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High Availability and Disaster Recovery Considerations for Microsoft Hyper-V. Bob Roudebush Double-Take Software WSV311. Agenda. Hyper-V Virtualization Scenarios How VM Availability, Disaster Recovery and Backup/Recovery Relate to Business Continuity Anatomy of a Hyper-V Virtual Machine

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High Availability and Disaster Recovery Considerations for Microsoft Hyper-V

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high availability and disaster recovery considerations for microsoft hyper v

High Availability and Disaster Recovery Considerations for Microsoft Hyper-V

Bob Roudebush

Double-Take Software


  • Hyper-V Virtualization Scenarios
  • How VM Availability, Disaster Recovery and Backup/Recovery Relate to Business Continuity
  • Anatomy of a Hyper-V Virtual Machine
  • Backup/HA/DR for Hyper-V
    • Backup/Recovery Implications for Hyper-V VMs
    • High Availability Implications for Hyper-V VMs
    • Disaster Recovery Implications for Hyper-V VMs
  • Geo-Clustered Hyper-V VM Demonstration
  • Summary / Q&A
hyper v virtualization scenarios
Hyper-V Virtualization Scenarios

Server Consolidation

Business Continuity

Test and Dev

Dynamic Datacenter

keeping the business running
Keeping the Business Running
  • Business Continuity
  • Resumption of full operations combining People, Processes and Platforms
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Site-level crisis , data and IT operations resumption
  • Backup and Restore
  • Presumes infrastructure is whole
  • 97% is file/small unit related
  • High Availability
  • Presumes that the rest of the environment is active
business continuity w virtualization
Business Continuity w/Virtualization

Business Continuity

  • Virtualization reduces BC costs and minimizes business downtime by:
  • increasing the availability of infrastructure
  • extending protection to more applications
  • simplifying backups, recovery and DR testing

Primary Site

Secondary Site

High Availability

Disaster Recovery

Backup and Recovery

Disaster Recovery

Storage Array

Storage Array



Shared Storage

Quick/Live Migration




the architecture of hyper v
The Architecture of Hyper-V


Parent Partition

Child Partitions





User Mode


VM Service

Windows Server 2008

Non-Hypervisor Aware OS


Windows Kernel

Xen-Enabled Linux Kernel

Windows Server 2003, 2008


Kernel Mode

IHV Drivers


Linux VSC





Windows Hypervisor


Ring -1

“Designed for Windows” Server Hardware

the anatomy of a hyper v vm
The Anatomy of a Hyper-V VM
  • .VHD – VM data
  • .AVHD – VM snapshots
  • *.BIN – Contents of VM RAM for a saved state
  • *.VSV – Saved state information (i.e., processor register data)
  • *.XML – VM configuration information in an industry-standard XML file
the anatomy of a hyper v vm10
The Anatomy of a Hyper-V VM
  • All VMs are assigned a unique GUID:
    • <logical_id type="string">056B19F3…FAD06C76416D</logical_id>
  • All snapshots are assigned a GUID – used to identify the snapshot and construct relative paths to .AVHDs:
    • <guid type="string">53E0AC2C…EE46C4F495D4</guid>
  • Both the virtualized NIC(s) in the VM as well as the virtual switch(es) on the host are assigned a GUID:
    • <ChannelInstanceGuidtype="string">{bc66…}</ChannelInstanceGuid>
    • <SwitchName type="string">Switch-SM-847f89…</SwitchName>
  • Permissions related to Hyper-VM are important to consider:
    • <sid type="string">S-1-5-2…</sid>
vm backup recovery challenges
VM Backup/Recovery Challenges
  • Expense – Loading Agents in Each Guest OS
  • Protecting Virtualized Applications (Exchange, SQL, etc.)
  • VMs may Increase Backup/Restore Complexity
  • Backing up “in the guest” Versus “outside the guest” – Image or file –level recovery
  • Restoring to different hardware if necessary
some vm backup terminology
Some VM Backup Terminology
  • File-Level Backup – “In the Guest”
  • Image-Level Backup – “On the Host”
  • Application Quiescing
  • O/S Crash Consistency
  • Application Crash Consistency
types of vm backups
Types of VM Backups
  • Three types of Backups
    • Backing up the host system
      • May be necessary to maintain host configuration
      • But often, not completely necessary
      • The fastest fix for a broken host is often a complete rebuild
    • Backing up Virtual Disk Files
      • Fast and can be done from a single host-based backup client
      • Challenging to do file-level restore
    • Backing up VM’s from inside the VM
      • Slower and requires backup clients in every VM.
      • Resource intensive on host
      • Capable of doing file-level restores
challenges of transactional dbs
Challenges of Transactional DBs
  • O/S Crash Consistency is fairly easy
    • Quiesce the NTFS file system before beginning the backup
  • Application Crash Consistency is much harder
    • Tx databases like AD, Exchange and SQL don’t quiesce just because NTFS does
  • Restoration without crash consistency will lose data - DB restores into “inconsistent” state and must perform a soft recovery
dealing with consistency
Dealing with Consistency
  • When backing up VMs, may need to consider dual approaches: file level backups and image-level backups
    • File-level = Restore Individual Files w/Tx Integrity
    • Image-level = Whole-Server Recoverability
    • Image-level backups may not provide application crash consistency!
  • MSFT and 3rd Party Solutions may integrate with VSS-aware guest OS and applications
    • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager
    • 3rd Party Backup Solutions
integrating backup w vss
Integrating Backup w/VSS
  • VSS = Volume Shadow Copy
  • No need to power down virtual machines to do backups
  • VSS ensures a consistent state in the virtual machine
  • Must have backup integration component enabled
data protection manager 2007
Data Protection Manager 2007
  • Data Protection Manager 2007
      • Recovery Point Objective
        • 15min versus RT for VSs-aware VMs
        • ~1 day versus RT for non VSS-aware VMs
      • Recovery Time Objective
        • Automated Monitoring and Failover versus on-demand recovery
      • Type of Recovery Needed
        • Disaster Recovery – focus on getting back up and running with the latest copy ASAP
        • Operational Recovery & Disaster Recovery – focus on being able to recover multiple points in time
microsoft data protection manager sp1
Microsoft Data Protection Manager SP1
  • DPM for Hyper-V
  • Live host-level virtual machine backup In guest consistency
  • Bare metal restore
  • Rapid recovery Continuous Data Protection
  • No SAN required
  • Protects VMs without hibernation (if OS is VSS enabled)

