Windows Server 2012 R2 SupportFailover clustering plays a critical role in serious disaster recovery strategies. Windows Server 2008 R2 failover clustering support introduced enterprise-class fault tolerance and recoverability to Microsoft's server platform. Windows Server 2012 R2 builds on this technology and offers important new and enhanced features that offer more expandability, non-stop storage availability for server applications, easier management, quicker automatic failover, and more options for designing failover clusters.

In addition to offering comprehensive Windows Server 2012 R2 consulting services, Progent's Microsoft-certified failover clustering experts can help you evaluate the benefits of adopting Windows Server 2012 R2 clustering technology to build an advanced high-availability/disaster recovery solution, assist you to design and deploy a failover cluster environment powered by Windows Server 2012 R2, provide online or on-premises consulting services and technical support for clustered physical servers or virtual machines, and show you how to streamline the management of clustered servers.

New and Improved Features of Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clustering
With failover clustering, if any clustered servers (called nodes) stop working properly, other servers automatically and transparently take up (or failover) their workloads such as Exchange Server or SQL Server. Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) is a refinement of failover clustering that provides a consistent, shared namespace that clustered services and applications (called roles) can use to utilize shared storage regardless of the node that is currently running them. This ability to replace IT resources on the fly can dramatically enhance network availability and facilitate rapid recovery in case of a localized catastrophic event.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Cluster Shared Volumes

Cluster Shared Volumes Allow Cluster Nodes to Access the Same NTFS File System Simultaneously

The failover clustering enhancements built into Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 include:

Cluster Expandability
Failover clusters in Windows Server 2012 R2 can scale to a greater number of nodes and virtual machines than clusters in Windows Server†2008†R2. Windows Server 2012 R2 scales to 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines per cluster. In contrast, Windows Server 2008 R2 supports 16 nodes and 1,000 virtual machines per cluster.

Server Manager and Failover Cluster Manager
Windows Server 2012 R2's Server Manager makes it easy to manage cluster nodes by enabling remote multi-server management as well as the remote installation of roles and features. Server Manager can also start Failover Cluster Manager, which provides a wealth of new features including new search, filtering, and custom views; the ability to select a defined set of VMs for performing desired operations such as live migration; one-click configuration of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs); and support for Hyper-V Replica for point-in-time replication of VMs.

Virtual Machine Mobility
Multiple live migrations including VM storage can be initiated at the same time to nodes with adequate resources and failed migrations are automatically retried. In addition, you can add or a virtual machine to a failover cluster while the VM is running.

Cluster Shared Volumes
Improvements to Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs), which provide clustered VMs with common storage, include storage capabilities for additional clustered roles, the CSV proxy file system (CSVFS), support for BitLocker encryption, Direct I/O for faster access to file data, elimination of external authentication dependencies, integration with SMB Multichannel and SMB Direct for better performance and with Storage Spaces for lower-cost storage, and the ability to scan and fix volumes without service disruption.

Support for Scale-Out File Servers
The new clustered file server makes it possible to store server application data like Hyper-V virtual machine files on scale-out (known as active-active) file shares, offering performance and manageability similar to storage area network (SAN) solutions.

Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU)
This new feature allows the automation of software updates to the host operating system or other system components on clustered servers without downtime.

Monitoring and Managing VM Applications
This new capability enables high-level monitoring of applications hosted on clustered VMs running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Integration with Active Directory Domain Services
Enhanced integration with Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) improves flexibility and resilience by including easy alignment of failover cluster dependencies on AD DS, automated recovery of unintentionally removed cluster virtual computer objects (VCOs), support for cluster deployments in branch office with read-only domain controllers, and the ability for failover clusters to start without AD DS dependencies.

Cluster Quorum Management
Improvements to cluster quorum management that simplify quorum setup and increase the uptime of clusters during the failover process include a revamped quorum configuration wizard, the ability to assign which nodes have quorum votes, and the ability to automate quorum vote assignment depending on the current state of the node.

Enhancements to the Cluster Migration Wizard
The enhanced Migrate a Cluster Wizard in Windows Server 2012 R2 simplifies the tasks of installing, updating, and migrating Windows 2008 failover clusters through improvements that include the ability to export and re-import Hyper-V VMs, migrate to Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) disks, map virtual networks and storage, and reuse current storage.

Task Scheduler Integration
Windows Server 2012 R2 failover clustering features a new integrated Task Scheduler that makes it possible to use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to configure cluster tasks, providing a versatile tool for utilizing cluster resources to run processes or applications at set times. Tasks can be scheduled to run on a single random node, all nodes, or nodes with specified resources.

Windows PowerShell support
An enhanced Failover Cluster module for Windows PowerShell provides a library of cmdlets for automating support for the Failover Clustering features in Windows Server 2012 R2. New cmdlets support a variety of features such as the ability to manage cluster registry checkpoints, create Scale-Out File Servers, monitor VM applications, change the properties of a Distributed Network Name resource, create and manage clustered tasks, and create a fault-tolerant iSCSI Target Server.

