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.
Additional Fault Tolerant Technologies Supported by Progent
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco consultants can help you to implement a cost-effective, fault-tolerant system that addresses major challenges covering a wide array of networking technologies and processes including:
Disaster Recovery Planning
Progent's disaster recovery planning professionals can show you how to create a business continuity strategy so you can restore network operations in the event of an information system catastrophe. Progent can help you to create a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that incorporates periodic disaster recovery assessments and testing. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified consultants can also show you how to create an affordable, zero-downtime system solution that takes into account availability issues covering a broad array of infrastructure technologies and processes. For details, visit Business Continuity Consulting.
Fully Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services offer small and medium-sized organizations an affordable and fully managed service for reliable backup/disaster recovery. For a fixed monthly price, ProSight Data Protection Services automates and monitors your backup activities and allows rapid recovery of critical files, apps and virtual machines that have become lost or damaged due to hardware breakdowns, software glitches, disasters, human mistakes, or malware attacks like ransomware. ProSight DPS can help you protect, recover and restore files, folders, applications, system images, as well as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine images. Critical data can be protected on the cloud, to a local device, or mirrored to both. Progent's backup and recovery specialists can provide advanced support to configure ProSight Data Protection Services to to comply with government and industry regulatory standards like HIPAA, FINRA, and PCI and, whenever needed, can assist you to recover your business-critical data. Read more about ProSight DPS Managed Cloud Backup.
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 High Availability Failover Clustering
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 offers important improvements in scale, performance, manageability, cybersecurity, app compatibility, Linux co-existence, container technology, and hybrid combinations of on-premises and cloud-hosted resources. Headline new features of Windows Server 2019 include Windows Admin Center for centralizing the management of hybrid local/cloud-hosted deployments, System Insights for taking advantage of modern predictive intelligence to control on-premises networks, Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) Exploit Guard for host-intrusion defense, container orchestration with Kubernetes, Cluster Sets technology for creating and managing massive high-availability scale-out clusters, and Storage Migration Service for simplifying the migration from legacy releases of Windows Server. For more information, visit Microsoft Server 2019 Fault-tolerant Failover Clustering Support.
Microsoft 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 built around Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering tools such as Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade for non-disruptive migration to Windows Server 2016, Storage Replica for zero-data-loss Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Storage Spaces Direct for high-performance storage clusters using low-cost equipment, Virtual Machine Load Balancing for improving the performance and resilience of Failover Clusters while minimizing capital investment and operational expenses, and Cloud Witness for fast, affordable deployment of a stretch cluster quorum witness. For details, see 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 allows you to define, automate and verify a repeatable workflow for recovering services rapidly after a breakdown. Site Recovery Manager supports centrally managed and automated recovery, application mobility, plus non-disruptive site relocation, failback and site re-protect. SRM also allows non-disruptive testing for disaster recovery, upgrades and patches and can produce audit reports to confirm complete service recovery, validate Service Level Agreements and prove DR compliance. Progent offers the skills of a VCDX certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consultant to help your organization to plan, configure, test and administer a disaster recovery solution powered by VMware Site Recovery Manager.
NetApp MetroCluster High Availability and Disaster Recovery Technology
NetApp MetroCluster is a high-availability and disaster recovery platform that combines failover storage clustering with synchronous replication to provide fast, zero RPO disaster recovery between sites located as far as 300km apart. Progent can provide the skills of a NetApp MetroCluster expert who can assist you to design, configure, administer, upgrade, test and troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution based on NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can assist you to choose an architecture for your MetroCluster environment that meets your technical requirements and budget. Progent can make sure you follow leading practices for installing your MetroCluster solution by providing help with procedures such as assigning disk pools, arranging aggregate layout, provisioning NetApp FlexVol volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, installing Cisco and Brocade switches, implementing a tiebreaker mechanism, designing a TCP/IP configuration replication network between your storage clusters, and testing your MetroCluster disaster recovery system to verify compliance with industry standards and regulatory mandates.
Network Load Balancing
Progent offers high availability load balancing support covering network load balancing, load balanced applications, LAN/WAN infrastructure routing, and content delivery products including Cisco Content Engine. High availability load balancing solutions for which Progent can provide consulting expertise include Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Metaframe and Presentation Server, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Distributed Director and LocalDirector 400 series, and F5 Networks BIG-IP. To read more, see Non-stop Load Balancing.
High-Availability Internet Data Centers
Progent's Data Center consultants can show you how to identify fault-tolerant data centers that match the specific needs of your company. High availability Internet Data Centers are especially appealing to small and mid-size organizations due to of their affordability and simplified logistics compared to taking a do-it-yourself approach. Attempting to create an in-house data center with even a basic degree of fault tolerance is too costly for typical small companies. Progent can help you reap all the benefits of non-stop colocation facilities by offering a complete range of consulting and support services. To find out more, see Fault Tolerant Colocation Consulting.
