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Windows Server 2012 Feature: Share Nothing Live Migration in Hyper-V

Live Migration is the process of moving a virtual machine (VM) from one Hyper-V virtualization host to another Hyper-V host without any perceived downtime of the VM being moved.

Source: Technet.Microsoft.com

Source: Technet.Microsoft.com

In Windows 2008 R2 Live Migration required a common storage between the source and destination Hyper-V hosts.  This shared storage could be an iSCSI LUN, direct attached storage (DAS), or another type of storage, as long as both Hyper-V servers saw the location as a permanent drive (no network drives, or SMB shares).

In Windows Server 2012 this restriction goes away and allows us to migrate virtual machines from one Hyper-V host to another without the requirement of the storage being shared between the hosts.  Hyper-V accomplishes this by starting off with a quick migration (see my prior post Introducing Quick Migration), but instead of coming down for the transfer of the active memory, this is transferred in small batches of differencing data until the amount needed to transfer can be done without any perceived downtime.  This is a truly remarkable technology, and one that is very welcome in my datacenter.

As with Windows Server 2008 R2, there are some requirements of Live Migration. First off, the VM’s virtual network must be configured on both the source and destination hosts.  The second requirement is that the source and destination hosts are using the same CPU brand.  So no Live Migrations from an AMD system to an Intel system.

With these changes, Live Migration becomes even more useful than ever before, doing the jobs of both Quick Migration and Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2.  The new Shared Nothing Live Migration is one more good reason to make the move to Windows Server 2012.


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About the author

Robert Borges

About Robert...

I have been in the IT industry since 1993 focusing mainly in networking. Though I got an early start as an amateur computer enthusiast, and wrote my first database app at age 12, I started my professional career working in the MIS department of one of the largest liquor distributors in the northeast. I started out there as a systems operator on the company’s two mainframe systems. From there I moved into PC support, and help design and implement the company’s first client-server network… This was back in the days of Win NT 3.51. I also worked on my first migration to NT 4.0 back then.

From there I went on to work with Novell 3.x and 4.x along with Windows domains and active directory environments. Working my way up from technician, to specialist, to administrator, and eventually all the way up to Sr. Engineer. I spent many years working for consulting firms, 9 of which I owned and operated my own firm.
Over the years, I have worked with (at an expert level) various versions of: Windows client and server operating systems (including Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016); various virtualization technologies (Hyper-V, VMware, etc.); MS-SQL server 6.5- 2014 R2; Exchange 4-2016, and much more.

I am now vCIO at Spade Technology, Inc. focusing on Information Technology strategy including: cloud computing, IT Infrastructure & Architecture, IT Security, and Cloud Computing platforms & technologies (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

Outside of my day job, I serve as president of the board of Boston User Groups, Inc., as well as IT-Pro User Group. In 2017/2018 Microsoft awarded me the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Award, with a focus of Microsoft Azure cloud, for my efforts in the IT community.

I am in a constant state of learning about new products, and new versions of products. Many of which we end up implementing in lab environments and sometimes for our clients. I have a very broad range of expertise and experience. It is my goal to share some of this experience on this blog to help enrich the IT community.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/08/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-feature-share-nothing-live-migration-in-hyper-v/


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