First look at Windows Volume Replication Storage Replica in Windows Server #windows10 #winserv #storage #WVR   1 comment

With the release of the Windows Server Technical Preview, a lot of new features are there as  Storage Replica.

Storage Replica enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between clusters or servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes ensuring zero data loss at the file system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss.

 

First look at Windows Volume Replication Storage Replica in Windows Server

In this post I take a look a this and see if it is working in the demo lab, My first impression is this needs planning and this is not that easy and how does this work. Well you need to play with this the get the feeling.

In this case I build a normal cluster just a set of disk with a file server on it and two nodes both running the Windows Server 10.

For the disk you will need some steps to prepare not all disk are suitable for the

Disk prerequisites :

  • You must create two volumes on each enclosure: one for data and one for logs.
  • Data volumes must be formatted as GPT, not MBR
  • The two data volumes must be of identical size.
  • The two log volumes should be of identical size.
  • The log volume should use SSD storage with a mirrored space or RAID 1/RAID 10
  • The data volume can use HDD, SSD, or a tiered combination and can use either mirrored or parity spaces or RAID 1 or 10, or RAID 5 or RAID 50
  • The data volume should be no larger than 10TB (for a first test, we recommend no more than 1TB, in order to lower initial replication sync times)
  • The log volume should be at least 10% of the size of the data volume and must be at least 2GB

 

First look at Windows Volume Replication Storage Replica in Windows Server

As you create a role and added a disk to this there is an new option Replication on the Disk

On a available disk the replication is grayed out.

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Added the Disk to a Cluster Role the Replication can be enabled.

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Currently the GUI is not the best method to test this.

Starting With Windows Volume Replication On windows Server

I use a cluster based on shared VHDX.

I just need to create some disks and add them to the cluster nodes

1..8 | % { New-VHD -Path n:\hyper-v\WVR_SSD_$_.VHDX -Fixed –Size 12GB}

1..8 | % { Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VMName windows10-node1 -ControllerType SCSI -Path n:\hyper-v\WVR_SSD_$_.VHDX -ShareVirtualDisk}
1..8 | % { Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VMName windows10-node2 -ControllerType SCSI -Path n:\hyper-v\WVR_SSD_$_.VHDX -ShareVirtualDisk}

 

So what is needed to get this working, is an extra feature installed on both nodes Windows Volume Replication

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When starting to build our cluster we installed all our features

add-windowsfeature Failover-Clustering,WVR,RSAT-Clustering –IncludeAllSubFeature

After this we get new powershell commands from the WVR Windows Volume Replication

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and with the new-cluster we create a new Cluster

New-Cluster -Name Windowscl10 -Node win2015-1,win2015-2 -NoStorage -StaticAddress "10.255.255.21"

Get-ClusterAvailableDisk –Cluster Windowscl10 |Add-ClusterDisk

Now that the cluster is in place with the disk we can start and we create a new File server and add two disks to this File server Role.

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It does not need to be a scale-out file server.

Next step is create a Storage Replication Partnership based on Source and Destination with the Replication Groups

This can also be done in the GUI.

New-SRPartnership -SourceComputerName win2015-1 -SourceRGName resource_group01 -SourceVolumeName p: -SourceLogVolumeName h: -DestinationComputerName win2015-2 -DestinationRGName resource_group02 -DestinationVolumeName I: -DestinationLogVolumeName J: -LogSizeInBytes 2gb

 

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but the destination disk is not selectable. and in PowerShell it is working.

But you can also follow this guide in the GIU : a downloadable guide to provide you with step-by-step instructions for evaluating the Stretch Cluster and the Server-to-Server scenarios. These are both designed for Disaster Recovery and provide “over the river” synchronous metro replication.

When first playing with this and added just a couple of drives I got this “ disk with different Sizes”

Possible reasons:
- log size in those two groups are different.
- data partition sizes are different in those two groups.
- data partition physical section size are different in those two groups.

So keep in mind the Disk need to be GPT and the size must be the same. 

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New-SRPartnership : Unable to create replication partnership between "rg01" and "rg02", detail reason: "Replication groups "rg01" and "rg02" do not
match. Possible reasons:

- log size in those two groups are different.
- data partition sizes are different in those two groups.
- data partition physical section size are different in those two groups.".
At line:1 char:1
+ New-SRPartnership -SourceComputerName win2015-1 -SourceRGName rg01 -S …
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (MSFT_WvrAdminTasks:root/Microsoft/…T_WvrAdminTasks) [New-SRPartnership], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Windows System Error 4,New-SRPartnership

 

Building the Windows Volume Replication

First create the new Replication Partnership.

