Data Centers

Clustering enhancements in Windows Server 2008 R2 improve migration time

An enhancement to Windows Server 2008 R2 is clustered shared volumes. Rick Vanover provides an overview of this important change.

Windows Server 2008's R2 is a hot topic, especially with regards to the Hyper-V feature. The Hyper-V feature and its associated management components introduce a migration feature that allows a virtual machine (VM) to be moved from one Hyper-V host to another with minimal downtime. Migration technology is one of the issues that administrators have with Hyper-V when comparing it to other virtualization platforms.

One of the ways Windows Server 2008 R2 addresses this is a fundamental enhancement to the Microsoft cluster service (MSCS). Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a clustered shared volume that MSCS can use to provide storage for VMs. This effectively makes each .VHD file a clustered service (formerly known as a clustered resource) that is owned by a server. Figure A shows the architecture of the clustered shared volume enhancement to MSCS in Windows Server 2008 R2. Figure A

Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.

These enhancements will improve the migration time as well as the storage provisioning process. The Hyper-V role in the current product when used with MSCS requires a dedicated logical unit number (LUN) when used in a storage area network (SAN). This storage management will quickly make administrators downtrodden with details and leave a large number of relatively small LUNs on the SAN. The enhanced MSCS functionality allows you to revert back to a better practice of managing a smaller number of larger LUNs, which will please the SAN administrator!

Share your comments on this new Windows Server 2008 R2 MSCS enhancement in the discussion.

Additional Windows Server 2008 R2 resources

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About Rick Vanover

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

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