Failover 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 optimize your Windows Server 2012 R2 clustering deployment to build a high-availability/disaster recovery solution or assist you to design and deploy a failover cluster environment powered by a modern version of Windows Server. Propgent can 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.
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:
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 2019 or Windows Server 2016, which incorporate major elements of Azure technology and are designed to support hybrid networks. See Progent's Windows Server 2019 DR/BC consulting and Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery consulting.
Zero-Downtime Technologies Offered by Progent
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified support professionals can help your business to build a cost-effective, high-availability system that addresses key problems encompassing a broad range of infrastructure technologies and processes including:
Disaster Recovery Planning
Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants can help you create a workplace recovery plan so you can resume IT functionality in the event of an information system disaster. Progent can help you to create a complete disaster recovery plan that incorporates periodic disaster recovery evaluations and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized professionals can also show you how to build an affordable, fault-tolerant network solution that addresses reliability issues covering a wide range of infrastructure technologies and processes. To learn more, visit Workplace Recovery Expertise.
CRISC-Certified IT Risk Management
The CRISC program was initiated by ISACA to validate an IT professional's ability to plan, deploy, and maintain IS control mechanisms to reduce network risk. Progent can provide the expertise of a CRISC-certified engineer to assist your company to develop and execute a business continuity or disaster recovery strategy that follows leading practices promoted by CRISC and geared to align with your organization's risk appetite, business goals, and budgetary guidelines. To read more, see CRISC-Premier IT risk mitigation experts.
Windows Server 2019 Fault-tolerant Failover Clustering
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 offers significant improvements in capacity, performance, management, cybersecurity, app compatibility, Linux support, container technology, and hybrid combinations of local and cloud resources. Headline enhancements of Windows Server 2019 are Windows Admin Center for unifying the management of hybrid on-premises/cloud resources, System Insights for utilizing modern predictive analytics to control on-premises environments, Windows Defender ATP Exploit Guard for host-intrusion defense, container networking with Kubernetes, Cluster Sets for building and administering large non-stop scale-out clusters, and Microsoft's Storage Migration Service for streamlining the migration from outdated editions of Windows Server. For more information, see Windows Server 2019 High Availability Failover Clustering Help.
Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery experts can assist you to design a DR system built around Microsoft's cloud-tested Failover Clustering tools such as Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade for non-intrusive migration to Windows Server 2016, Storage Replica for crash-consistent Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Storage Spaces Direct for enterprise-class network-attached storage using industry-standard equipment, VM Load Balancing for improving the performance and fault-tolerance of Failover Clusters while reducing capital investment and operational expenses, and Cloud Witness for easy, affordable creation of a failover cluster quorum witness. For details, visit Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery Support.
VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager is an extension to VMware vCenter that lets you define, automate and test a consistent runbook for restoring services quickly after a breakdown. Site Recovery Manager supports centrally controlled and automated disaster recovery, application mobility, plus non-intrusive site relocation, failback and site re-protect. Site Recovery Manager also supports transparent testing for disaster recovery, upgrades and fixes and can produce audit reports to verify complete service restoration, validate Service Level Agreements and demonstrate disaster recovery compliance. Progent offers the support of a VCDX certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consulting expert to assist your organization to design, configure, test and administer a DR system powered by VMware SRM.
NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Platform
NetApp MetroCluster is a disaster recovery platform that combines array-based storage clustering along with synchronous replication to deliver rapid, zero RPO disaster recovery between sites located as far as 300km apart from each other. Progent offers online or on-premises access to a certified NetApp MetroCluster consultant who can assist you to design, configure, manage, upgrade, test and troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution based on NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can assist you to select a topology for your MetroCluster environment that aligns with your technical requirements and IT budget. Progent can ensure you follow leading practices for installing your MetroCluster solution by delivering guidance with procedures such as assigning shelf IDs, arranging plexes layout, setting up volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, provisioning switches, implementing a tiebreaker mechanism, setting up a TCP/IP configuration replication network, and testing your DR solution to show adherence with information assurance standards and regulatory requirements.
Fault Tolerant Load Balancing
Progent offers fault tolerant load balancing support that addresses system load balancing, load balanced applications, LAN/WAN infrastructure routing, and content dispatching products including Cisco Content Engine. Fault tolerant load balancing solutions for which Progent offers consulting services include Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Access Gateway, Cisco CSS, Cisco Content Engine and Cisco CDN Software, and F5 Networks BIG-IP. For details, see High Availability Load Balancing.
High-Availability Data Centers
Progent's Data Center engineers can help you select high availability data centers that match the specific needs of your company. High availability off-site data centers are particularly appealing to small and mid-size businesses because of their low cost and convenience compared to pursuing a do-it-yourself approach. Attempting to create an on-site data center that offers even a minimum level of fault tolerance is financially prohibitive for typical small companies. Progent can help you get all the advantages of non-stop colo centers by offering a full range of engineering and maintenance services. To read more, see Non-stop Internet Data Centers Solutions.
24x7 Branch Office Connectivity
Progent’s inter-site connectivity professionals can help organizations achieve zero-downtime interoffice connectivity by means of redundant system architectures featuring transparent failover. Progent’s Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can plan and implement high-availability Inter-office connections supported by non-stop EIGRP network routers or fault tolerant OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can show you how redundant connections and transparent fail-over can provide economical 24x7 interoffice connectivity. For more information, see Non-stop Interoffice Connectivity.
24x7 Internet Connectivity
Progent's Cisco-authorized network professionals can show you how to design an economical, fault tolerant Internet configuration architecture that can achieve non-stop Internet access via a wide array of fault tolerant Internet access solutions including high availability BGP, transparent fail-over, and redundant ISPs. Progent offers Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert consultants to show you how to apply the latest technology for fault tolerant Internet connections to build an affordable, fully redundant Internet interface with automatic failover and other features to create non-stop Internet connections. To learn more, see Fault Tolerant Internet Connectivity Architecture.
