Guided Hands-on Lab: Planning Disaster Recovery Capacity for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Replica

Throughout our Disaster Recovery Planning Series for IT Pros this month, we've been discussing the steps involved in planning an effective Disaster Recovery strategy ... And planning for the additional capacity needed to implement a successful DR plan is certainly an important part of that process.  Replicating application workloads and data between sites can incur additional CPU, Memory, Storage and Network overhead that we'll need to account for as part of our datacenter and wide area network load.  If you're using our native Hyper-V Replica engine as part of your DR strategy, the good news is that our Solution Accelerators team has built a tool to help us predict the capacity needed for these DR scenarios: the Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner tool.

  Interested in learning more about Disaster Recovery?

  Check out our complete blog series at:

The Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner tool was updated this past month with a new version that adds several new features, including support for Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V Replica Extended Replication and new storage support for virtual hard disks located on CSVFS volumes and Scale-out File Server (SoFS) SMB shares.

In this article, we'll walk through using the latest version of the Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner tool for analyzing and recommending the capacity we'll need at our Primary site, Replica site and Extended Replica site.

Hyper-V Replica is our included asynchronous site-to-site VM replication engine for our bare-metal Hyper-V hypervisor in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.  Using Hyper-V Replica, you can quickly implement a cost-effective disaster recovery plan for your business critical VMs without the high costs involved in traditional DR solutions – you just need a Hyper-V host and/or cluster at each site and an IP WAN or Internet connection between them.  No expensive shared storage or extra licenses are required!

In this article, you’ll walk through a Guided Hands-on Lab for planning host and network capacity for Hyper-V Replica using our new Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica tool.

Not yet familiar with Hyper-V Replica?

For a quick primer on implementing and using Hyper-V Replica, check out these articles:

How much Host and Network Capacity Do I Need?

When evaluating Hyper-V Replica, we need to plan for additional host and network capacity to ensure that ongoing replication is able to successfully communicate changes to our replicated VMs at our DR sites.  Recently, we released an updated version of our free Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica to assist in planning for the capacity needed in VM replication scenarios, with added support for new Hyper-V Replica features in Windows Server 2012 R2.  After downloading and running this tool, a comprehensive report is prepared that shows CPU, RAM, Disk and Network capacity needed to successfully support your specific configuration and environment.

Here's a sample of the completed report ( Click on the image to open the full report ):

Sample Report: Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner Report

Guided Lab Exercises

In this Guided Lab, you’ll complete the following tasks using the Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica:

  • Select Primary site, Replica site and Extended Replica ( new in "R2" ) site Hyper-V Replica hosts and/or Clusters
  • Configure an estimated amount of Total WAN Bandwidth
  • Select the specific VMs to be consider for replication
  • Review the generated report for specific guidance and recommendations on host and network capacity

Estimated Time to Complete: 10 minutes

Let’s Get Started!

To launch this Guided Lab Scenario, click the Play button in the window below.

Guided Lab Scenario: Planning DR Capacity for Hyper-V Replica

Guided Lab Tips:

  • After launching the lab in the window above, you may wish to also click the Show Full Screen button in the lower right portion of the window for best viewing.
  • The lab captions can be moved by clicking/dragging if they obscure a portion of your Guided Lab window, particularly when using lower screen resolutions.

Completed! How can I get started with Hyper-V Replica?

To get started with building your Hyper-V Replica lab, you’ll need to install and configure a minimum of two hosts or host clusters running either our Hyper-V bare-metal hypervisor in Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2.  Below, I’ve included a list of resources to help you get started:

Are you ready for cost-effective Disaster Recovery?

Are you planning for a unique or interesting DR scenario with Hyper-V Replica? Share your thoughts, feedback and questions below!

- Keith