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 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.
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 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 Non-stop Solutions Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's certified support professionals can assist you to implement an efficient, non-stop network that addresses key problems encompassing a wide range of infrastructure solutions and operations such as:
Why Pick Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?
Business Continuity Planning
Progent's business continuity planning professionals can help you design a workplace recovery plan so you can resume network functionality in the event of an information network catastrophe. Progent can assist you to create a complete disaster recovery plan that incorporates scheduled disaster recovery assessments and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized professionals can also help you build an affordable, fault-tolerant network architecture that addresses reliability issues covering a broad range of network technologies and procedures. To read more, go to Workplace Recovery Expertise.
Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services offer small and medium-sized businesses a low cost end-to-end service for secure backup/disaster recovery (BDR). Available at a low monthly price, ProSight DPS automates and monitors your backup activities and enables rapid recovery of vital files, applications and virtual machines that have become unavailable or corrupted as a result of hardware breakdowns, software bugs, natural disasters, human error, or malicious attacks like ransomware. ProSight DPS can help you protect, retrieve and restore files, folders, applications, system images, as well as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware images/. Critical data can be protected on the cloud, to a local storage device, or mirrored to both. Progent's cloud backup consultants can provide world-class expertise to configure ProSight DPS to to comply with government and industry regulatory standards such as HIPPA, FINRA, PCI and Safe Harbor and, whenever needed, can assist you to recover your business-critical information. Find out more about ProSight Data Protection Services Managed Cloud Backup and Recovery.
Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery/business continuity consultants can help you to plan and deploy a disaster recovery solution based on Microsoft's cloud-tested Failover Clustering technologies 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 storage clusters using low-cost hardware, Virtual Machine Load Balancing for improving the performance and fault-tolerance of Failover Clusters while reducing capital investment and operational expenses, and Cloud Witness for fast, economical creation of a stretch cluster quorum arbitration point. To learn more, visit Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Expertise.
VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is a component of VMware vCenter that lets you define, automate and verify a repeatable workflow for restoring services rapidly following an outage. Site Recovery Manager supports centrally controlled and automated disaster recovery, application mobility, plus transparent site relocation, failback and re-protect. Site Recovery Manager also allows non-disruptive testing for disaster recovery, updates and patches and can generate reports to confirm complete service restoration, validate Service Level Agreements and prove compliance. Progent offers the skills of a VCDX certified VMware SRM consulting expert to help your organization to plan, configure, test and manage a disaster recovery system powered by VMware SRM.
NetApp MetroCluster High Availability and Disaster Recovery Software
NetApp MetroCluster is a high-availability and disaster recovery platform that combines array-based storage clustering with replication to provide fast, zero data loss disaster recovery (DR) between sites located as far as 185 miles apart from each other. Progent can provide online or on-premises access to a certified NetApp MetroCluster consultant who can help you to plan, deploy, manage, upgrade, test and troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution built around NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can help you to choose an architecture for your MetroCluster environment that meets your technical requirements and IT budget. Progent can ensure you follow best practices for installing your MetroCluster solution by providing guidance with tasks such as assigning shelf IDs, determining aggregate layout, setting up FlexVol volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, provisioning Cisco and Brocade switches, implementing a tiebreaker mechanism, designing a TCP/IP configuration replication network between your peered clusters, and testing your MetroCluster disaster recovery solution to show adherence with industry standards and regulatory mandates.
Network Load Balancing
Progent provides fault tolerant load balancing support covering system load balancing, load balanced programs, LAN/WAN backbone routing, and content dispatching technology such as F5 Networks 3DNS. Non-stop load balancing solutions for which Progent offers consulting expertise include Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008 Server Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Presentation Server, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Content Distribution Manager and ACNS, and F5 Networks 3-DNS. For more information, visit Non-stop Load Balancing.
Zero Downtime Internet Data Centers
Progent's Data Center consultants can show you how to find fault-tolerant data centers that match the specific needs of your business. High availability Internet Data Centers are particularly appealing to small and mid-size companies because of their affordability and convenience compared to pursuing a do-it-yourself approach. Trying to create an in-house data center that offers even a basic degree of fault tolerance is too costly for typical small organizations. Progent can show you how to get all the benefits of high-availability colo centers by providing a full range of engineering and support services. To find out more, visit Non-stop Colocation Solutions.
Non-stop Interoffice Connectivity
Progentís inter-site network infrastructure engineers can help businesses create fault tolerant inter-site connections by means of redundant system architectures featuring transparent failover. Progentís Cisco-premier CCIE engineers can plan and implement high-availability Inter-office connections based on zero-downtime EIGRP routers or non-stop OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can demonstrate how multi-path connections and automatic fail-over can provide economical non-stop interoffice connectivity. For details, go to Non-stop Inter-office Connectivity.
