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 Solutions Offered by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified consulting experts can assist your company to design a sensible, high-availability information network that addresses major issues covering a wide array of infrastructure solutions and operations including:
Business Continuity Planning
Progent's business continuity consultants can help you create a workplace recovery plan in order to restore network functionality in the event of an information network catastrophe. Progent can help you to define a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that includes scheduled disaster recovery evaluations and testing. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized professionals can also show you how to create an affordable, high-availability network solution that takes into account availability issues involving a wide array of network technologies and procedures. To learn more, see Disaster Recovery Consulting.
Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services from Progent provide small and mid-sized organizations an affordable end-to-end service for reliable backup/disaster recovery. Available at a fixed monthly price, ProSight DPS automates and monitors your backup processes and allows rapid recovery of critical data, applications and VMs that have become unavailable or corrupted as a result of component breakdowns, software glitches, disasters, human mistakes, or malicious attacks such as ransomware. ProSight DPS can help you protect, recover and restore files, folders, applications, system images, plus Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine images. Important data can be backed up on the cloud, to an on-promises storage device, or mirrored to both. Progent's cloud backup consultants can provide advanced expertise to set up ProSight DPS to to comply with regulatory standards such as HIPAA, FIRPA, and PCI and, whenever needed, can assist you to recover your critical information. Learn more about ProSight Data Protection Services Managed Cloud Backup.
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 High Availability Failover Clustering
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 features significant improvements in capacity, throughput, manageability, security and compliance, app compatibility, Linux co-existence, container technology, and hybrid integration of local and cloud resources. Headline new features of Windows Server 2019 include Windows Admin Center for centralizing the management and monitoring of hybrid local/cloud deployments, System Insights for taking advantage of advance predictive intelligence to manage local networks, Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) Exploit Guard for host-intrusion defense, container networking with Kubernetes, Cluster Sets for deploying and administering large high-availability scale-out clusters, and Microsoft's Storage Migration Service for simplifying the migration from outdated editions of Windows Server. For details, see Microsoft Windows Server 2019 High Availability Failover Clustering Consulting.
Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery/business continuity consultants can help your organization to plan and deploy a DR system based on Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering tools including Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade for non-intrusive migration to Windows Server 2016, Storage Replica for zero-data-loss recovery, Storage Spaces Direct for high-performance storage clusters using commodity equipment, Virtual Machine Load Balancing for improving the performance and resilience of Failover Clusters while reducing capital investment and management overhead, and Cloud Witness for easy, economical creation of a failover cluster quorum witness. To read more, visit Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Support.
VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager is an extension to VMware vCenter that lets you specify, automate and verify a consistent process for restoring applications and services quickly after a breakdown. SRM supports centrally controlled and automated recovery, application mobility, plus transparent site migration, failback and site re-protect. Site Recovery Manager also enables transparent testing for disaster recovery, upgrades and fixes and can generate reports to confirm full service recovery, validate SLAs and demonstrate DR compliance. Progent offers the support of a VCDX certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consulting expert to assist your organization to design, deploy, test and maintain a disaster recovery solution powered by VMware Site Recovery Manager.
NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Platform
NetApp MetroCluster is a high-availability and disaster recovery platform that combines failover storage clustering with continual replication to deliver rapid, zero data loss disaster recovery between datacenters located as far as 185 miles (300km) apart from each other. Progent can provide access to a certified NetApp MetroCluster expert who can help your business to design, configure, administer, update, test and repair a disaster recovery system based on NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can assist you to select a topology for your MetroCluster deployment that meets your technical needs and budget. Progent can make sure you adhere to leading practices for installing your MetroCluster solution by delivering help with procedures such as assigning disk pools, arranging plexes layout, setting up NetApp FlexVol volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, installing switches, implementing a tiebreaker mechanism, setting up a configuration replication network between your peered clusters, and testing your DR system to show adherence with industry standards and government mandates.
Fault Tolerant Load Balancing
Progent offers fault tolerant load balancing support covering network load balancing, load balanced applications, LAN/WAN infrastructure routing, and content dispatching products such as Cisco Content Engine. High availability load balancing technologies for which Progent can provide consulting expertise include Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008 Server Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Access Gateway, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Content Distribution Manager and Cisco CDN Software, and F5 Networks BIG-IP. To learn more, go to High Availability Load Balancing.
Zero Downtime Data Centers
Progent's Data Center engineers can show you how to identify high availability data centers that meet the particular needs of your business. Fault tolerant off-site data centers are especially attractive to small and mid-size companies because of their low cost and simplified logistics in comparison to pursuing a do-it-yourself approach. Trying to build an in-house data center with even a basic level of fault tolerance is financially prohibitive for most small businesses. Progent is ready to show you how to reap all the advantages of non-stop data centers by offering a full array of consulting and support services. To read more, go to Fault Tolerant Data Centers Consulting.
