Complete guide to Hyper-V 3.0 features for storage

Complete guide to Microsoft Hyper-V 3 and storage

The newest version of Microsoft's virtualization platform, Hyper-V 3.0, touts new storage-related features and improvements that aim to simplify the virtualization process and increase flexibility. This guide provides content that will explain and review Hyper-V 3.0 features for storage such as shared-nothing live migration, which eliminates the need for shared storage for live migration, or the replica feature, which facilitates disaster recovery. Below are videos and expert insights providing everything you need to know about Hyper-V 3.0 and storage, including how these features work and specifications needed in order to use them.

Table of contents:

Microsoft eliminates Hyper-V shared storage requirement for advanced features

In previous versions of Hyper-V, the absence of shared storage meant some high-end features couldn't be used. While Hyper-V 3.0 is optimized by using shared storage, it will now be possible to utilize the live migration and failover clustering features with direct-attached storage, meaning the necessity for a SAN or a NAS has been eliminated for advanced features.

Hyper-V 3.0's virtual Fibre Channel allows flexible virtualization infrastructure

By making it possible to connect virtual machines (VMs) directly to Fibre Channel-based storage, Hyper-V 3.0's virtual Fibre Channel is essential to the virtualization of more workloads. In the past, servers that had to be connected to Fibre Channel-based storage were not impossible, but very difficult to virtualize. Now, administrators will be able to extend virtualization to more VMs. They'll also have more flexibility, with the ability to create Fibre Channel-based clusters at the guest level, virtual SANs and the option to live migrate VMs without losing connectivity.

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What benefits does Virtual Fibre Channel bring to Hyper-V 3.0?

Hyper-V 3.0 shared-nothing live migration: No shared storage required

Shared-nothing live migration, a new Hyper-V 3.0 feature, directly addresses a problem of earlier versions. In the past, live migration required a cluster built around a shared volume in which each host in the cluster was attached to the storage through either an iSCSI or a Fibre Channel connection. With shared-nothing live migration, the need for a Cluster Shared Volume is eliminated. The VMs can reside on direct-attached storage, making the feature affordable to more IT shops.

Hyper-V 3.0 features address storage-related problems

Hyper-V 3.0 comes with many highly anticipated new features, several of which focus on improvements to storage specifically. The SMB 2.2 protocol will be supported, which is expected to bring faster and more reliable performance, allowing VMs to be stored on file servers. There's also deduplication, Live Storage Migration and shared-nothing live migration. Find out how these features work.

Hyper-V 3.0 storage migration improved with no performance interruption

Hyper-V 3.0's Live Storage Migration feature is similar to VMware's Storage vMotion in that it allows VMs to be moved to another storage device without interrupting service. The feature is similar to Hyper-V's previous storage migration functionality, Quick Storage Migration, but without Quick Storage Migration's brief interruption of storage during migration.

Hyper-V's Offloaded Data Transfer improves server read and write efficiency

Offloaded Data Transfer is a new feature in Hyper-V 3.0 that offloads storage-related tasks from the server to the storage system. This frees the server up to handle virtualization tasks. If a storage system supports Offloaded Data Transfer, Windows Server 2012 will detect that and enable it automatically. Find out how it works.

Microsoft improves storage features in Hyper-V 3.0

New storage features in Hyper-V 3.0 are rivaling those of VMware, and at a lower cost. In this video, storage expert Howard Marks says that sites running primarily Windows guests should take a serious look at Hyper-V 3.0 due to new features like Live Storage Migration and built-in data deduplication.

Hyper-V Replica feature facilitates disaster recovery

Hyper-V Replica, a feature in version 3.0, addresses disaster recovery by snapshotting a VM every five minutes and then moving a copy to a secondary host. But this feature is intended only as a recovery feature, rather than as a resiliency feature. Get more details on how Hyper-V Replica works.

Windows Storage Spaces provides thin provisioning, greater capacity utilization

Windows Server 2012's Storage Spaces is a feature that simplifies capacity planning by enabling thin provisioning of raw storage. Administrators use this feature by defining storage pools of physical disks, each of which Windows can uniquely identify. They then can create virtual hard disks within those pools, which appear to the operating system as a single physical disk. Read up on how Windows Storage Spaces works.

More information on Hyper-V 3.0

Check out the links below to learn more about using Hyper-V 3.0.

Hyper-V 3.0 defined

Experts weigh in on Windows Server 2012 storage features

Virtualization platform showdown: Hyper-V 3 vs. vSphere 5

Testing Hyper-V 3.0 hardware

Hyper-V 3.0 high availability and redundancy

Hyper-V 3.0 and virtual RAM