John Howard - Senior Program Manager in the Hyper-V team at Microsoft

Senior Program Manager, Hyper-V team, Windows Core Operating System Division.


Virtual Server 2005 R2 Host Clustering Instructions

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If you're a regular reader, you'll know that Virtual Server 2005 R2 (previously known as Virtual Server 2005 SP1 when in beta) is going to launch soon. Very soon actually - more to follow when as it's announced. Along with a name change from SP1 to R2, there are numerous other improvements. One really significant ability of Virtual Server 2005 R2 is full support to cluster Virtual Server Hosts for fault tolerance - if you're familiar with VMotion from a competitor product suite ;), it's similar, but better, and doesn't cost anything.

Host Clustering caters for two scenarios - planned and unplanned downtime, both of which are hopefully fairly obvious. Host Clustering requires Microsoft Clustering Services to be running on each of the Virtual Server hosts and some form of SAN connectivity between them (iSCSI, NAS etc).

So how do you set something like this up? Easy, follow this link to a great document which has literally just been published explaining it all.

BTW - did I mention, it's free too!

  • > if you're familiar with VMotion from a competitor product suite ;), it's similar, but better, and doesn't cost anything.

    Whoa, not so fast here. I read the whitepaper, and you have not convinced me at all.

    > it's similar

    Only in the sense that the functionality is about the same. VMotion works out of the box with no need for a complicated cluster config that is limited to 8 hosts anyway. I'm curious of the performance of host clustering is as good as VMotion, do you have any numbers on that? If I ping a guest in VMotion, there is not a single packet lost.

    > and doesn't cost anything.

    Since when is W2003 EE available at no cost?

  • At this stage, all I can say is look for more announcements around this area at IT Forum next week where the first public viewings of this technology will be made - there are no public figures available yet; hopefully soon. Agree, WS2003 EE is not no cost, but that clearly wasn't what I saying - to clarify, this add-on to virtual server and its support of clustered host environments when using Virtual Server 2005 R2 is at no additional cost over the VMM itself.

    Remember also that as from Dec 1, the subsequent launch of WS2003 R2 EE, the EULA will be that you can also run four virtual workloads on top of the host OS from one license.

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