Non-stop Interoffice Networking
Progentís multi-site network infrastructure engineers can help businesses create fault tolerant interoffice connectivity solutions through redundant networks with automatic failover. Progentís Cisco-certified CCIE engineers can plan and deploy ultra-reliable Inter-office connections based on fault tolerant EIGRP routers or zero-downtime OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can demonstrate how redundant connectivity and transparent fail-over can provide affordable non-stop interoffice networking. To read more, go to Non-stop Interoffice Connectivity.
Non-stop Internet Connectivity
Progent's Cisco-authorized network consultants can help you design an economical, fault tolerant Internet configuration solution that can deliver 24x7 Internet access through a broad array of fault tolerant Internet network solutions including fault tolerant BGP, transparent fail-over, and redundant Internet Service Providers. Progent can provide CCIE consultants to help you utilize the most advanced techniques for high availability Internet access to build an economical, fully redundant Internet network with automatic failover and other features to deliver zero-downtime Internet connections. For details, visit High Availability Internet Connectivity Solutions.
Backup and Recovery Solutions Consultants
Progent offers economical online support from IT engineers with expertise in a broad range of utilities and services that deliver solutions for protecting Windows, Mac, and Linux physical and virtual servers and workstations plus laptops and handhelds. Progent can provide consulting support for all major data protection products including Acronis Backup and Recovery, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist Software, CrashPlan, Double-Take, Mozy, Retrospect for Macintosh, Time Machine, VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP), and FLARs. Progent can help you to install, enhance, or maintain backup/restore systems for a variety of topologies such as on-premises, remote, cloud-based, or hybrid. To learn more, go to Backup and Recovery Technology Consulting and Support Services.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Data Recovery Consulting Services
Progent's certified Microsoft SCDPM support professionals can help your company to develop an effective business continuity plan, design an affordable fault-tolerante network infrastructure, deploy a SCDPM-powered backup and restore system, comprehensively test your DPM system, train your IT personnel or local consultants how to maintain System Center Data Protection Manager, or provide complete IT outsourcing such as remote hosting of SCDPM machines in Progent's secure data center. To find out more, go to System Center Data Protection Manager Expertise.
Barracuda Backup Cloud and Offsite Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is an affordable, subscription backup and disaster recovery platform for small and mid-size businesses. A Barracuda Backup solution can include a purpose-built physical storage device built by Barracuda or a virtual appliance with comparable features but which uses your existing storage hardware. Barracuda Backup protects vital business data generated locally, at one or more remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster protection, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon AWS, or to any location with a physical or virtual Barracuda Backup appliance. Progent is a certified Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consultants can provide a broad range of consulting services to help your business to design, configure, operate and troubleshoot a BDR system based on Barracuda technology. For details, see Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consulting and management.
Altaro VM Backup Software for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software provides small and mid-size businesses a dependable and affordable solution for backing up and restoring Hyper-V and VMware-powered VMs. Altaro VM Backup can be used for on-premises, offsite, multi-site, and cloud environments and also supports cost-effective backup to Azure storage. Headline capabilities include state-of-the-art inline deduplication to cut backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection with backup intervals as low as five minutes for reducing your Recovery Point Objective (RPO), advanced encryption, item-level restore options for individual files and emails, support for Windows CSV and vCenter for managing larger deployments, and the ability to leverage Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to back up live virtual machines with zero downtime. Progent is an Altaro partner and can provide a wide range of consulting services to assist you to design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a backup/restore solution based on Altaro VM Backup software. For more information, see Altaro VM Backup Consulting.
Consulting Services Double-Take Software for Data Backup and Recovery
Double-Take Software offers a family of products intended to provide small businesses a range of cost-effective alternatives for replicating and recovering vital applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL, RIM Blackberry, and Microsoft SharePoint. Progentís business continuity planning experts have in-depth backgrounds incorporating Double-Take technology into small company IT networks to achieve a high level of fault tolerance and disaster recovery readiness at an affordable price. To learn more, go to Consulting for Double-Take Software for Backup.
CRISC-Premier Network Risk Mitigation
The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification program was initiated by ISACA in 2010 to verify a consultant's ability to design, implement, and support IS control mechanisms to reduce network risk. Progent offers the services of a CRISC-certified engineer to assist you to develop and execute a business continuity plan based on leading practices promoted by CRISC and crafted to align with your organization's risk appetite, business goals, and IT budget. For details, go to CRISC-Certified IT risk control specialists.Why Pick Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?
Because Progent is a Microsoft Partner and offers specialized application support for a broad variety of small business applications, Progent can assist clients to arrive at efficient IT solutions that substantially enhance the business value of your information system. As a Registered Partner for Cisco, Progent offers the support of certified engineers and specialists with expertise in architecting, installing and managing infrastructure solutions built on Cisco technology. The broad scope of Progent's IT experience and Progent's familiarity with the needs of small companies make Progent the ideal partner for building and maintaining a cost-effective, fault-tolerant network.
How You Can Contact Progent's Engineers for Fault Tolerant Computing Support
In order to ask Progent about engineering support for fault tolerant IT design, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.