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Posts tagged Cluster Shared Volumes 2.0
Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup 3.5
notice: Altaro are giving away two Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Windows Server 2012 beta. Check out all the details at the bottom of this blog
The crew at Hyper-V.nu were offered a first glance of Altaro Hyper-V Backup back in May 2011. We agreed to do a review of the beta version of the product. That particular version of the beta did not have support for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and we provided feedback to Altaro about this shortcoming. As our Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011 showed, over 94% of users with Hyper-V clusters use CSV. We were pleasantly surprised how quickly Altaro responded by adding support for CSV in one of their next beta’s. So we did a second review testing the backup and recovery of guests living on cluster shared volumes on a Hyper-V R2 SP1 cluster.
Since then Altaro released their RTM of version 2, version 3 and v3.1 which have continued to add functionality, ease and performance. You can find a change log of Altaro Hyper-V Backup here: http://wiki.altaro.com/releases/change-log-for-altaro-hyper-v-backup
One noticeable improvement in version 3 was installation of the product on a cluster. When on a cluster the application could detect each node and configure them during the installation. You only needed to install Altaro Hyper-V Backup on one node and it would then automatically deploy modules on all other cluster nodes. Additionally, the administrator was able to manage all guests across all nodes from a single console. This meant that all backups, restores and configuration could be done from one centralized console. In a cluster environment all guests could be backed up to a single backup target such as a USB drive, a NAS or a disk on a SAN. Even when guests moved around in the cluster, Altaro Hyper-V Backup would take care of that.
By using a technique called ReverseDelta, incremental backups could be made at tremendous speed. The last version introduced ReverseDelta v2 which made incremental backups at least 300% faster.
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V backup also dealt with one of CSV’s shortcomings: redirected access during backup operations (backup node claiming ownership of disk and redirecting I/O across the CSV network for all other nodes for that CSV disk). A new scheduling feature called ‘Scheduling Groups’ was introduced which allowed a quick and easy drag & drop of Hyper-V guests to one or more defined Scheduling Groups. It would group guests on the same CSV together in order to decrease time required in redirected access mode. If you are a Data Protection Manager user, you will appreciate this feature as DPM does not do this for you automatically. It is also quite time consuming to even select multiple Hyper-V guests for backup and add them to their Protection Group.
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If you are a server, storage or network vendor, please also read the last section.
Now that the Windows Server 8 beta can be expected any time now – but promised before the last week of February 2012 – it might be a good idea to start looking at several of the groundbreaking storage related technologies that could turn up in Windows 8. I stress the word could because we must always be careful since functionality shown in Pre-RTM builds is never guaranteed to be in the GA release.
I am planning to write a couple of blogs about Windows 8 Storage which in many cases is related to the new version of Hyper-V.
If you are running a SAN but also if your company simply can’t afford a SAN, chances are that you will see significant performance increases when reading, writing, copying, moving data with Windows Server 8. In-box storage manageability with PowerShell will strongly contribute to making Windows 8 Storage one of the major pillars of the Microsoft Private Cloud Fabric. As I have looked at it so far, storage is handled extremely well in Windows Server 8. Mind you this is only what I have determined based on what I have heard and seen on \\build and have personally tested since September 2011 with the Windows 8 Developer Preview.
This edition is not at all intended to be stable and testing with de Developer Preview is a true challenge. As a preparation for the Hyper-V.nu event with several sessions on Windows Server 8, I wanted to try out and show some unique new functionality for moving living Hyper-V guests between different types of storage. I had time for building up the pre-requisites and was able to successfully show a Live Storage Migration of a guest between two SMB2 shares on a ScaleOut File Cluster. But there were several other Live Storage moves that I tested but also want to explore further:
Live Storage Migrate a guest from USB disk to a local disk
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a local disk to a new Windows 8 Pool and Spaces virtual disk
Live Storage Migrate a guest from local disk to shared storage on a single host
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a shared disk on a single host to a shared disk on a Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a shared disk on a cluster to a CSV version 2 volume on the same cluster
Live Storage Migrate a guest from any location to an SMB2 file share on a ScaleOut Fileserver with Continuously Available Shares
Live Storage Migrate a guest between two SMB2 file shares on the same Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster while the ScaleOut Fileserver cluster is moved between nodes.
Live Storage Migrate a guest between an SMB2 file share used by one Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster to another Hyper-V cluster or even to another SMB2 file share on another server.
Am I now running out of options? On the contrary, I have only just started!