Hyper-V is one of the leading technologies enabling businesses to enjoy virtualized working environments. However, it’s still subject to similar data loss threats physical machines face. For instance, hackers can crack and infiltrate them. Also, virtual machines can crash for many other reasons.
Therefore, it’s necessary to utilize their system’s built-in capabilities to gain an advantage over data disasters. Fortunately, Microsoft has availed replication tools you can optimize to boost your back up plans (click here to learn more about our Hyper-V backup solutions). Hyper-V replication and Storage Replica are some of these leading tools. This post examines them deeply to enable you to make an informed decision about which one to use. Read to learn more.
Defining each of these Windows capabilities is necessary for understanding all their other features.
Hyper-V replication is a free tool in the Hyper-V 3.0. It’s useful for recovering your data following a disaster. It enables you to recover your data by creating and maintaining copies of your virtual machines. The replication process features primary and secondary host machines. After creating the copies, its replica capability then transfers your snapshots to a secondary host. Thus, system admins need dedicated servers with the duplicates of the virtual machines.
On the other hand, Storage Replica is a Windows technology that lets you replicate volumes between servers and clusters to facilitate easy recovery after a disaster. Therefore, you can create stretch failover clusters spanning two sites while syncing every node.
When You Need Each Option
We shall also examine when you need each of these solutions most based on their benefits.
- Hyper-V replication helps you secure your data if anything goes wrong with your primary server.
- It saves you the need for owning identical hardware the way you could have done with Windows Failover Clustering.
- It saves you the need for Active Directory membership.
- Its ability to work with APIs lets app vendors customize their options and develop robust disaster recovery plans and solutions.
- It allows you alternatives that let you restore VMs at replica sites.
- This tool boosts your disaster recovery and readiness ability in the Windows environment.
- It lets you optimize several data centers.
- It’s suitable for decommissioning current file systems.
- It also assists you in asynchronous duplications for long-term use.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s also examine the pros and cons of both options. First, Storage Replica has a few notable advantages over Hyper-V replication. For instance, it is more flexible than its predecessor in terms of the replication topologies it supports. Unlike Hyper-V replication, Storage Replica can support a stretch cluster configuration. Moreover, you can use Storage Replica synchronously or asynchronously, enabling you to undertake block-level replications in almost real-time. Lastly, Storage Replica can work at the storage volume level, assisting admins in replicating whole storage volumes instead of activating replication for different virtual machines.
Hyper-V has inherent shortcomings. First, it doesn’t perform automatic failover. Thus, a source copy’s failure could force an admin to activate virtual machines manually, potentially leading to data loss. Second, you can’t use it to replicate your data in real-time. Therefore, you could lose the data you add to the virtualized ecosystem between replications. Third, it isn’t easy to scale up with this system, so admins are forced to activate replication per virtual machine and hard disk.
So, how do the two solutions compare to each other? Below are their key similarities.
- Both of them are Windows products aimed at securing your data against possible losses following a data crash.
- The two tools support replication between clusters and servers.
- Both work asynchronously.
Windows storage replica has disadvantages and beautiful advantages over its predecessor, the Hyper-V replication. However, your decision to move from one to another should depend on how much extra replication your business needs. So, if Hyper-V replication still serves you better, you don’t need that shift. But if you feel you need something more and better, you can switch to Storage Replica.