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.
Other Non-stop Solutions Supported by Progent
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified consultants can help your company to build an affordable, high-availability system that addresses key issues encompassing a wide range of infrastructure technologies and operations including:
Disaster Recovery Planning
Progent's disaster recovery professionals can show you how to design a workplace recovery strategy that will allow you to restore network operations in the event of an IT network disaster. Progent can assist you to create a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that includes periodic disaster recovery evaluations and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-authorized engineers can also show you how to build an affordable, high-availability network solution that takes into account availability issues covering a broad range of infrastructure technologies and procedures. To learn more, go to Disaster Recovery Consulting and Support Services.
Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services from Progent offer small and mid-sized organizations a low cost end-to-end solution for secure backup/disaster recovery. Available at a fixed monthly rate, ProSight Data Protection Services automates and monitors your backup activities and allows rapid restoration of critical data, applications and virtual machines that have become lost or corrupted due to component breakdowns, software glitches, disasters, human mistakes, or malware attacks such as ransomware. ProSight DPS can help you back up, retrieve and restore files, folders, applications, system images, as well as Hyper-V and VMware images/. Critical data can be protected on the cloud, to a local storage device, or to both. Progent's cloud backup consultants can provide world-class support to set up ProSight DPS to be compliant with regulatory requirements like HIPAA, FIRPA, and PCI and, when necessary, can help you to restore your business-critical information. Learn more about ProSight Data Protection Services Managed Cloud Backup.
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 High Availability Failover Clustering
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 offers important improvements in scale, throughput, management, security and compliance, app compatibility, Linux co-existence, Kubernetes networking, and hybrid combinations of on-premises and cloud resources. Headline new features of Windows Server 2019 are Windows Admin Center for unifying the management of hybrid local/cloud resources, System Insights for utilizing modern predictive analytics to control local environments, Windows Defender ATP Exploit Guard for host-intrusion prevention, container orchestration with Kubernetes, Cluster Sets technology for deploying and managing large high-availability scale-out clusters, and Microsoft's Storage Migration Service for simplifying the upgrade process from legacy versions of Windows Server. For more information, go to Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Fault-tolerant Failover Clustering Support.
Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery consultants can assist you to design a DR solution based on Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering technologies 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 high-performance storage clusters using low-cost equipment, Virtual Machine Load Balancing for improving the performance and resilience of Failover Clusters while minimizing TCO and operational expenses, and Cloud Witness for easy, economical deployment of a stretch cluster quorum witness. For more information, see Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Help.
VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is an extension to VMware vCenter that allows you to define, automate and verify a consistent workflow for recovering applications and services rapidly following an outage. Site Recovery Manager provides centrally managed and automated disaster recovery, application mobility, plus transparent site migration, failback and site re-protect. SRM also supports non-disruptive testing for site recovery, upgrades and patches and can produce audit reports to confirm complete service recovery, validate Service Level Agreements and demonstrate compliance. Progent offers the support of a VCDX certified VMware SRM consulting expert to assist your organization to plan, deploy, test and manage a disaster recovery system powered by VMware SRM.
NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Technology
NetApp MetroCluster is a disaster recovery software suite that uses array-based storage clustering with synchronous replication to provide rapid, zero data loss disaster recovery (DR) between datacenters located as far as 185 miles (300km) apart from each other. Progent can provide the skills of a certified NetApp MetroCluster expert who can assist your business to design, deploy, administer, upgrade, test and repair a disaster recovery system built around NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can help you to choose a topology for your MetroCluster environment that aligns with your technical requirements and budget. Progent can make sure you adhere to best practices for installing your MetroCluster environment by delivering help with tasks like assigning disk pools, arranging aggregate and plexes layout, provisioning volumes, setting up NetApp Snapshot, provisioning Cisco and Brocade switches, implementing a tiebreaker mechanism, setting up a configuration replication network between your storage clusters, and verifying your MetroCluster DR solution to verify adherence with industry standards and government mandates.
High Availability Load Balancing
Progent provides fault tolerant load balancing consulting covering system load balancing, load balanced applications, LAN/WAN backbone routing, and content delivery technology such as F5 Networks 3DNS. High availability load balancing products for which Progent offers consulting expertise include Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Presentation Server, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Distributed Director and Cisco CDN Software, and F5 Networks 3-DNS. To learn more, visit High Availability Load Balancing.
Progent's Data Center consultants can help you find high availability data centers that meet the specific needs of your company. Fault tolerant off-site data centers are particularly attractive to small and mid-size companies because of their affordability and convenience in comparison to pursuing a do-it-yourself approach. Trying to create an on-site data center with even a basic level of fault tolerance is too costly for typical small organizations. Progent can help you get all the advantages of high-availability Internet data centers by offering a full range of consulting and support services. To learn more, visit Non-stop Internet Data Centers Consulting.
