none
Sharepoint 2010 and Hyper-V 2012 VM replication as DR solution

    Question

  • Has anyone considered using the new replication features of Hyper-V 2012 as a DR/HA solution for a Sharepoint 2010 farm? Is this possible? Good idea? Bad idea? This might be more of a Hyper-V forum question but I was wondering if any Sharepoint admins have done this or researched doing it and if so did you find any caveats that might be peculiar to Sharepoint?

    Thanks much


    davidh

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:24 PM

Answers

  • You're right, the replicas are offline until a failover occurs (just like database mirroring in SQL), but those VMs aren't consistent with each other (one might be 1 second off from the other, etc.).  It is due to that inconsistency that prevents this type of replication from being used.

    Snapshots on Hyper-V, ESXi, etc. are *not* synchronous with each other.  They're taken at different times, even if you select all VMs at the same time.  Snapshots are also not supported with SharePoint at all.

    Really the only supported methods, from Microsoft, are via SQL Server Log Shipping/Database Mirroring/AlwaysOn.  Remember that the failover license is included with your production license.


    SharePoint - Nauplius Applications
    Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP
    MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

    -----------------------
    This post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:31 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I believe this would put the "DR" farm in an unsupported state as for one, this is async replication, and two, you cannot precisely sync all of the VMs in the farm, which would cause timer job issues if you were to start the DR farm.

    Same reason it is unsupported to snapshot VMs.

    SharePoint - Nauplius Applications
    Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP
    MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

    -----------------------
    This post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:42 PM
    Moderator
  • hmm... good point. Thank you for the response.

    This particular farm is relatively simple, one WFE/App VM and one DB VM. My understanding of 2012 Hyper-V replication is not great at this point but I was thinking this was a simple block level replication with snapshots and monitoring to assure they were in synch. If so, I think (hope) it would work.

    We currently have no DR solution because we are using FILESTREAM for BLOB storage of the content DB's, which breaks DB mirroring in SQL. I know there are some complex ways of going around this but what I have read leads me to believe they would be a nightmare to implement and maintain. A simple, relatively elegant solution would be really nice, this replication scenario would be that, IF, big IF, it works.


    davidh

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:57 PM
  • SAN block level replication will also cause issues, as again it can't precisely keep everything in sync.  Even with 1 SharePoint and 1 SQL Server you'll have issues, as the SharePoint server has to communicate timer job status with the SQL Server.

    SharePoint - Nauplius Applications
    Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP
    MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

    -----------------------
    This post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:59 PM
    Moderator
  • I was not planning to use a SAN, just two basic server boxes. But your point is certainly still valid, and thanks again for helping me think this out.

    Again, my understanding of Hyper-V 2012 replication is not great at this time. But from what I have read, (again could have misread) the replica boxes are not live/online until a failover occurs, so I was thinking there would not be sync/timer issues on that side. As I am currently understanding it the snapshots for failover for each VM are synchronous as both VM's are on the same host.

    This is getting more into the Hyper-V side of things, I will post over there too.


    davidh

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:26 PM
  • You're right, the replicas are offline until a failover occurs (just like database mirroring in SQL), but those VMs aren't consistent with each other (one might be 1 second off from the other, etc.).  It is due to that inconsistency that prevents this type of replication from being used.

    Snapshots on Hyper-V, ESXi, etc. are *not* synchronous with each other.  They're taken at different times, even if you select all VMs at the same time.  Snapshots are also not supported with SharePoint at all.

    Really the only supported methods, from Microsoft, are via SQL Server Log Shipping/Database Mirroring/AlwaysOn.  Remember that the failover license is included with your production license.


    SharePoint - Nauplius Applications
    Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP
    MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

    -----------------------
    This post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:31 PM
    Moderator