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Cloud Computing: Blog Post

Step-by-Step: Protect Private Clouds with Orchestrated Fail Over

Windows Azure HRM provides simple, easy-to-implement Business Continuance options for Private Clouds

On Friday, Brad Anderson, CVP for Windows Server and System Center, announced Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) as a Cloud-integrated Disaster Recovery solution on his In the Cloud blog.  Be sure to get the full details in Brad's article, and then come back here to walk through the process of configuring HRM in this Guided Hands-On Lab.

Wow! Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) extends site-to-site protection to entire Private Clouds by leveraging the Hyper-V Replica asynchronous VM replication capabilities in Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and our free Hyper-V Server 2012 enterprise-grade bare-metal hypervisors.  It provides a super-easy method for centrally configuring and administering business continuity between Private Clouds that are managed by System Center 2012 SP1/R2 Virtual Machine Manager. In addition, by leveraging the Windows Azure cloud platform, an actionable recovery plan is automatically located off-site, so that it can be easily accessible when needed during a site disaster to enact failover to your DR site.  Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager is a new feature that is currently available on a limited customer preview program to Windows Azure subscribers.

In this article, I'll provide an introduction to Hyper-V Recovery Manager and a Guided Hands-On Lab at the end of this article that allows you to step through the process of protecting your Private Clouds with a Recovery Plan.

How does Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager work?
After enabling the preview feature, Hyper-V Recovery Manager is configured via the Windows Azure management portal to provide an off-site recovery plan for on-premise Private Clouds managed by System Center 2012 SP1/R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

With Hyper-V Recovery Manager, you can:

  • Automatically enable and configure Hyper-V Replica on the virtualization hosts throughout your Private Cloud
  • Asynchronously replicate running VMs in your on-premise Private Cloud to another off-premise Private Cloud, both managed by System Center 2012 SP1/R2 Virtual Machine Manager management servers
  • Build a Recovery Plan to provide orchestrated failover of your VMs, with the ability to include ordered groups of VMs, custom scripts and manual actions
  • Perform a Test Failover to test your Recovery Plan while keeping production applications online
  • Perform Planned and Unplanned Failovers, using the steps defined in the Recovery Plan

Does Replication Data Flow Through Windows Azure?
No. With Hyper-V Recovery Manager, Windows Azure is used to centralize the configuration and management of a Private Cloud Recovery Plan that spans multiple System Center 2012 SP1/R2 Virtual Machine Manager management servers.  Once configured, Hyper-V Recovery Manager works with System Center 2012 SP1/R2 VMM at both the primary and secondary datacenter locations to configure asynchronous VM replication directly between the appropriate Hyper-V hosts.

How do I handle Virtual Networks when Failover Occurs?
When configuring Hyper-V Recovery Manager, you can map Virtual Networks at your primary and secondary datacenter locations to one another.  For best results, we recommend leveraging Windows Network Virtualization with Hyper-V hosts using System Center 2012 SP1/R2 VMM so that IP addresses on VMs do not need to be reassigned when failover occurs between sites.

What do I need?
To evaluate Hyper-V Recovery Manager, you'll need the following components:

Guided Lab Exercises
In this Guided Lab Scenario, you'll complete the following tasks to configure disaster recovery protection of your on-premise Private Clouds:

  • Create a Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager Vault
  • Upload Management Certificates to the Vault
  • Download, Install and Register the Hyper-V Recovery Manager Agent on each System Center 2012 SP1/R2 VMM management server
  • Configure Recovery Failover Protection for an On-premise Private Cloud
  • Enable Recovery for the VMs to be protected
  • Create a Recovery Plan to orchestrate multi-VM failovers

Once you're done, you'll test your Recovery Plan by performing a Test Failover.

Estimated Completion Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Let’s Get Started
To launch this Guided Lab Scenario, click the Play button in the window below.

Guided Lab Scenario: Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Guided Lab Tips:

  • After launching the lab in the window above, you may wish to also click the Show Full Screen button in the lower right portion of the window for best viewing.
  • The lab captions can be moved by clicking/dragging if they obscure a portion of your Guided Lab window, particularly when using lower screen resolutions.

Completed. Where can I learn more?

In addition to the Guided Lab above, detailed step-by-step documentation on Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager is available at:

And ... while you're at it, be sure to check out the rest of our Build Your Private Cloud series at:

Build Your Lab! Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012
Build Your Lab in the Cloud! Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Join our "Early Experts" study group! Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!