Non-stop Internet Connections
Progent's Cisco-authorized network consultants can show you how to design an affordable, fault tolerant Internet connection architecture that can deliver non-stop Internet access via a broad range of fault tolerant Internet network technologies including fault tolerant BGP, automatic fail-over, and multiple ISPs. Progent offers CCIE engineers to show you how to apply the most up-to-date technology for high availability Internet connections to create an economical, completely redundant Internet interface with automatic failover and other capabilities to create non-stop Internet access. For details, go to Fault Tolerant Internet Access Architecture.
Backup and Restore Technology Consulting
Progent can provide economical online access to consultants skilled in a broad range of utilities and technologies that deliver solutions for protecting Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux/UNIX servers and workstations as well as notebooks and smartphones. Progent offers expertise for leading data protection products including Acronis Backup and Recovery, Backup Exec, BackupAssist Software, HP Data Protector, Double-Take, Mozy, Retrospect for Macintosh, Time Machine, VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP), and Solaris FLARs. Progent's consultants can help your company to install, enhance, or troubleshoot backup/restore systems for a range of topologies such as on-premises, remote, cloud-based, or a mix. For details, visit Backup and Recovery Solutions Consulting Services.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Backup and Recovery Consultants
Progent's expert Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager engineers can help your company to develop an effective disaster recovery strategy, implement an affordable fault-tolerante IT architecture, install a System Center Data Protection Manager-powered backup and recovery solution, comprehensively test your DPM system, educate your administrative staff or local consultants how to manage Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, or provide extensive IT support outsourcing including off-site hosting of System Center Data Protection Manager servers in Progent's data center. For details, visit System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Consulting Services.
Barracuda Backup On-premises and Cloud Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is an affordable, subscription-based backup/restore service for small and medium-size organizations. A Barracuda Backup deployment can include a purpose-built physical storage device manufactured by Barracuda or a virtual appliance with comparable features but which uses your own storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup protects critical company data produced locally, at one or multiple remote locations, or in the cloud. For disaster recovery, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon AWS, or to any location with a Barracuda Backup appliance. Progent is a Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consulting experts can provide a wide array of consulting support services to assist you to design, configure, operate and repair a backup and disaster recovery system based on Barracuda technology. For details, go to Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consulting and management.
Altaro VM Backup Software for Backup and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software offers small businesses a reliable and affordable platform for backing up and recovering Hyper-V and VMware-powered virtual machines. Altaro VM Backup can be deployed in local, remote, distributed, and cloud-hosted environments and also enables cost-effective cloud backup to Microsoft Azure storage. Top features include state-of-the-art Augmented Inline Deduplication to cut backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) with backup spacing as short as five minutes for minimizing your Recovery Point Objective, advanced encryption, granular recovery options for specific files and emails, extensive support for Windows Server CSV and for VMware vCenter for managing large-scale deployments, and support for Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to back up live VMs with zero downtime. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and offers a wide array of consulting services to help you to plan, install, manage and troubleshoot a backup/restore solution based on Altaro VM Backup. To learn more, go to Altaro VM Backup Consulting.
Consulting for Double-Take Solutions for Backup and Recovery
Double-Take offers a family of products intended to provide small and midsize businesses a range of affordable solutions for replicating and restoring business-critical workloads including Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, RIM Blackberry, and SharePoint. Progentís business continuity planning experts have extensive experience integrating Double-Take products into small business information networks to achieve an advanced level of availability and disaster recovery capability at an affordable price. To learn more, go to Consulting for Double-Take Software for Data Backup.
CRISC-Certified Network Risk Mitigation
The CRISC certification program was initiated by ISACA in 2010 to verify a consultant's ability to plan, deploy, and maintain information system controls to mitigate risk. Progent can provide the services of a CRISC-certified engineer to help you to develop and execute a workplace continuity plan based on leading practices promoted by CRISC and crafted to align with your company's risk appetite, business goals, and budgetary guidelines. To find out more, go to CRISC-Certified network risk mitigation experts.
Since Progent is a Microsoft Partner and provides high-level application support for a broad variety of business software programs, Progent can assist clients to find complete IT solutions that substantially enhance the business value of your IT network. As a Registered Partner with Cisco, Progent can provide the expertise of certified consultants and specialists with expertise in architecting, configuring and managing networking environments based on Cisco products. The breadth of Progent's technical experience and Progent's appreciation for the requirements of small companies make Progent the perfect resource for building and maintaining a cost-effective, high-availability information system.
How You Can Access Progent's Consultants for High Availability Computing Services
In order to contact Progent about professional support for high availability infrastructure, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.