Shared virtual hard disks in Hyper-V 2016

Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 9, 2016
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A new feature called VHD Set for Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016 has been introduced by Microsoft. It allows sharing virtual hard disks between several servers in order to implement guest cluster easily without using complex technologies such as NPIV, virtual HBA, or virtual SAN.

As VHD Set, Shared VHDX enables sharing a virtual hard disk between multiple virtual machines. This feature is useful for implementing a guest cluster where shared disks are required (e.g., SQL Server AlwaysOn/FCI or File Servers).

Both shared VHDX and VHD Set are great for avoiding usage of virtual HBA and virtual SAN for presenting a LUN to the Vms, and are also necessary if you have implemented a SMB3 based storage solution.

However, shared VHDX feature has some limitations, e.g., resizing, migrating, and making a backup or a replica of a shared VHDX is not supported.

The VHD Set feature doesn’t have these limitations, but it is available only for Windows Server 2016 guest operating system.

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Oksana Zybinskaya
Oksana Zybinskaya
Online Marketing Manager at StarWind. In touch with virtualization world, may know stuff you are interested in.