Fault Tolerant Interoffice Connectivity
Progentís branch office connection consultants can help businesses create zero-downtime inter-site connections by means of redundant system architectures with transparent failover. Progentís Cisco-premier CCIE network engineers can design and deploy fault-tolerant Inter-office connections based on fault tolerant EIGRP routers or zero-downtime OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can demonstrate how multi-path connections and automatic fail-over offers economical non-stop interoffice networking. For more information, go to Fault Tolerant Interoffice Networking.
24x7 Internet Access
Progent's Cisco-certified IT consultants can help you design an affordable, fault tolerant Internet connection solution that can deliver 24x7 Internet connectivity through a broad array of fault tolerant Internet network solutions including non-stop BGP, transparent fail-over, and multiple Internet Service Providers. Progent offers Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert professionals to help you utilize the most advanced technology for high availability Internet access to create an affordable, completely redundant Internet network with automatic failover and other features to deliver zero-downtime Internet connections. To read more, go to 24x7 Internet Connectivity Solutions.
Backup and Restore Technology Consulting Experts
Progent can provide economical remote support from engineers skilled in a broad range of products and services that provide solutions for backing up Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux/UNIX physical and virtual servers and workstations plus notebooks and handhelds. Progent can provide consulting support for leading data protection platforms including Acronis Backup and Recovery, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist, CrashPlan, Double-Take, MozyPro, Retrospect, Time Machine, VMware Data Recovery (VDR), and Solaris FLARs. Progent's consultants can help your company to install, upgrade, or troubleshoot backup systems for a range of topologies such as on-premises, edge to datacenter, cloud, or hybrid. For more information, visit Backup and Recovery Technology Consulting and Support Services.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Backup and Recovery Consulting Services
Progent's expert Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager consultants can help you to develop an effective business continuity plan, implement an affordable high-availability IT architecture, configure a SCDPM-powered recovery solution, thoroughly validate your DPM system, train your administrative personnel or regular consultants how to manage Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, or provide extensive IT support outsourcing such as off-site hosting of Microsoft SCDPM machines in Progent's world-class data center. To learn more, go to System Center Data Protection Manager Expertise.
Barracuda Backup Multi-site and Cloud Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is an affordable, subscription backup/restore service for small and mid-size businesses. A Barracuda Backup deployment can include a purpose-built physical storage device manufactured by Barracuda or a software-based appliance with comparable features but which uses your own storage hardware. Barracuda Backup protects vital company data generated on-premises, at one or more remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster protection, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon Web Services (AWS), or to any site with a physical or virtual Barracuda Backup appliance. Progent is a Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consultants can provide a broad array of consulting services to help you to design, integrate, manage and repair a backup and disaster recovery solution built on Barracuda Backup. For more information, visit Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consultants.
Altaro VM Backup Solutions for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup offers small and mid-size organizations a reliable and budget-friendly solution for backing up and restoring Hyper-V and VMware-powered virtual machines (VMs). Altaro VM Backup can be deployed in on-premises, remote, multi-site, and cloud architectures and also supports low-cost cloud backup to Azure storage. Headline capabilities include state-of-the-art Augmented Inline Deduplication to cut backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection with backup intervals as little as five minutes for minimizing your Recovery Point Objective, advanced encryption, granular recovery options for individual files and emails, support for Windows Server Cluster Shared Volumes and for vCenter for managing larger deployments, and support for Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service to back up online VMs with zero downtime. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and can provide a broad range of consulting services to assist you to design, install, optimize and troubleshoot a backup/restore solution powered by Altaro VM Backup software. To read more, see Altaro VM Backup Consulting.
Consulting Services Double-Take Solutions for Backup and Recovery
Double-Take offers a selection of products designed to deliver small companies a variety of cost-effective solutions for replicating and recovering vital applications including Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, RIM Blackberry, and Microsoft SharePoint. Progentís disaster recovery planning consultants have in-depth experience incorporating Double-Take Software products into small company IT systems to achieve an advanced state of fault tolerance and business continuity capability at a budget-friendly cost. For details, see Consulting Services Double-Take Software for Data Backup.
CRISC-Premier Network Risk Management
The CRISC certification program was initiated by ISACA in 2010 to validate an IT professional's ability to design, implement, and maintain information system controls to reduce risk. Progent can provide the services of a CRISC-certified engineer to help your company to create and execute a workplace continuity plan that follows leading practices identified by CRISC and crafted to align with your company's risk tolerance, business goals, and IT budget. For more information, see CRISC-Certified IT risk control experts.Why Choose Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?
Since Progent is a Microsoft Partner and provides high-level application consulting for a wide variety of small business applications, Progent can assist clients to arrive at complete IT solutions that substantially enhance the business value of your IT network. As a Registered Partner for Cisco, Progent can provide the support of premier consultants and specialists with experience in designing, configuring and managing networking environments built on Cisco technology. The broad scope of Progent's technical experience and Progent's sensitivity to the requirements of small and midsize companies make Progent a great partner for building and maintaining a cost-effective, high-availability network.
How to Get in Touch with Progent's Engineers for Non-stop Network Support
To contact Progent about engineering support for non-stop architecture, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.