And I must say there is a lot of things going on in your cluster and disk when you do this. watch your cluster Failover manager! and select the Disk view !

But after this you got a working replication.

New-SRPartnership -SourceComputerName win2015-1 -SourceRGName resource_group01 -SourceVolumeName p: -SourceLogVolumeName h: -DestinationComputerName win2015-2 -DestinationRGName resource_group02 -DestinationVolumeName I: -DestinationLogVolumeName J: -LogSizeInBytes 2gb

All the Available disk are moved from one node to the other node and there will be a new resource group

and the output will be like this

ComputerName       : Windows10
Description        : 
Id                 : 279b4fb3-239f-4238-a3dd-fdd42fb8f772
IsAutoFailover     : True
IsCascade          : False
IsCluster          : True
IsInPartnership    : True
IsPrimary          : True
IsSuspended        : False
IsWriteConsistency : False
LogSizeInByte      : 2147483648
LogVolume          : H:\
Name               : resource_group01
NumOfReplicas      : 1
Partitions         : {776e66b8-f26c-4480-85bf-c37df3a58e98}
PSComputerName     :
ReplicationMode    :

Now Close the FCM GUI and reopen this else you won’t see the replication tabs

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After the GUI restart you can see the replication.

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and as you can see the source resource is also in the destination resource. So in case of a failover the replica will also be briefly down.

And if you want to reverse  the source destination with the GET-SRPartnership

Set-SRPartnership -NewSourceComputerName win2015-2 -SourceRGName resource_group02 -DestinationComputerName win2015-1 -DestinationRGName resource_group01

In the Event log you can find the WVR ( windows Volume Replication ) this is a separate Event log

 

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As you can see in the event log the replication is there and working.

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There are a few PowerShell commands to see if things are working.

Get-SRPartnership

There is no info in the GUI as this is a Preview.

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This is a nice new playground and I can see the benefit of this.

There is a great guide from Microsoft on how to to this wit more background information on WVR

Download the guide:

Download Windows Server Technical Preview evaluations:

To help you get familiar with Storage Replica, we have a downloadable guide to provide you with step-by-step instructions for evaluating the Stretch Cluster and the Server-to-Server scenarios. These are both designed for Disaster Recovery and provide “over the river” synchronous metro replication.

Happy clustering

Robert Smit

@clusterMVP

http://robertsmit.wordpress.com

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Hyper-v Virtual Machine Connection in Windows Server 2012R2 #hyper-v #winserv   Leave a comment

Did you know that you could connect to other Hyper-v servers and then open the Console ?

In the system32 folder there is a file vmconnect.exe

You can connect to the local or to other Hyper-v servers in your domain

 

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Just type your Hyper-v server and all the VM’s are listed and you can easy connect to them.

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The console is opened and you can even change the settings. how cool is that!

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With this there is less reason to connect with RDP to the Hyper-v Servers for just to change something in the VM. this is an easy tip.

Happy Hyper-v

Robert Smit

@clusterMVP

http://robertsmit.wordpress.com

Posted October 4, 2014 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2012 R2

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First installing Windows 10 Can I have my tiles back ?   2 comments

After downloading the Windows 10 Preview Iso

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-download

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You can create a boot USB with Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

and no I did not press the Express settings.

just a lot of screens with the settings that will be set during the Express settings.

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In this case I’ll set the improve products to on!

 

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I’ll pick a new account so I can create a fresh new local account and not a microsoft account just for testing

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here you can create a local account

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A easy setup and you will have the start menu. ( but now I want the tiles back )

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and One extra a update check a preview update check Winking smile

 

#windows10

Posted October 1, 2014 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows 10

Tagged with

Cluster-Aware Updating Windows 2012R2 with SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn availability groups #Cau #winserv #SQL   Leave a comment

Cluster Aware Updating or CAU is a great tool for patching your cluster but there are some situations that you need to be carefully when using CAU.

Patching your SQL Clusters is no problem unless you have a Windows Server 2012 cluster with SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups.

then you can’t use CAU the #NNFW (next next finish way) For Cluster.

Windows Server 2012 cluster with SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups

I’ll not showing the Setup for this you can jump to my blog http://robertsmit.wordpress.com/?s=cau

but what I do show you is the basic steps for updating the Windows Server 2012 cluster with SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups

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Here is my SQL Cluster and it is a two node cluster ready for patching but most of the time the advanced options are skipped.

who cares about a pre and after setup I just want to install the updates.   let me show you why this is important !

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My cluster is hitting the download and after this one node is set on Pause.