Fault Tolerant Interoffice Connectivity
Progentís multi-site connection professionals can help organizations create zero-downtime inter-site connections via redundant system architectures featuring automatic failover. Progentís Cisco-premier CCIE engineers can plan and implement ultra-reliable Inter-office connections based on fault tolerant EIGRP routers or zero-downtime OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can show you how redundant connectivity and automatic fail-over offers economical 24x7 interoffice connectivity. To read more, go to 24x7 Interoffice Networking.
Non-stop Internet Access
Progent's Cisco-authorized IT consultants can show you how to design an economical, high availability Internet configuration architecture that can achieve non-stop Internet connectivity through a broad range of fault tolerant Internet access solutions including non-stop BGP, automatic fail-over, and multiple Internet Service Providers. Progent offers CCIE consultants to help you utilize the most advanced techniques for high availability Internet connections to build a cost-effective, fully redundant Internet interface with automatic failover and other features to create non-stop Internet access. For details, see 24x7 Internet Connectivity Architecture.
Backup and Restore Solutions Consultants
Progent can provide affordable remote support from consultants with expertise in a broad array of products and services that deliver solutions for backing up Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux/UNIX physical and virtual servers and desktops as well as laptops and smartphones. Progent can provide help for all major backup products including Acronis Backup and Recovery, Backup Exec, BackupAssist, CrashPlan, Double-Take Backup, MozyPro, Retrospect, Time Machine, VMware Data Recovery, and Oracle Solaris FLARs. Progent can assist your company to install, upgrade, or maintain backup solutions for a variety of architectures such as on-premises, remote, cloud-based, or hybrid. For details, go to Backup and Recovery Solutions Consulting.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Backup and Restore Consulting
Progent's certified System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to create a practical workplace recovery plan, implement a cost-effective fault-tolerante IT architecture, configure a Microsoft SCDPM-based backup and recovery system, thoroughly validate your system, educate your administrative staff or regular consultants how to manage System Center Data Protection Manager, or provide extensive information technology outsourcing including off-site housing of Microsoft SCDPM machines in Progent's data center. For details, see Microsoft SCDPM Expertise.
Barracuda Backup Cloud and Offsite Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is an affordable, subscription backup/restore platform for small and medium-size businesses. A Barracuda Backup deployment can incorporate a custom-designed physical appliance built by Barracuda or a virtual appliance with similar functionality but which utilizes your own storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup protects critical business 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 consulting experts offer a wide range of consulting support services to help your business to design, integrate, operate and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery solution based on Barracuda technology. For more information, visit Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consultants.
Altaro VM Backup Solutions for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup software offers small businesses a reliable and budget-friendly solution for backing up and restoring Hyper-V and VMware-powered virtual machines (VMs). Altaro VM Backup can be used for on-premises, remote, multi-site, and cloud architectures and also enables low-cost cloud backup to Microsoft Azure storage. Top features include industry-leading inline deduplication to reduce backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) with backup intervals as short as five minutes for minimizing your exposure to data loss, military-grade encryption, granular restore capability for specific files and emails, support for Windows Server Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and for vCenter for managing larger environments, and support for 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 plan, install, manage and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery solution powered by Altaro VM Backup software. To read more, visit Altaro VM Backup Certified Consultants.
Consulting Services Double-Take Software for Data Backup and Recovery
Double-Take Software publishes a family of tools designed to provide small and midsize businesses a range of affordable solutions for backing up and recovering business-critical workloads such as Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL, Blackberry, and SharePoint. Progentís business continuity planning consultants have extensive experience incorporating Double-Take Software products into small company IT systems to create an advanced state of availability and disaster recovery readiness at an affordable price. For more information, go to Consulting Services Double-Take Solutions for Backup.
CRISC-Premier Network Risk Mitigation
The CRISC certification program was established by ISACA in 2010 to verify an IT professional's ability to design, implement, and support information system control mechanisms to mitigate risk. Progent can provide the expertise of a CRISC-certified consultant to help you to develop and execute a workplace continuity or disaster recovery plan that follows leading practices promoted by CRISC and geared to align with your organization's risk tolerance, business goals, and IT budget. To find out more, see CRISC-Certified network risk mitigation experts.Why Pick Progent for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning?
Since Progent is a Microsoft Partner and provides specialized application consulting for a broad range of small business applications, Progent can help customers to arrive at comprehensive IT solutions that substantially enhance the productivity of your information system. As a Registered Partner with Cisco, Progent can provide the expertise of premier consultants and specialists with expertise in architecting, implementing and maintaining networking solutions built on Cisco products. The extent of Progent's IT experience and Progent's sensitivity to the requirements of small and midsize businesses make Progent a great resource for building and running an affordable, high-availability network.
How You Can Contact Progent's Experts for High Availability System Support
In order to get in touch with Progent about engineering support for fault tolerant LAN design, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.