For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, which provides enhanced support for failover clustering, refer to Progent's Consulting Services for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

How Progent Can Help You Benefit from Microsoft's Failover Clustering
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you evaluate the business benefits of Windows Server 2012 R2 failover clustering, set up test systems to help you optimize performance and ensure compatibility for your critical workloads, design and carry out an efficient roll-out plan, train your administration staff to manage your failover clustering solution, and provide as-needed consulting and technical support either online or onsite to keep your system productive. Progent can also provide comprehensive Help Desk services.

Progent's service professionals can also help you migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clusters from Windows Server 2008 R2 or from Windows Server 2003 clustering technology.

Progent's CISM, CISA, GIAC, CRISC, and CISSP certified security engineers can assess the protection offered by your cluster environment and can recommend and implement affordable improvements. Progent's security experts can also help you design, document, and validate disaster recovery and business continuity and plans.

If you are considering the creation of a hybrid network model that integrates on-premises resources with public cloud services like those offered by Microsoft Azure, Progent can help you evaluate and deploy Windows Server 2016, which incorporates major elements of Azure technology and is designed to support hybrid networks. See Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery consulting.

Other High Availability Solutions Offered by Progent
Progent's certified consulting experts can help your business to design an efficient, zero-downtime information network that addresses key problems covering a wide array of infrastructure technologies and operations such as:

Workplace Recovery Planning
Progent's business continuity professionals can show you how to design a workplace recovery strategy so you can restore network operations in case of an information network catastrophe. Progent can help you to define a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that incorporates scheduled disaster recovery evaluations and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized professionals can also help you build an affordable, fault-tolerant network solution that addresses reliability issues covering a broad array of infrastructure technologies and processes. To read more, see Workplace Recovery Consulting.

Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services provide small and medium-sized businesses a low cost and fully managed solution for secure backup/disaster recovery. For a low monthly rate, ProSight Data Protection Services automates your backup activities and allows fast recovery of critical data, applications and VMs that have become unavailable or damaged due to component failures, software bugs, natural disasters, human error, or malicious attacks like ransomware. ProSight Data Protection Services can help you back up, recover and restore files, folders, apps, system images, as well as Hyper-V and VMware images. Important data can be protected on the cloud, to an on-promises storage device, or to both. Progent's backup and recovery specialists can deliver advanced support to set up ProSight Data Protection Services to to comply with regulatory requirements like HIPPA, FINRA, PCI and Safe Harbor and, whenever necessary, can assist you to recover your business-critical data. Read more about ProSight DPS Managed Cloud Backup and Recovery.

Microsoft Server 2016 Disaster Recovery
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery/business continuity consultants can assist your organization to design a DR solution based on Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering technologies such as Cluster OS Rolling Upgrade for non-intrusive migration to Windows Server 2016, Storage Replica for zero-data-loss recovery, Storage Spaces Direct for enterprise-class storage clusters using low-cost hardware, VM Load Balancing for enhancing the performance and fault-tolerance of Failover Clusters while reducing TCO and operational expenses, and Cloud Witness for fast, affordable creation of a stretch cluster quorum arbitration point. For more information, visit Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery Expertise.

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager is an extension to VMware vCenter that allows you to specify, automate and verify a repeatable workflow for recovering applications and services quickly following a breakdown. Site Recovery Manager provides centrally controlled and automated recovery, application mobility, plus non-intrusive site migration, failback and re-protect. SRM also allows non-intrusive testing for disaster recovery, updates and patches and can generate audit reports to verify complete service recovery, validate Service Level Agreements and prove DR compliance. Progent can provide the support of a VCDX certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consulting expert to help you to plan, configure, test and administer a disaster recovery system powered by VMware Site Recovery Manager.

NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Platform
NetApp MetroCluster is a disaster recovery software suite that uses failover storage clustering with continual replication to provide rapid, zero RPO disaster recovery (DR) between datacenters located as far as 300km away from one another. Progent offers access to a certified NetApp MetroCluster consultant who can help you to design, configure, manage, update, test and repair a disaster recovery system built around NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can assist you to choose a topology for your MetroCluster deployment that aligns with your technical needs and budget. Progent can ensure you adhere to leading practices for installing your MetroCluster solution by providing help with tasks such as assigning disk pools and shelf IDs, arranging plexes layout, provisioning NetApp FlexVol volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, installing Cisco and Brocade switches, implementing a tiebreaker, designing a configuration replication network, and verifying your MetroCluster DR solution to show adherence with information assurance standards and regulatory requirements.

High Availability Load Balancing
Progent offers high availability load balancing support that addresses system load balancing, load balanced programs, network backbone routing, and content delivery products such as Cisco Content Engine. Fault tolerant load balancing technologies for which Progent offers consulting services include Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Access Gateway, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Content Engine and LocalDirector 400 series, and F5 Networks BIG-IP. To read more, visit Non-stop Load Balancing.

Fault Tolerant Data Centers
Progent's Data Center engineers can show you how to identify zero-downtime data centers that meet the particular requirements of your company. High availability off-site data centers are particularly appealing to small and mid-size organizations due to of their low cost and simplified logistics compared to pursuing a do-it-yourself strategy. Trying to build an on-site data center that offers even a basic level of fault tolerance is too costly for the majority of small organizations. Progent can help you reap all the benefits of high-availability data centers by offering a full range of consulting and support services. To find out more, go to High-Availability Colocation Consulting.

