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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hyper-V Cluster Is IN!

So, the work is complete… Well, this sort of work is never really complete, per se. But, our Hyper-V cluster project is complete enough to call it complete. Make sense?

I have blogged about this saga before, so I’m not going to go into every nitty-gritty detail. But, here is an overview of what we did.

BEFORE:

  • 2 x Hyper-V hosts in production.
  • MD3000i iSCSI SAN providing storage to Hyper-V hosts.
  • Virtual Machine Manager used (primarily) for management of Hyper-V hosts.

AFTER:

  • 3 x Clustered Hyper-V hosts
  • MD3000i iSCSI SAN providing CSV storage to cluster.
  • Virtual Machine Manager still being used to manage the environment.
  • 1 x 5TB DAS to be re-deployed as storage for our Worship Arts department.

PROCESS:

  • Brought up a third Hyper-V Host server and attached DAS and SAN.
  • Migrated ALL of our VMs onto this one host (scary!!).
  • Reinstalled Win2008R2 on original two hosts.
  • Created a two-node cluster with these hosts, using the SAN to provide CSVs.
  • Migrated all VMs off the interim Hyper-V host and into the cluster.
  • Added interim host as a third node in the cluster.
  • Tested fail-over, fail-back, Live Migration, etc. etc. etc.
  • Sat quietly for a moment, very pleased with the outcome.

SOME TAKEAWAYS:

  • This was my first experience with clustering. It could not have been easier.
  • Getting a Hyper-V pass-through disk into a cluster was not as daunting as I was expecting. Just make sure you know of the limitations, caveats, and oddities.
  • I like VMM, though I still find I have to go into Hyper-V Manager and Cluster Manager for some things. It’s rare though, which is nice.
  • I wish fail-back in the cluster would use Live Migration, rather than Quick Migration. Maybe I’m missing something here.
  • I love being able to do maintenance on my Hyper-V hosts without having to ‘down’ my VMs. This is huge!
  • Now that our environment has it, I want to maintain an N+1 type environment.
  • I sure could use a 4th node in my cluster! And a 5th…
  • BackupExec 2010 works really well with the Hyper-V cluster. Yes, the agents aren’t cheap, but what is your data/environment worth?!

During this project, I hit a few snags here and there. Luckily, someone invented the Internets a while ago, so every answer I needed was only one Google search away!

Lastly, I am looking forward to SP1 that should, from what I have read, give me memory-oversubscribe and a few other cool updates.

2 comments:

Andrey Beshkov said...

Nice to see you had good experience with Hyper-V Cluster.

You could create Hyper-V cluster with one physical node. Than migrate some VMs from old server into cluster. Reinstall OS on old server and add it to cluster. And so on. :)

sheps said...

Thanks Derek, this gives me hope of adding a SAN to my Hyper-V setup.

@Andrey_Beshkov:

Do you have any experience with doing exactly that? I have two Hyper-V hosts using their own local storage and I'm about to add a SAN to it. I was hoping I wouldn't have to find a third Host while I do the work.

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