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.

Additional High Availability Solutions Offered by Progent's Experts
Progent's certified consultants can help your company to implement a cost-effective, fault-tolerant system that addresses major problems encompassing a broad array of networking technologies and operations including:

Business Continuity Planning
Progent's disaster recovery engineers can show you how to create a workplace recovery strategy so you can restore IT functionality in case of an IT system catastrophe. Progent can assist you to define a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that incorporates periodic disaster recovery assessments and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized consultants can also help you create an affordable, non-stop system architecture that addresses availability issues involving a broad range of network technologies and processes. To learn more, go to Workplace Recovery Consulting.

Fully Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services provide small and mid-sized businesses an affordable end-to-end service for secure backup/disaster recovery. For a fixed monthly price, ProSight Data Protection Services automates your backup processes and allows rapid restoration of vital data, applications and virtual machines that have become lost or damaged as a result of component breakdowns, software glitches, disasters, human mistakes, or malicious attacks such as ransomware. ProSight Data Protection Services can help you protect, recover and restore files, folders, apps, system images, as well as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine images. Important data can be protected on the cloud, to an on-promises storage device, or mirrored to both. Progent's backup and recovery consultants can deliver advanced expertise to set up ProSight DPS to be compliant with government and industry regulatory standards like HIPPA, FIRPA, PCI and Safe Harbor and, whenever needed, can assist you to recover your critical information. Learn more about ProSight Data Protection Services Managed Cloud Backup.

Microsoft Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery/business continuity consultants can assist you to plan and deploy a DR solution based on Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering tools 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 network-attached storage using low-cost hardware, VM Load Balancing for enhancing the speed and resilience of Failover Clusters while reducing capital investment and management overhead, and Cloud Witness for fast, affordable deployment of a failover cluster quorum arbitration point. To read more, see Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Help.

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager is an extension to VMware vCenter that lets you orchestrate, automate and test a consistent process for recovering services quickly following a breakdown. Site Recovery Manager supports centrally controlled and automated recovery, application mobility, and transparent site relocation, failback and re-protect. SRM also enables non-intrusive testing for site recovery, updates and fixes and can generate reports to confirm complete service recovery, validate Service Level Agreements and prove compliance. Progent offers the skills of a VCDX certified VMware SRM consultant to help you to plan, configure, test and maintain a disaster recovery solution based on VMware SRM.

NetApp MetroCluster High Availability and Disaster Recovery Technology
NetApp MetroCluster is a high-availability and disaster recovery software suite that uses array-based storage clustering with continual replication to deliver fast, zero data loss disaster recovery (DR) between datacenters that are up to 300km apart from each other. Progent can provide access to a certified NetApp MetroCluster expert who can help you to plan, deploy, manage, update, test and troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution based on NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can assist you to select an architecture for your MetroCluster environment that meets your technical requirements and budget. Progent can ensure you adhere to best practices for configuring your MetroCluster solution by delivering guidance with tasks such as assigning shelf IDs, determining aggregate and plexes layout, setting up NetApp FlexVol volumes, setting up Data ONTAP configuration replication service, installing switches, designing a tiebreaker mechanism, designing a configuration replication network between your peered clusters, and testing your DR solution to show adherence with information assurance standards and government mandates.

Fault Tolerant Load Balancing
Progent offers high availability load balancing support covering system load balancing, load balanced programs, network backbone routing, and content delivery technology including F5 Networks 3DNS. Fault tolerant load balancing products for which Progent offers consulting expertise include Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Metaframe and Access Gateway, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Distributed Director and ACNS, and F5 Networks 3-DNS. To learn more, visit High Availability Load Balancing.

Non-stop Colocation
Progent's Data Center consultants can help you find fault-tolerant data centers that match the specific needs of your company. Fault tolerant collocation sites are particularly attractive to small and mid-size businesses because of their low cost and simplified logistics compared to taking a do-it-yourself strategy. Attempting to design an on-site data center with even a minimum degree of fault tolerance is financially prohibitive for typical small companies. Progent is ready to help you reap all the benefits of non-stop colocation centers by offering a complete range of engineering and support services. To read more, go to Fault Tolerant Data Centers Expertise.

High-Availability Interoffice Networking
Progentís inter-site connection consultants can help companies create zero-downtime multi-site connectivity through fully redundant system architectures featuring transparent failover. Progentís Cisco-qualified CCIE network engineers can plan and implement fault-tolerant Inter-office connections based on fault tolerant EIGRP network routers or zero-downtime OSPF deployment of Cisco routers. Progent can demonstrate how redundant connectivity and transparent fail-over offers economical 24x7 interoffice networking. For details, go to Fault Tolerant Interoffice Networking.

