New Hyper-V features bring new possibilities

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Hyper-V Virtual Fiber Channel
Tags backup channel compared configuration connect disk disk space high

New Features in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Virtual Fiber Channel Adapters Allowed to Use Compared to Previous Hyper-V Version Administrators Need to Increase Passthrough Links to Volumes Directly Reduced to Virtual Machines Attached to Hyper-V Hosts Many complications and limitations make it possible for administrators to virtualize the load of high storage requirements.

Why do I need Virtual Fiber Channel?

For the time being, most virtual machines are currently not using virtual Fiber Channel, but Virtual Fiber Channel lets you virtualize workloads that were not in use in the virtual infrastructure in the past.

Virtual machines that take up a lot of storage: In the past, virtual machines used fixed or fully scaled disks for productivity reasons. However, fixed disks require full VHD / VHDX disk space on expensive storage area networks (SANs). Virtual Fiber Channel connections now make better use of the features of SAN storage (such as thin provisioning and deduplication) without the use of storage area networks (SANs ). Now as long as you provide a few terabytes of disk space, you do not have to allocate all of your space to the server at once.

Virtual machines that require high storage performance: Before Windows Server 2012, using pass-through disks was the only way to optimize disk performance. Performance reduction is acceptable for some workloads, but pass-through disks have some limitations - especially because they lack true live migration capabilities. Virtual Disk Channels get rid of the migration restrictions by allowing native software to coordinate data migration between Hyper-V cluster nodes without disconnecting from the disk.

Virtual machine cluster for application high availability: Fault-tolerant mechanisms have become a key feature of Hyper-V. If one node in the cluster fails, all virtual machines migrate to other surviving nodes. This mechanism works at the operating system level, but many applications can not be restarted after a failover. Virtual Machine Clustering Using Shared Fiber Channel to connect to shared storage allows applications to have the same fault tolerance as virtual machine cluster nodes. Using Virtual Fiber Channel to connect disks allows you to get the most out of your physical server configuration for the best performance.

How to Create a Hyper-V Virtual Fiber Channel SAN

Directing virtual machines directly to the SAN can reduce the complexity of virtual hosts and reduce the pass-through limitations of pass-through disks. However, before you start implementing it, you still have to consider some issues with the host.

The firmware and drivers for the host bus adapter (HBA) on all nodes in the cluster, as well as the on-board LAN, are guaranteed to be the latest version. Standardization is the key to maintaining stability.

You also need to ensure that HBA / LOM cards support N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) and that this feature is enabled on the card. This allows HBA / LOM to efficiently assign a World Wide Name (WWN) or World Wide ID to each virtual disk channel adapter within a virtual machine. The video below shows how to enable NPIV using Emulex OneCommand Manager.

After the drivers and firmware are properly installed on the host and you have enabled NPIV, you need to define a virtual Fiber Channel SAN on the host. Because System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 does not yet support this feature, you will need to perform these steps on each host using Hyper-V Manager. An important point to keep in mind during configuration is that, just as with configuring virtual switches, it is critical that you name it correctly on all Hyper-V hosts if you want the virtual machines to reduce configuration changes after migrating to additional hosts. This standard is necessary if you are going to be using a host cluster that is on Hyper-V, a virtual machine that uses a virtual Fiber Channel adapter, or is prepared to use live migration between individual hosts.

Considerations for using virtual Fiber Channel to connect disks

Hyper-V VSS writer does not allow virtual Fiber Channel connected disks to back up using host-based backup. For virtual machines that use this disk type, you need to have a backup agent installed in the virtual machine and all backup software disabled. From a backup point of view, you need to treat this virtual machine as a physical server.

You also need to implement fabric zones with Fiber Channel fabrics and SAN storage tiers along with networks and storage groups.

Virtualization of more workloads with the new virtual Fiber Channel can save a lot of overhead, which is good news for CEOs and CIOs.

There are some technical differences to consider for other virtual machines that use virtual Fiber Channel to connect disks, but the way to back up and fiber zones is to emulate the physical environment unless there is no physical server footprint. Now you can increase disk input / output speed and reduce the data center space occupied by virtual machines. Do you need to decide whether it makes sense to pursue the slight differences in these virtualization environment strategies? What is the role of using virtual Fiber Channel to connect disks? Are there any potential risks?

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