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Windows Server 2012 : Hyper-V - Managing Virtual Machines and Virtual Disks (part 1) - Live-Migrating Virtual Machines

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The following sections give step-by-step walk-throughs on some of the most important features in Hyper-V R3.

Live-Migrating Virtual Machines

Hyper-V R3 marks a big improvement with live migration—that is, moving VMs from one physical host to another without downtime. That improvement is the ability to migrate VMs without shared storage or having both hosts in a cluster, either of which is required for live migration in Windows Server 2008 R2.

Simpler live migration is a must-have feature in virtualized environments. Being able to quickly transfer over a VM from one physical host to another is critical to quickly getting up and running in the event of a disaster. If one host goes down, you can move a VM to another host.

To run live migration, you must have two or more servers running Hyper-V. The servers must have the same make of virtualization-supported processor (either all AMD or all Intel—if the processors are different, the VM will have to be shut down before migration); the servers must belong to the same domain or to domains that have a trust relationship with each other; and the VMs must be configured to use virtual storage or virtual Fibre Channel disks.

To live-migrate VMs, you must be logged in as a domain administrator or with an account that has proper permissions. You can perform live migrations locally, through Remote Desktop, though a remote PowerShell session, or by using remote management tools from a Windows 8 client.

In the following steps, Server 2012 VM is migrated from one physical Server 2012 box to another. Both hosts are on the same subnet on the same physical network, and the migration is performed locally.

  1. To migrate a VM, right-click the VM from Hyper-V Manager and click Move and then Next. Select “Move the virtual machine” in the Choose Move Type window. Click Next.

  2. Next, you must specify the name of the destination computer. You can browse to locate it in Active Directory (see Figure 1).

    Specifying the destination server for live migration
    Figure 1. Specifying the destination server for live migration
  3. Click Next, and the Move wizard displays the Choose Move Options window. The choices are moving the entire VM and its associated data (such as the virtual hard disk, snapshots, and its paging file), move only the VM, or move the VM and its associated storage resources consumed to different locations. In Figure 2, I’ve selected “Move the virtual machine’s data to a single location” to move the data and the VM to the destination.

  4. You then choose where to store the VM on the destination folder. (See Figure 3.) Click Next and then Finish.

    Selecting move options
    Figure 2. Selecting move options
    Selecting a location for the migrated VM
    Figure 3. Selecting a location for the migrated VM

You can also move virtual storage devices (VHD and VHDX files) for one or more VMs from one host to another without shutting anything down. This capability gives you more flexibility with virtual storage. System admins can use live storage migration to upgrade storage, troubleshoot storage issues, or reconfigure storage loads.

 
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