Scenario description

Contoso Hosting Solutions has deployed many private clouds with multiple Hyper-V hosts. Some of these are on clusters and some are on stand-alone hosts, depending on customer needs. Contoso has been using Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V hosts for their deployments. As their customer service level agreements (SLAs) or density changes on a Hyper-V host, John, the administrator, switches off a virtual machine, moves the storage, and migrates it to a new host. This helps him load-balance better and adapt to customer needs. This process of migrating virtual machines to balance loads has, for a long time, been a pain point for John. However, thanks to the features available in Windows Server 2012, John does not need to use this cumbersome process anymore. Live migration of virtual machines solves his problem.

Bob, the backup administrator, manages the backup for Contoso’s Hyper-V deployments. Depending on the backup SLAs, recovery point objective (RPO), and recovery time objective (RTO), he configures backups of virtual machines. When he hears about John’s move to live migration of virtual machines, Bob worries about the complexity that this would bring to his data protection scenarios.  

Solution description

In the new environment, John deploys Client Hyper-V clustered and stand-alone, hosts. He also migrates some of the virtual machines from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012. John deploys Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in System Center 2012 SP1 to manage the private cloud.

To continue protection of the virtual machines, John adds all the backup administrators as Read Only users in VMM.

For his part, Bob pushes the System Center 2012 SP1 Data Protection Manager agents on to all Windows Server 2012 hosts. Then he installs the VMM client component on all the DPM servers. Next, using the DPM Windows PowerShell cmdlet Set-DPMGlobalProperty, he connects all the host computers to all the DPM servers. The Set-DPMGlobalProperty cmdlet now accepts multiple DPM server names to allow him to do this easily.

Bob now configures the backups by creating protection groups in DPM. A week later, when a virtual machine migrates from one cluster to another, all backups continue without breaking.

A few weeks later, John raises a ticket to Bob to recover one of the virtual machines to its original location. Bob starts the recovery work flow, and DPM recovers the virtual machine to the last host it was running on.

System Center 2012 components and other products, features, and roles

By implementing the following System Center 2012 SP1 components together, and with minimal configuration, you can use:

  • DPM in System Center 2012 SP1 to back up and protect the data that is stored on your virtual machines.
  • VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 to manage your virtual machines.

How does this solution fit into your IT strategy?

For the Microsoft cloud strategy, see the Private Cloud Solution Hub, where architectural guidance is located. The strategy describes how a private cloud enables organizations to deliver information technology (IT) as services. It does this by providing a pool of computing resources that are delivered as a standard set of capabilities. The capabilities are specified, architected, and managed based on requirements that a private organization defines.

How do you prepare System Center for this solution?

To prepare your environment for this solution, review the guidance in the System Center 2012 Integration Guide on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki. There, you can review community information for each System Center component in its role as a programmable platform to be used for the Microsoft Private Cloud. The guide is intended to provide an abstraction layer that guides partners and customers in their decision process for building automated solutions across System Center components and between System Center and other systems.

When you have the System Center components installed and other requirements met, you’re ready to test the solution.

How to accomplish this solution

Deploy DPM to support protection of virtual machines that have Live Migration enabled.
Deploy virtual machines with Live Migration.

On the protected computers:

On the DPM server:

  • The VMM Console is required to allow DPM to track the location of the virtual machine. This is important because when Live Migration is enabled, the virtual machine may not be on the same host it was on when the protection group was created.
    Install the VMM Console.
  • Use the New Protection Group Wizard to add the virtual machine to a protection group to begin protection.
    Create protection groups
  • Use the Recovery Wizard to recover the virtual machine when you have lost the original machine.
    Recover protection groups

How can you customize or extend this solution?

Links to TechNet Library topics, Tech Center pages, blogs, forums, etc.