Primary Site

Secondary Site


Up to every 15 minutes

WAN Connectivity

vss backup recommendations
VSS/Backup Recommendations
  • VSS in Hyper-V does not support:
    • Host-level backups of pass-through VHDs.
    • Host-level backups of iSCSI volumes in guest VMs
  • Instead, use guest-based Exchange-aware streaming backup or VSS backup
    • Data Protection Manager 2007
  • VSS in Hyper-V does support host-level backups of VHDs
  • Hardware-based VSS backups of Exchange Storage
    • Supported by the vendor, not Microsoft
hyper v backup best practices
Hyper-V Backup Best Practices
  • Ensure your backup solution supports VSS
    • Support for the VSS writer in Hyper-V specifically
  • Virtual Machine Backup Best practices
    • Leverage the Hyper-V VSS writer to take online snapshots of virtual machines
    • System Center Data Protection Manager will provide Hyper-V VSS snapshots
  • Ability to quickly recover virtual machines
  • Replicate snapshots to backup location for DR
virtualization high availability
Virtualization & High Availability
  • Traditional Non-Virtualized Environment
  • Downtime is bad, but affects only one workload
  • Virtualized Environment
    • Value of the physical server goes up
    • Downtime is far worse because multiple workloads are affected

Virtualization and High-Availability Go Hand in Hand

microsoft hyper v quick migration
Microsoft Hyper-V Quick Migration
  • Provides solutions for both planned and unplanned downtime
  • Planned downtime
    • Quickly move virtualized workloads to service underlying hardware
    • More common than unplanned
  • Unplanned downtime
    • Automatic failover to other nodes (hardware or power failure)
    • Not as common and more difficult

Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces Live-migration supporting movement of virtual machines between servers with no loss of service

quick migration fundamentals
Quick Migration Fundamentals
  • Save state
    • Save entire virtual machine state
  • Move virtual machine
    • Move storage connectivity from origin to destination host
  • Restore state and run
    • Restore virtual machine and run


