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Don’t Fear but Respect Redirected IO with Shared VHDX
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 25, 2016
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Introduction

When we got Shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2 we were quite pleased as it opened up the road to guest clustering (Failover clustering in virtual machines) without needing to break through the virtualization layer with iSCSI or virtual Fibre Channel (vFC).

First of all, you need to be aware of the limits of using a shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  1. You cannot perform storage live migration
  2. You cannot resize the VHDX online
  3. You cannot do host based backups (i.e. you need to do in guest backups)
  4. No support for checkpoints
  5. No support for Hyper-V Replica

If you cannot live with these, that’s a good indicator this is not for you. But if you can, you should also take care of the potential redirected IO impact that can and will occur. This doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but you need to know about it, design and build for it and test it realistically for your real life workloads.

active guest cluster node is running on the Hyper-V host

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How to Configure Storage Replication using Windows Server 2016? – Part 2
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on February 3, 2016
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Warning: This article is written with information related to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

In part one of this multi part blog on How to Configure Storage Replication in Windows Server 2016, we covered an introduction into Storage Replica which is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2016, and we covered step by step the implementation of Windows Volume Replication (Server-to-server). In this follow up post, we are going to cover the implementation of volume replication with stretch cluster. This type of cluster features uses Asymmetric storage, two sites, two sets of shared storage and uses volume replication to ensure that data is available to all nodes in the cluster.

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ISCSI: LACP vs. MPIO
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on March 31, 2015
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Here is a comparison of two technologies with similar task but different methods of accomplishing it – Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) and Multipath I/O (MPIO). Both are aimed at providing higher throughput when one connection can’t handle the task. To achieve that, LACP bundles several physical ports into a single logical channel. MPIO, on the other hand, utilizes more than one physical path, even if the working application does not support more than one connection. Both technologies seem to be equally effective at first glance, but further study confirms that one of them is better at achieving its goal. The post is practical, so expect detailed research with screenshots and complete analysis of the technologies in a test case.

LACP and MPIO testing scheme

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Storage Replica: “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V Guest VM Cluster
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on October 30, 2014
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This post is about Microsoft Storage Replica, a new solution introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2016. Basically, it enables replication between two servers, clusters or inside a cluster, also being capable of copying data between volumes on the same server. Storage Replica is often utilized for Disaster Recovery, allowing the user to replicate data to a remote site, thus being able to recover from complete physical failure on the main location. The post is dedicated to building a “shared nothing” cluster. It is an experimental part of a series and features a “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V guest VM cluster. As always, there is a detailed instruction as to how to create the subject setup and there are results for everyone to check.

storage replication

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