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Hyper-V File Server setup recomendation

    Question

  • Hi All,

    We have a 2 node Hyper-V cluster running windows server 2012 R2. A third Hyper-V server is located at our DR site that is not part of the cluster however it is using Hyper-V replication for VM between our primary site. The backend connects to a SAN via iSCSI and we are using CSVs as storage for the VMs.

    We have built a VM running windows server 2016 that hosts our company documents and user profiles. The company documents and users profiles reside on seperate .VHDX files. These sit on seperate LUNS presented to the hosts and configured as CSVs. The server is configured for Hyper-V HA, and we are using DFSR to replicate company documents and user profile data. The data is being replicated to a VM at our DR site running another VM with the same specs.

    Since we have a 2 node setup setup in our production site, is there a way i can build a second server so i can redirect the users to point the the second server seamlessly (no downtime) so i can patch one of the systems?

    Is there a way to do this so i don't have to have duplicate data on each of the VM's?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Edited by JustdaveIT Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:52 AM
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:49 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    If your data (company documents & user profiles) is currently residing on shared storage, you could consider creating a virtual file server cluster, hosted on your physical two-node Hyper-V cluster.

    Install another Windows Server 2016 virtual machine (VM) and then create a file server cluster out of the two Windows Server 2016 VMs.

    This way both cluster nodes would use the same data and there would be no duplicate data.

    By having a cluster you will achieve redundancy, so this would make it easy for you to perform maintenance and patching your file server VMs.

    Best regards,
    Leon


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:31 AM
  • Hi ,

    According to your description, you want to deploy a file server VM in primary site and then synchronize the user profile on VM servers in Primary site and DR site without duplicate data on each VM. 

    Please feel free to correct me if my understanding is wrong.

    >>Is there a way to do this so i don't have to have duplicate data on each of the VM's?

    As far as I know ,the data will always synchronize on each VM in DFSR. There is no way to avoid duplicate data on each VM.

    >> is there a way i can build a second server so i can redirect the users to point the the second server seamlessly (no downtime) so i can patch one of the systems?

    You don't need to build a second server.

    If user profiles point to special server, such as\\VM1\userprofile, when you pach VM1, there will always be downtime.

    If user profiles point to \\DFSnamespace, when you patch one of the VM server, the user profile will redirect to another VM server.

    For more questions about user profile, you could seek help in our AD forum.


    Best Regards,

    Candy


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    Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:56 AM
  • Hi,

    I understand that you have a file server (as a VM) at primary site and secondary site. This is already added to DFS Replication. So you have redundancy. Now you want to build another server at primary site to have a further redundancy within the site. Is my understanding right?

    If yes, then you can build another VM and enable the DFS. The following article will give you some idea

    1. Deploying DFS Replication on a Windows Failover Cluster – Part I: Explains how to create a new Windows Server 2008 R2 failover cluster.
    2. Deploying DFS Replication on a Windows Failover Cluster – Part II: Explains how to configure DFS Replication service for high availability on the failover cluster.
    3. Deploying DFS Replication on a Windows Failover Cluster – Part III: Explains how to add the failover cluster as a member server in a DFS replication group.

    Regards,
    Bala

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:27 AM
  • Hi Leon,

    This sounds exactly like what i am after. 

    This would essentially be a Hyper-V cluster hosing two Windows server VM's that are part of their own cluster.

    In terms of Hyper-V HA, will this setup effect the systems should a HA occur?

    Would there be any downside you can think of this for this?

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:54 PM
  • Hi, I know i could do this but i did not want to have two copies of the same data.

    I feel the solution suggested by Leon is more what i am trying to achieve.

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:59 PM
  • The physical Hyper-V cluster should not affect the virtual cluster, I have many customers running their file server like this, it's a solid solution really.

    The easiest way to find out if there's any issues is by testing.

    You can test the failover during a planned maintenance for example, to check that they behave as they should, this is actually a good procedure to do during planned maintenances anyway.


    Some testing examples:

    • Test the failover of "File Server" cluster role in the virtual file server cluster, make sure it can be hosted on both virtual file server cluster nodes.
    • Test by performing an "dirty" shutdown (simply just restart a virtual file server cluster node) of one of the virtual file server cluster node (should be done on both virtual file server cluster nodes).

    • Test the failover of the virtual file servers in the physical Hyper-V cluster, to check that they come up and do a clean failover to/from both physical Hyper-V nodes.

    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:06 PM
  • Leon, would this be considered a scale out file server?

    Are scale out file servers supported whilst running DFSR?

    Friday, March 15, 2019 5:23 AM
  • When you cluster file servers and configure the File Server cluster role, you have two options to choose from:

    1. File server for General Use

    2. Scale-Out File Server

    DFS Replication (DFS-R) is not supported if the replicated data is stored on CSV volumes.


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Friday, March 15, 2019 7:55 AM
  • Hi ,

    Just checking in to see if the information provided was helpful.

    Please let us know if you would like further assistance. 

    Best Regards,

    Candy


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com   

    Monday, March 18, 2019 3:11 AM
  • Hi ,

    You could mark the useful reply as answer if you want to end this thread up.

    Best Regards,

    Candy


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com   

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019 8:58 AM