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Live migration in Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta

Live migration in Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta

January 30th, 2009

Background
I had set up a Hyper-V HA cluster in a Windows Server 2008 RTM cluster environment using my 2 HP ml110’s hooked up via iSCSI to a qnap ts239/2 nas in a lab environment. After setting up the cluster I migrated a VM between the two clustered hosts. I started a “ping -a” to the VM and was quite disappointed when I realized that while migrating between nodes I actually lost 4 pings while migrating the virtual guest OS between parent partitions. Apart from this, migrating the VM worked well.

Task at hand
Last friday (090109) I realized that Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta had been made available on MSDN and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it to try one of the new clustering features – Live Migration. After downloading the ISO I had the task of upgrading the host cluster to Windows Server 2008 R2. Just going ahead upgrading the parent partitions is a no go as the Hyper-V role needs to be removed before upgrading.

Here are the steps I followed to perform the upgrade:

1. I started with shutting the VM down on the current VM owner
2. Backed up the entire VM folder to a network share, just in case things would go horribly wrong
3. Deleted the VM from Services and Applications in Failover Cluster Manager
4. Evicted both cluster hosts from the old cluster
5. Destroyed the old cluster and removed the Failover Clustering feature from the clustered hosts. Make sure no traces of the old cluster remains to avoid issues further down the road
6. Removed the Hyper-V role from both hosts
7. I disconnected the iSCSI disks after deciding to redo the connections post upgrading
8. Started upgrading the 2 hosts to Windows Server 2008 R2 (took me about 2½ hrs)
9. After both hosts were upgraded to R2 I added the Hyper-V role. Since I performed an upgrade I didn’t have to redo the NIC setup, they were still identical on the 2 host servers with correct IP-addresses and everything. I was surprised to find that all my Virtual Network settings in Hyper-V Manager were intact, nice =)
10. Reconnected the 2 iSCSI volumes (Quorum & Shared Storage) to the 2 hosts
11. On one of the host servers I added the VM and installed Integration Services on it
12. Added the Failover Clustering feature on both hosts and ran configuration validation in Failover Cluster Manager (since I had remnants of my old cluster lingering on one of the hosts I got some errors from the validation. I cleaned up and the validation went through)
13. Built a new cluster with the 2 host servers and gave it a new IP and a new cluster name
14. Added a HA VM under Configure Services and Applications and chose my VM from one of the Hyper-V hosts. Done!

Now I had a new HA VM running Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering and I couldn’t wait to try Live Migration out. I set up a ping to the VM and made the mistake of choosing “Move virtual machine(s) to another node”. I was heart broken when I lost 5 pings while the VM moved over. I went back and this time I chose “Live Migrate this virtual machine to another node”. This time I lost 1 ping to the VM. I was kind of expecting not to lose a single ping after watching Microsoft’s Live Migration demos on YouTube.

I wasn’t too disappointed though as R2 still is in a Beta stage and hopefully Microsoft will perfect Live Migration until R2 goes live in 2010.

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