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Can EQL PS Storage Arrays Actually Replicate Hyper-V VMs? Marketing and Sales say YES. ASM says NO!

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Earlier this year we purchased two R610s and two 4000 series EQL PS Series SANs.  The purpose of these was to set up a small Hyper-V cluster and then use the EQL PS replication to achieve a disaster recovery at a second location.

The sales team advised us that the equipment would be fine for this purpose, and the marketing literature at: http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pvaul/en/solution_brief_auto_snapshot_manager_microsof...

which sates the following:

“The PS Series array’s advanced data protection with quick recovery, online scalability, and remote replication helps make it an ideal storage platform for Hyper-V Server environments that require maximum availability.”

indicates that remote replication is also possible.

However, when we have installed Auto Snapshot Manager (ASM) from the Host Integration Tools (HIT) 3.4.2, we are advised the following with regards to working with Hyper-V:

Hyper-V Smart Copy Operations

The following constraints apply to Smart Copy operations of virtual machines:

[…]

Replicas are not supported.”

So, from this, we assume that we are unable to configure a replication schedule to replicate our Hyper-V VMs to the remote EQL PS .

I am hoping that there is something that I am missing, as replicas for standard Volumes work fine to the remote EQL PS, however, it seems that the main purpose for the purchase (to replicate Hyper-V workloads) is not viable!

Any advice on how we can configure replication between our two EQL PS systems for Hyper-V workloads would be appreciated.

Thank you for your help.

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Re: Can EQL PS Storage Arrays Actually Replicate Hyper-V VMs? Marketing and Sales say YES. ASM says NO!

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Hello,

You can do replication at the Group level with any type of volume or OS.   The only drawback is that there's no force flushing of cache before the replica is created.   That is known as "crash consistent" vs. "Application consistent" with ASM/ME.  Any data that makes it to the array cache or disk will be included in the replica.  So it's no worse than what you would expect if you had a power failure or server crash when you came back online. 

The 3.5.0 release of HIT kit has more support for CSV volumes and is currently available as Early Production Access on the Equallogic Website.

A small snippet from the release notes.

Clustered Shared Volume Support
The Auto-Snapshot Manager supports the following operations for Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) environments:

Smart Copy and Smart Copy Schedule creation for any VM on a CSV Selective restore of VMs on CSVs

Moving the coordination node to the local/current node

 

Constraints for Clustered Shared Volumes

The following constraints apply to the Auto-Snapshot Manager support for CSVs:

You cannot create a Smart Copy (or a Smart Copy Schedule) for a CSV from any node, including the coordination node, in a CSV-enabled failover cluster.

A CSV and any VMs that reside on a CSV cannot be added to a collection. ASM/ME does not permit in-place restores of CSVs because every copy of a CSV is a torn Smart Copy.

 

Replication will be available in a future release of ASM/ME.

 

 Regards,

-don

 

 

Social Media and Community Professional
#IWork4Dell
Get Support on Twitter - @dellcarespro

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Re: Can EQL PS Storage Arrays Actually Replicate Hyper-V VMs? Marketing and Sales say YES. ASM says NO!

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Hello,

You can do replication at the Group level with any type of volume or OS.   The only drawback is that there's no force flushing of cache before the replica is created.   That is known as "crash consistent" vs. "Application consistent" with ASM/ME.  Any data that makes it to the array cache or disk will be included in the replica.  So it's no worse than what you would expect if you had a power failure or server crash when you came back online. 

The 3.5.0 release of HIT kit has more support for CSV volumes and is currently available as Early Production Access on the Equallogic Website.

A small snippet from the release notes.

Clustered Shared Volume Support
The Auto-Snapshot Manager supports the following operations for Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) environments:

Smart Copy and Smart Copy Schedule creation for any VM on a CSV Selective restore of VMs on CSVs

Moving the coordination node to the local/current node

 

Constraints for Clustered Shared Volumes

The following constraints apply to the Auto-Snapshot Manager support for CSVs:

You cannot create a Smart Copy (or a Smart Copy Schedule) for a CSV from any node, including the coordination node, in a CSV-enabled failover cluster.

A CSV and any VMs that reside on a CSV cannot be added to a collection. ASM/ME does not permit in-place restores of CSVs because every copy of a CSV is a torn Smart Copy.

 

Replication will be available in a future release of ASM/ME.

 

 Regards,

-don

 

 

Social Media and Community Professional
#IWork4Dell
Get Support on Twitter - @dellcarespro

CMS_Tech
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Re: Can EQL PS Storage Arrays Actually Replicate Hyper-V VMs? Marketing and Sales say YES. ASM says NO!

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Hi Don,

Many thanks for your answer.  We raised a case with EQL in parallel with this (multiple irons in the fire etc.) and this came back with the same result.

As suggested, we're opting to go for local application consistent snapshots using ASM, and have then configured DR replication at the group level.

Thanks again for your help.

Kind regards,

Roland

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Re: Can EQL PS Storage Arrays Actually Replicate Hyper-V VMs? Marketing and Sales say YES. ASM says NO!

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You are very, very welcome!

 Have a great day.

-don

Social Media and Community Professional
#IWork4Dell
Get Support on Twitter - @dellcarespro

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