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Microsoft Hyper-V Replica

In the era of increasing demand for high uptime, low-cost solutions, there has been a shift away from traditional clustering and replication models. These models have traditionally been very expensive and complicated, requiring multiple Storage Area Networks (SANs) enabled with replication and duplicate sets of compute resources. In this context, Windows Server 2012 introduces a new feature to Microsoft’s Hyper-V offering, which includes the replication of Virtual Machines (VMs) between servers called Hyper-V Replica.

This is useful for environments where uptime is important, in areas that are vulnerable to disaster, such as the Gulf South during hurricane season. Using Hyper-V Replica, an organization can activate VMs, providing business-critical services in a geographically safe location for continued use. Coupled with thorough planning and appropriate network solutions, the flexibility of Hyper-V allows businesses to continue their services in the case that a primary location is incapacitated or in danger.

This solution works around the need for duplicate configurations by not being hardware dependent on storage and servers. This means servers and storage that would be unacceptable as production hardware can now be used in emergency situations to keep critical services, such as e-mail and billing applications, available to the business.

Hyper-V and Hyper-V Replica is also included in the standard Windows Server 2012 licensing, meaning the features can be utilized in a cost-efficient manner. Between budgets and requirements, Hyper-V Replica makes it possible for companies to perform the Business Continuity Balancing Act.

By Justin Moore, Sr. Systems Engineer at CMA