Server Virtualization Series: High Availability – Live Migration (Part 12 of 20) by Brian Lewis

On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Brian Lewis posted Part 12 of the Server Virtualization Series on Live Migration.  If you are new to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or just haven’t had a chance to look at all the capabilities of Live Migration in Server 2012 Hyper-V, then this is a good read.  Brian takes the time to explain how Live Migration, Storage Live Migration and Shared Nothing Live Migration works.  For those of you who are VMware knowledgeable, this is essentially vMotion, Storage vMotion and vMotion without shared storage (vSphere 5.1).

It is nice to have a useful capability like Share Nothing Live Migration which literally only requires a network cable between the two Hyper-V hosts to migrate a VM from one to the other.  It was also good to see that VMware had to play catch up to us for a chance as this was not available in vMotion until 5.1.

I am including just a short snippet from Brian’s post below.  You will want to read the full article on his blog.

This is post 12 of 20 in a series of how to’s on Virtualization with Microsoft Hyper-v. For a full list of posts in this series please see Dan Stolts’s original post (o of 20) located here:

Live Migration
Live Migration is the Microsoft Hyper-v feature where you move a running virtual machine from one physical host to another physical host while the VM continues to run. That’s right without any downtime or service outage. Cool hunh? Yes, for those of you who know VMware, it is like vMotion.

Download the Free Microsoft Hyper- V server 2012 and start getting familiar with it now.

Prior to the 2012 version of Hyper-v you needed to setup a failover cluster to enable Hyper-v Live Migration. You also needed to have shared storage to use this feature. With Hyper-v 2012 this technology now adds the ability to move running VMs between non-clustered hosts as well as clustered hosts. Further in addition to iSCSI and Fiber Channel you can now host your shared files on SMB 3.0 file shares. But – the goodness doesn’t stop there, this tech is like the ginsu knife – there’s more… Your files don’t need to be on shared storage. They can just exist on local attached disk and you can still move running Virtual machines between stand alone Hyper-v hosts with Shared Nothing Live Migration.

The high availability that hyper-v offers by allowing you to move VMs from host to host without downtime allows you to physically update your hosts as well as patch them with no downtime to the VMs. When used in a failover cluster you can have virtual machines automatically start on another host when the physical host that they are running on fails. Unfortunately when a reboot is needed on a VM, from say patching it, there is not magic high availability bullet and the VM must be rebooted.

Harold Wong

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