First Official Showing of Windows Server “8” Hyper-V

Odds are you’ve already read about this on Ben Armstrong’s blog (I’ve been engaged on an intense deployment project with little time to keep the blog up to date), but it’s worth me posting just in case.  Microsoft showed off Windows Server 8 (2012? MSFT have a thing against the number 13 so I doubt it will be Windows Server 2013) for the first time and featured Hyper-V.  Hyper-V Replica was on show, allowing a VM to be replicated to another (possibly remote) Hyper-V host.

The video is online and you can jump to around the 37 minute mark to start hearing about Windows 8.

It seems we have two authentication methods for the replication:

  • HTTP aka Windows authentication: Probably for hosts inside the same forest.
  • HTTPS aka certificates: Maybe for hosts in different forests?  Could be great for replicating to a “public cloud”?  Pure guessing. 

File this under “we’ll learn more at/after the Build Conference in September”.

An interesting screen shot is this one:

image

Cool: we can optionally keep a history of replicas!  Maybe a VM’s OS or application corrupts in site A but we can restore a previous version in site B before the corruption started?  And it appears to allow us to use VSS to take snaps every X hours to get consistent replicas.  That’s critical for things like Exchange or SQL Server.

A big challenge for replication is getting that first big block of data over the WAN.  MSFT has thought of that, as you can see below.  We can schedule it for out of hours, export to removable media and import on the destination host, or use backup/restore (apparently).

image

This is just a simple wizard to get something complex (under the hood) to work.  And it’s software based so it should work with any Hyper-V supported hardware.

This was a very early build on show at WPC11 so things are subject to change.  We’ll learn more, I guess, at/after the Build conference.  Until then, everything is speculation so don’t plan your deployments until at least the RC release next year!

Jeff Woolsey says in the video that this will be an alternative to those very expensive hardware replication mechanisms that are the only option right now.  Yup.  Also an alternative to the vTax alternative by VMware because Hyper-V Replica will be a built-in feature at no extra cost.

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