Non-stop Interoffice Connectivity
Progentís branch office connection consultants can help businesses create zero-downtime inter-site connections through redundant networks featuring automatic failover. Progentís Cisco-qualified CCIE engineers can plan and deploy fault-tolerant Inter-office connections supported by non-stop EIGRP network routers or fault tolerant OSPF deployment of Cisco routers. Progent can show you how redundant connections and transparent fail-over offers economical non-stop interoffice networking. To read more, see 24x7 Interoffice Networking.

High Availability Internet Connectivity
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can show you how to design an affordable, high availability Internet connection architecture that can deliver non-stop Internet access through a broad range of fault tolerant Internet network solutions including non-stop BGP, automatic fail-over, and redundant Internet Service Providers. Progent can provide CCIE consultants to help you apply the most up-to-date techniques for fault tolerant Internet connectivity to implement an economical, completely redundant Internet interface with automatic failover and other features to create fault tolerant Internet availability. To read more, visit Fault Tolerant Internet Access Solutions.

Backup and Restore Technology Consulting
Progent can provide affordable online support from engineers with expertise in a broad range of products and technologies that provide solutions for protecting Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux servers and workstations plus laptops and smartphones. Progent offers expertise for leading data protection products such as Acronis, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist, CrashPlan, Double-Take, MozyPro, Retrospect for Macintosh, Apple Time Machine, vSphere Data Protection, and Oracle Solaris FLARs. Progent can help your company to design, upgrade, or troubleshoot data backup systems for a variety of topologies including local, remote, cloud-based, or hybrid. For more information, go to Backup and Restore Solutions Expertise.

System Center Data Protection Manager Backup and Recovery Consultants
Progent's certified Microsoft SCDPM support professionals can help your company to create a practical business continuity strategy, design an affordable high-availability IT architecture, configure a Microsoft SCDPM-based recovery solution, comprehensively test your system, train your administrative personnel or local service providers how to maintain SCDPM, or provide extensive IT outsourcing services including off-site hosting of virtual or physical SCDPM servers in Progent's data center. To read more, go to Microsoft SCDPM Consulting Services.

Barracuda Backup Local, Offsite and Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is a low-cost, subscription backup/restore service for small and medium-size organizations. A Barracuda Backup deployment can incorporate a purpose-built hardware appliance manufactured by Barracuda or a virtual appliance with comparable functionality but which uses your own storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup protects critical business data generated locally, at one or multiple remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster preparedness, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon AWS, or to any location with a Barracuda appliance. Progent is a certified Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consulting experts offer a wide range of consulting services to help you to design, configure, manage and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery solution built on Barracuda technology. For additional information, see Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consultants.

Altaro VM Backup Solutions for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software provides small and mid-size businesses a reliable and affordable solution for backing up and restoring Hyper-V and VMware-powered VMs. Altaro VM Backup can be used for local, remote, multi-site, and cloud architectures and also enables low-cost cloud backup to Azure storage. Headline features include state-of-the-art inline deduplication to cut backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) with backup intervals as low as five minutes for minimizing your Recovery Point Objective, advanced encryption, granular restore capability for individual files and emails, extensive support for Windows Server Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and for vCenter for managing large-scale environments, and the ability to leverage Microsoft VSS technology to back up online VMs with zero downtime. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and offers a broad range of services to help you to design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a backup/restore system powered by Altaro VM Backup. To find out more, go to Altaro VM Backup Consulting.

Consulting for Double-Take Solutions for Backup
Double-Take Software offers a selection of tools designed to provide small and midsize companies a range of cost-effective solutions for replicating and restoring business-critical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Blackberry, and Microsoft Office SharePoint. Progentís disaster recovery planning consultants have in-depth backgrounds integrating Double-Take technology into small business information networks to create a high state of availability and disaster recovery readiness at an affordable price. To find out more, see Consulting for Double-Take Software for Data Backup.

CRISC-certified Network Risk Mitigation
The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) program was initiated by ISACA to verify a consultant's ability to design, deploy, and maintain IS controls to reduce network risk. Progent offers the services of a CRISC-certified consultant to assist your company to develop and execute a business continuity strategy that follows leading practices promoted by CRISC and crafted to match your organization's risk tolerance, business objectives, and budgetary guidelines. To find out more, see CRISC-qualified network risk management specialists.

Why Choose Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning?
Because Progent is a Microsoft Certified Partner and provides high-level application consulting for a broad variety of small business software programs, Progent is able to help clients to arrive at efficient information technology solutions that optimize the productivity of your IT network. As a Registered Partner with Cisco, Progent offers the services of qualified engineers and specialists with expertise in designing, implementing and supporting networking environments built on Cisco technology. The extent of Progent's IT experience and Progent's sensitivity to the requirements of small companies make Progent the ideal partner for creating and running an affordable, dependable information system.

How You Can Get in Touch with Progent's Experts for Non-stop Network Services
To ask Progent about consulting expertise for fault tolerant IT design, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.
















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