demanding workloads, you may find that a single FS server running on a clustered VM environment is good enough. Failure of a host will move the VM. And a dedicated FS in a Gen2 VM (in the case of Hyper-V) can reboot in seconds for minor maintenance, making those windows very small. Most SMB/share activity wouldn't even notice.

I've implemented both, but each addresses a different need. So you have to know what your goals are, what your budget it, and how many resources you are willing to dedicate (monetary, time, management, etc) to achieving those goals. There is no one single answer here.
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by:jmateknik
ID: 40381663
Thank you. That was a very good answer!
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