What is Virtual Fibre Channel in the new version of Hyper-V, and what benefits does it bring?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Virtual Fibre Channel (or Guest FC, as some Microsoft documents call it) is a new Hyper-V 3.0 feature that will allow virtual machines to directly connect to Fibre Channel-based storage. This new feature is important for a couple of reasons.
First, Virtual Fibre Channel will make it possible to virtualize servers that require direct Fibre Channel connectivity. Previously, virtualizing such servers was not an option, unless users were willing to give up Fibre Channel connectivity and use SCSI pass-through storage as an alternative.
Another reason why Virtual Fibre Channel is important is it will facilitate clustering of virtual servers over Fibre Channel (which is sometimes referred to as a guest cluster). If such clusters already exist within physical servers, individual cluster nodes can be virtualized one at a time without destroying the cluster in the process and without having to take the clustered resource offline.
Although guest clustering is fully supported, it will be necessary to use affinity and anti-affinity rules to ensure that virtualized cluster nodes never end up residing on a common Hyper-V host server. Such placement would undermine the effectiveness of the cluster because if the host server were to fail, the virtualized cluster nodes that are running on it could also fail (unless the Hyper-V host is also clustered).
The primary requirement that must be met to use Virtual FC is that the underlying SAN must support NPIV (N_Port ID virtualization). Any physical host bus adapters that exist within the host server are shared among the virtual machines (VMs), which means that if you have multiple VMs on a common host that have Virtual Fibre Channel enabled, none of the VMs will receive the full bandwidth that the physical Fibre Channel adapter is capable of providing. It is possible, however, to install multiple host bus adapters into a single Hyper-V host.
Dig Deeper on Data Storage Solutions for a Virtual Environment
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
You don't always need users' passwords to fix problems with Windows desktops. If the computer is domain-joined, you can use any account.continue reading
While it may seem that you should never switch off the deduplication process, there are two instances where that may be the best solution for your ...continue reading
When traditional storage hardware can't handle virtualized workloads, VM-aware storage can be used as an alternative. But could VMware VVOLs solve ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.