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Eh pause but what about my SQL Server AlwaysOn availability group yes this is no longer working. eh the DBA guy is calling you right now Winking smile

How CAU Affects SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Disclaimer: Microsoft does not support the use of CAU to update Windows Server 2012 clusters with SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups. CAU is currently not aware of AlwaysOn availability groups. When CAU brings a node into maintenance mode to update the node, AlwaysOn availability groups are affected by the following known issues. Potential mitigations for these issues are provided to be transparent about our findings, and are meant for your non-production test environment only. These mitigations are not guaranteed to solve all issues. 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj907291.aspx

review the document, please download the Patching SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances with Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU)

Main reason why you must be careful :

Do not use the Failover Cluster Manager to manipulate availability groups:

 

  • Do not change any availability group properties, such as the possible owners.

  • Do not use the Failover Cluster Manager to fail over availability groups. You must use Transact-SQL or SQL Server Management Studio.

 

But what Can you do ?

first connecting to all the SQL boxes and clicking on the SQL Server AlwaysOn availability group that is a lot of work.

Connect to the server instance that hosts the replica whose database you want to suspend.

  1. Suspend the database by using the following ALTER DATABASE statement:

    ALTER DATABASE database_name SET HADR SUSPEND

Well a TSQL Script still connecting to my SQL box manually

Using PowerShell

To suspend a database

  1. Change directory to the server instance that hosts the replica whose database you want to suspend.

  2. Use the Suspend-SqlAvailabilityDatabase cmdlet to suspend the availability group.

  3. For example, the following command suspends data synchronization for the availability database MVPDB in the availability group MVPSQLAG01 

    Suspend-SqlAvailabilityDatabase -Path SQLSERVER:\Sql\Computer\Instance\AvailabilityGroups\MVPSQLAG01\Databases\MVPDB


To resume a secondary database

  1. Change directory to the server instance that hosts the replica whose database you want to resume. 

  2. Use the Resume-SqlAvailabilityDatabase cmdlet to resume the availability group.

  3. For example, the following command resumes data synchronization for the availability database MVPDB in the availability group MVPSQLAG01

    Resume-SqlAvailabilityDatabase -Path SQLSERVER:\Sql\Computer\Instance\AvailabilityGroups\MVPSQLAG01\Databases\MVPDB

    Note

So I placed the scripts on the CSV from my Cluster 

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Disclaimer: Microsoft does not support the use of CAU to update Windows Server 2012 clusters with SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups. CAU is currently not aware of AlwaysOn availability groups. When CAU brings a node into maintenance mode to update the node, AlwaysOn availability groups are affected by the following known issues. Potential mitigations for these issues are provided to be transparent about our findings, and are meant for your non-production test environment only. These mitigations are not guaranteed to solve all issues. 

Greetings,

Robert Smit

http://robertsmit.wordpress.com/?s=cau

Posted September 24, 2014 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Cluster-Aware Updating

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Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment #azure #cloud   Leave a comment

Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessments for Active Directory, SharePoint Server and SQL Server. Also available on Windows Azure Portal here: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/downloads/vm-readiness-assessment

Automated Assessment

  • This tool will provide a high level checklist and a detailed report.
  • The checklist outlines areas which are ready to move and areas which may need additional configuration or design changes.
  • The detailed report offers expert guidance and advice tailored to your environment.
Expert Advice
  • Your report shows areas that are ready to move and areas that need additional configuration or design changes.
  • Click into each area to get expert guidance and advice tailored to your specific situation.

 

The installation is real easy but I noticed that the discovery is not always working. In my case I did run this on the SQL server.

 

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When the Installer is finished I ran the Assessment toolkit.

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In this case I used SQL server the method is the same only the result is different.

 

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Two easy steps with some questions and basically there is no right and wrong ( I checked unsure )

 

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Yes it is not the MAP toolkit just one server at the time.

Windows  Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit makes it easy to assess your current IT infrastructure for a variety of technology migration projects. This Solution Accelerator provides a powerful inventory, assessment, and reporting tool to simplify the migration planning process.

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after a little coffee break the scan is done and the report is ready. You can save and edit this as it is a Word file.

 

 

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As I did the Next Next method I need some planning when I migrate this SQL server to Azure.

the report is in detail and 62 pages long. It could be handy if you don’t know anything about this server.

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But if you want to test the migration and already running VMM and have a S2S VPN to Azure read my other blog post.

http://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/azure-site-recovery-service-asrs-hyper-v-to-azure-recovery-mvpbuzz/

Posted September 12, 2014 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Microsoft Azure

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