Shared Storage

Network Connectivity

other vm availability scenarios
Other VM Availability Scenarios
  • Guest-based VM clustering (using WSFC)
    • Cost prohibitive – requires Enterprise edition of Windows Server and shared storage
    • More complex to install/configure/manage
    • An option for cluster-aware applications
  • 3rd party replication/failover solutions
    • Use software-based replication/failover to replicate VMs between Hyper-V hosts (or within VMs)
      • Double-Take for Hyper-V
      • CA XOsoft High Availability
      • SteelEyeLifeKeeper for Windows
disaster recovery challenges
Disaster Recovery Challenges
  • Downtime is Expensive
    • Traditional DR is slow/complex
    • Increased pressed on IT for availability
  • Things are Complicated
    • Traditional DR requires identical HW/SW configs
    • Difficult to test multi-tier applications
  • Requires specialized training
  • Infrastructure/People are Expensive
    • Duplicate data center infrastructures
    • Significant personnel resources required
virtualization benefits
Virtualization Benefits
  • Downtime is Expensive
    • More Rapid Backup and Recovery
    • Quick/Live Migration/Clustering
  • Things are Complicated
    • Eliminate maintaining duplicate physical systems
    • Automate Backup, Recovery and DR processes
  • Requires specialized training
  • Infrastructure/People are Expensive
    • Reduce expenditure on facility and infrastructure
    • Diminish need for specialized hardware/personnel
some dr terminology
Some DR Terminology
  • RTO – Recovery Time Objective
    • How much data you can afford to lose…
  • RPO – Recovery Point Objective
    • How long you can afford to be down…
  • Hot site
    • Servers up and operational at remote site at all times.
  • Warm site
    • Servers pre-provisioned at remote site. Tasks to complete for failover to occur.
  • Cold site
    • Empty site and servers on retainer awaiting DR event.
days to weeks recovery
Days to Weeks Recovery
  • Use free or low-cost solutions to backup VMs at the host level (image-level backups)
  • DR site is a “cold site” with equipment available on-demand from a vendor/co-lo company
  • Store images to tape/disk and rotate off-site
  • Will need to manually restore images and fix problems ….
  • …and there will be problems!
hours to days recovery
Hours to Days Recovery
  • Use free or low-cost solutions to backup VMs at the host level (image-level backups)
  • DR site is a “warm site” with storage available for replicated/copies VM images
  • Transfer images to off-site data storage location
    • Some tools provide off-site capabilities
  • Will need to manually restore images and fix problems ….
  • …and there will be problems!
minutes to hours recovery
Minutes to Hours Recovery
  • Use replication to provide site-to site replication of VM data
    • These host-level replicated VM copies are potentially inconsistent
  • Can use SAN-based or host-based replication
    • Cost / Bandwidth trade-off
  • Less impact to WAN – changes being sent in real-time (compression/throttling)
  • Will need to attach replicated VMs to replacement equipment and fix problems
immediate recovery
Immediate Recovery
  • Warm or hot site is used for DR
  • Storage to storage replication installed between sites
  • 3rd party replication technologies used for VM replication
    • “in the guest” for transactional integrity
    • “on the host” for all other workloads
  • Restoration is usually automated using 3rd party tools or interoperability with Windows Server Failover Clustering
windows server 2008 wsfc
Windows Server 2008 - WSFC
  • No More Single-Subnet Limitation
    • Allows cluster nodes to communicate across network routers
    • No more having to connect nodes with VLANs!
  • Configurable Heartbeat Timeouts
    • Increase to extend geographically dispersed clusters over greater distances
  • Storage Vendor Based Solution
    • Mirrored storage between stretched locations
    • Hardware or Software based replication
  • Integrates with Microsoft Failover Clustering
  • Uses Double-Take Patented Replication
  • Extends Clusters Across Geographical Distances
  • Eliminates Single Point of Disk Failure
  • GeoCluster for Hyper-V Workloads
    • Utilizes GeoCluster technology to extend Hyper-V clustering across virtual hosts without the use of shared disk
    • Allows manual and automatic moves of cluster resources between virtual hosts
how gc integrates w wsfc
How GC Integrates w/WSFC

At failover, the new active node resumes with current, replicated data

Only the active node accesses its disks

Data is replicated to all passive nodes


GeoCluster nodes use separate disks, kept synchronized by real-time replication

microsoft stretch clustering storage continuity
Microsoft Stretch Clustering & Storage Continuity
  • Geographically distributed clusters are extended to different physical locations
  • Stretch clustering uses the same concept as local site clustering
  • Storage array or third party software provides SAN data replication to

Primary Site

Secondary Site

Stretch Clustering automatically fails VMs over to a geographically different site

Replicated data from site A



Primary site data is replicated to the secondary site

Storage Array

Storage Array

Multi-site stretch configurations can provide automatic fail-over


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related content
Related Content

Interactive Theater Sessions (session codes and titles)

VIR04-INT: Why Virtualizaiton and Data Protection are Better Together

Breakout Sessions (session codes and titles)

VIR311: From Zero to Live Migration. How to Set Up a Live Migration

WSV202: Considerations and Strategies for Deploying Virtual Clusters

WSV313: Innovating High Availability with Cluster Shared Volumes

WSV315: Implementing Hyper-V on Clusters (High Availability)

WSV328: Windows Server 2008 R2: HyperV

Hands-on Labs (session codes and titles)

VIR04 – HOL: Introduction to Hyper-V

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© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.

The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION.