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Hyper-V Replica

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In the first of our series of articles on new features of Server 2012, we discuss what we regard as the killer feature - Hyper-V Replica.

In the UK the majority of companies are in the SME (small/medium enterprise) classification and face major challenges with Disaster Recovery planning - it's expensive and it is difficult.  Those are challenges a large company or enterprise can overcome with adequate provisioning, but that's not the case for the SME.

Virtualisation helps. Utilisation of the same hardware reduces the cost, but the cost of replication is still there - you still need to get your data to another location. SAN's are expensive and often need extra licenses to replicate, making all but the low-end types out of the reach of most SMEs, and even Corporates. Software replication which is aimed at this space is not cheap either, and in our opinion, some of them are more risky than the threat of disaster itself.  Plus there is the bandwidth that these two types of solution require.

Microsoft recognises this problem and have implemented a solution into Server 2012 - Hyper-V Replica.

Replica provides solutions for:

  • Smaller branch offices or regional offices that need to replicate to local or central (head office or HQ data centre) DR sites
  • SME's who want to replicate to another office
  • Microsoft partners or hosting companies that want to offer a service where SME's could configure important Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host VMs to replicate to their data centre - basically a hosted DR service for SMEs
  • Limited bandwidth.  Replica is designed to be used on commercially available broadband without impacting normal email or browsing activity

Using Hyper-V Replica you can replicate between different primary and replica site deployments - your primary server could be a standalone server or part of a cluster and similarly your replica server could be a standalone server or part of a cluster.

At a high level, Hyper-V Replica supports three types of Failover:

  • Test Failover
  • Planned Failover
  • Unplanned Failover

This means, like those large enterprises, you are able to test your DR plan works and you have the tools and systems in place should you need to invoke your DR site should you need.

In short, Replica is designed and aimed at the ordinary business that makes up 95% of Microsoft's target market, and it's designed to be easy to set up and invoke.

Hyper -V_Replica

At Asptech, we've been using Hyper-V Replica since it's beta release and are well equiped to provide solutions and consultancy for your business. If you would like a free consultation, please contact us for more information.

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