Backup and Recovery Solutions Consulting and Support Services
Progent offers economical online access to IT engineers skilled in a broad range of products and technologies that deliver solutions for protecting Windows, Mac, and Linux physical and virtual servers and workstations plus notebooks and handhelds. Progent offers help for leading backup platforms including Acronis Backup and Recovery, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist, CrashPlan, Double-Take Software, Mozy, Retrospect, Apple Time Machine, VMware Data Recovery, and Solaris FLARs. Progent can assist you to deploy, enhance, or maintain backup systems for a range of environments including on-premises, remote, cloud, or hybrid. To learn more, go to Backup and Restore Technology Consulting.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Backup and Recovery Consultants
Progent's certified System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist your company to create a practical workplace recovery strategy, design a cost-effective high-availability IT infrastructure, install a Microsoft SCDPM-powered backup and restore solution, comprehensively validate your system, train your IT personnel or regular service providers how to manage SCDPM, or provide complete information technology outsourcing services including off-site housing of System Center Data Protection Manager servers in Progent's data center facility. To read more, go to System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Expertise.
Barracuda Backup On-premises and Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is an affordable, subscription backup/restore service for small and medium-size businesses. A Barracuda Backup solution can include a custom-designed physical appliance built by Barracuda or a software-based appliance with comparable features but which utilizes your existing storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup protects vital company data produced locally, at one or multiple remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster preparedness, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon Web Services (AWS), or to any site with a Barracuda appliance. Progent is a Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consulting experts can provide a broad array of consulting support services to assist your business to design, integrate, manage and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery system based on Barracuda technology. For more information, see Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consulting.
ProSight Data Protection Services Altaro VM Backup Software for Backup and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software provides small organizations a reliable and affordable solution for backing up and recovering Hyper-V and VMware-based virtual machines. Altaro VM Backup can be deployed in on-premises, remote, distributed, and cloud environments and also enables low-cost backup to Azure Block Blob storage. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and offers a broad range of remote or onsite services to assist you to plan, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a modern backup/restore solution based on Altaro VM Backup. With ProSight DPS Altaro VM Backup, Progent offers a managed backup/recovery service powered by on Altaro VM Backup. To find out more, visit Altaro VM Backup consulting services.
ProSight Data Protection Services Altaro Office 365 Backup Solutions
Office 365 offers simple archiving but does not have native support for key data protection capabilities like Exchange backups or long-term point-in-time recovery for OneDrive or SharePoint. Altaro Office 365 Total Backup provides a full-featured platform for programmable backup and quick recovery of all your company's Office 365 mail, Teams Chats, SharePoint sites, and OneDrive data. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and offers ProSight Data Protection Services O365 Backup to provide comprehensive management services for Altaro's O365 back/restore product. ProSight DPS O365 provides a budget-friendly backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solution that defends O365 components against data loss resulting from user or system error, malevolent deletion, and malware attacks like ransomware. For details, go to ProSight DPS Altaro Office 365 Backup services.
Fully Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services ECHO
ProSight Data Protection Services ECHO from Progent offer small and mid-sized organizations a low cost end-to-end service for reliable backup/disaster recovery (BDR). Available at a low monthly price, ProSight Data Protection Services ECHO automates your backup processes and allow fast recovery of critical data, applications and virtual machines that have become lost or damaged as a result of hardware breakdowns, software glitches, natural disasters, human error, or malware attacks such as ransomware. ProSight Data Protection Services ECHO can help you back up, recover and restore files, folders, applications, 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 mirrored to both. Progent's cloud backup consultants can deliver world-class expertise to configure ProSight DPS ECHO to be compliant with regulatory requirements like HIPAA, FINRA, PCI and Safe Harbor and, when needed, can assist you to recover your business-critical data. Find out more about ProSight DPS ECHO managed backup and recovery.
ProSight Data Protection Services 360 Backup Solutions
Progent can help your company to create, implement and debug a backup/restore plan built around MSP360 technology. MSP360 offers file or image backup/restore for VMs and physical machines, works with all popular public clouds, and allows businesses to build a backup ecosystem with a low Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a granular Recovery Point Objective. With ProSight DPS 360 Backup, Progent can provide comprehensive monitoring and remote management of your backup environment to protect against data loss caused by human mistakes, computer glitches, malicious insiders, and external assaults such as ransomware. For more information, see ProSight Data Protection Services 360 Backup solutions.
Consulting Services Double-Take Solutions for Backup and Recovery
Double-Take publishes a family of tools designed to deliver small and midsize companies a range of affordable solutions for backing up and restoring vital workloads including Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL, RIM Blackberry, and Microsoft Office SharePoint. Progent’s disaster recovery planning consultants have in-depth backgrounds integrating Double-Take Software technology into small business IT systems to create a high state of availability and business continuity capability at a budget-friendly price. To find out more, go to Consulting for Double-Take Software for Data Backup.
Why Pick Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?
Because Progent is a Microsoft Partner and offers specialized application support for a wide range of small business software programs, Progent can help clients to arrive at complete IT solutions that optimize the productivity of your network. As a Registered Partner with Cisco, Progent can provide the support of premier engineers and specialists with expertise in designing, implementing and troubleshooting networking environments based on Cisco products. The extent of Progent's technical know-how and Progent's familiarity with the needs of small and midsize businesses make Progent the ideal partner for creating and running a cost-effective, dependable information system.
How You Can Get Help from Progent's Consultants for Help with Non-stop Computing
To contact Progent about engineering expertise for non-stop computing, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.