Windows Server 8 Hyper-V Live Migration

Live Migration was the big story in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V RTM and in Windows Server 8 Hyper-V it continues to be a big part of a much BIGGER story.

Some of the headline stuff about Live Migration in Windows Server 8 Hyper-V was announced at Build in September 2012. The big news was that Live Migration was separated from Failover Clustering. This adds flexibility and agility (2 of the big reasons beyond economics why businesses have virtualised) to those who don’t want to or cannot afford clusters:

  • Small businesses or corporate branch offices where the cost of shared storage can be prohibitive
  • Hosting companies where every penny spent on infrastructure must be passed onto customers in one way or another, and every time the hosting company spends more than the competition they become less competitive.
  • Shared pools of VDI VMs don’t always need clustering. Some might find it acceptable if a bunch of pooled VMs go offline if a host crashes, and the user is redirected to another host by the broker.

Don’t get me wrong; Clustered Hyper-V hosts are still the British Airways First Class way to travel. It’s just that sometimes the cost is not always justified, even though the SMB 2.2 and Scale Out File Server story brings those costs way down in many scenarios where the hardware functions of SAS/iSCSI/FC SANs aren’t required.

Live Migration has grown up. In fact, it’s grown up big time. There are lots of pieces and lots of terminology. We’ll explore some of this stuff now. This tiny sample of the improvements in Windows Server 8 Hyper-V shows how much work the Hyper-V group have done in the last few years. And as I’ll show you next, they are not taking any chances.

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