Non-stop Internet Access
Progent's Cisco-certified IT engineers can help you create an affordable, high availability Internet connection architecture that can deliver non-stop Internet access via a broad array of fault tolerant Internet access solutions including fault tolerant BGP, transparent fail-over, and multiple Internet Service Providers. Progent offers CCIE consultants to show you how to apply the most advanced technology for fault tolerant Internet access to build a cost-effective, fully redundant Internet interface with automatic failover and other capabilities to create fault tolerant Internet access. To find out more, see Non-stop Internet Access Solutions.

Backup and Restore Technology Consulting Services
Progent can provide economical online support from consultants with expertise in a wide range of utilities and technologies that provide solutions for backing up Microsoft Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX servers and desktops as well as laptops and smartphones. Progent can provide expertise for all major data protection platforms including Acronis, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist, HP Data Protector, Double-Take Backup, Mozy, Retrospect for Macintosh, Apple Time Machine, vSphere Data Protection, and Oracle Solaris FLARs. Progent's consultants can help your company to implement, upgrade, or maintain backup/restore systems for a variety of environments such as local, edge to datacenter, cloud-based, or a mix. To learn more, go to Backup and Recovery Technology Consulting and Support Services.

Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Backup and Recovery Consulting Services
Progent's expert Microsoft SCDPM consultants can assist your company to create a practical business continuity strategy, design a cost-effective high-availability network infrastructure, deploy a Microsoft SCDPM-powered backup and restore system, thoroughly test your DPM system, train your IT staff or regular service providers how to maintain SCDPM, or provide complete IT outsourcing including off-site housing of Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager machines in Progent's secure data center. For details, see System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Consulting.

Barracuda Backup Local, Offsite and Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is a low-cost, subscription backup and disaster recovery platform for small and mid-size organizations. A Barracuda Backup solution can incorporate a custom-designed hardware storage device manufactured by Barracuda or a software-based appliance with similar features but which uses your existing storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup safeguards critical company data generated on-premises, at one or multiple remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster recovery, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon Web Services (AWS), or to any location with a Barracuda appliance. Progent is a Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consultants offer a broad array of consulting services to assist your business to plan, integrate, manage and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery solution based on Barracuda technology. For details, visit Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consulting and management.

Altaro VM Backup Solutions for Backup and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software provides small organizations a dependable and affordable solution for backing up and recovering Hyper-V and VMware-powered VMs. Altaro VM Backup can be used for on-premises, remote, multi-site, and cloud-hosted environments and also enables low-cost backup to Microsoft Azure Block Blob storage. Headline capabilities include industry-leading Augmented Inline Deduplication to reduce backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection with backup intervals as short as five minutes for minimizing your Recovery Point Objective, military-grade encryption, granular restore capability for individual files and emails, extensive support for Windows CSV and vCenter for handling larger environments, and the ability to leverage Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to back up online VMs without downtime. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and offers a broad array of consulting services to help you to design, install, optimize and troubleshoot a backup/restore solution based on Altaro VM Backup. For details, visit Altaro VM Backup Consulting Services.

Consulting Services Double-Take Software for Data Backup and Recovery
Double-Take Software publishes a selection of products intended to provide small and midsize businesses a variety of cost-effective solutions for replicating and restoring vital applications such as Exchange Server, SQL, RIM Blackberry, and Microsoft SharePoint. Progentís disaster recovery planning consultants have in-depth experience incorporating Double-Take products into small company IT systems to achieve a high state of fault tolerance and disaster recovery readiness at a budget-friendly cost. To read more, go to Consulting Services Double-Take Software for Backup.

CRISC-certified IT Risk Management
The CRISC certification program was established by ISACA in 2010 to validate a consultant's ability to design, implement, and maintain information system controls to mitigate risk. Progent offers the services of a CRISC-certified engineer to assist you to develop and carry out a business continuity strategy based on leading practices promoted by CRISC and crafted to align with your organization's risk appetite, business goals, and budgetary guidelines. To read more, visit CRISC-qualified IT risk management specialists.

Why Pick Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?
Because Progent is a Microsoft Partner and provides professional application support for a wide variety of business software programs, Progent can assist customers to find comprehensive information technology solutions that optimize the productivity of your IT network. As a Registered Partner with Cisco, Progent offers the support of certified engineers and specialists with experience in designing, deploying and troubleshooting networking environments based on Cisco products. The broad scope of Progent's technical know-how and Progent's familiarity with the requirements of small and midsize businesses make Progent the perfect resource for building and running an affordable, high-availability information system.

How to Get Help from Progent's Engineers for Non-stop Computing Support
If you wish to contact Progent about professional assistance for fault tolerant computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.
















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