Home > Microsoft, Virtualization > Windows 2012 Hyper-V : GUEST FIBER CHANNEL architecture

Windows 2012 Hyper-V : GUEST FIBER CHANNEL architecture

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Virtual Fibre Channel for Hyper-V is a new technology available in Microsoft Windows Server 2012, allows direct access to Fibre Channel (FC) shared storage by multiple guest virtual machine (VM) partitions.

  • Here are the characteristics of the Hyper GUEST FIBER CHANNEL
  • Up to four virtual HBAs assigned to each VM
  • WWNs assigned to each VM
  • Doesn’t require re-zoning
  • Storage with NPIV support required and utilized to surface VM ports on the host
  • Works with Live Migration

Some advantages :

  • Distributed Workload Clustering: The new Virtual Fibre Channel feature allows VM clustering across a Fibre Channel SAN, allowing clustered Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and other key applications to leverage a highly available, highly resilient, and highly scalable FC SAN infrastructure.

  • MPIO Functionality:
  • For host access;
  • Virtualization of workloads that requires MPIO;
  • To use different Device-Specific Modules (DSMs) for the host or each virtual machine, which allows live migration of the virtual machine configuration, including the configuration of DSM and connectivity between hosts, and compatibility with existing server configurations and DSMs.
  • Live Migration: Virtual Fibre Channel enables live migration of VMs without any reconfiguration of the SAN.
  • Simplifies storage connectivity for virtualized workloads to ultra-reliable, high-performance Fibre Channel SAN storage
  • Enables solutions that require shared storage, such as failover clustering, live migration, and multipath I/O (GUEST CLUSTERING)
  • Leverages and protects existing investments in Fibre Channel storage
  • Enables advanced FC SAN storage functionality for VMs and facilitates migration of FC workloads
  • Enables improved monitoring and troubleshooting, with visibility from the VM to the FC SAN storage
  • Enables centralized management of Ethernet and FC-based virtualized workloads

In resume, if you have an FC Storage with NPIV support, Virtual Fibre Channel for Hyper-V (also referred to as Synthetic Fibre Channel) provides VM guest operating systems with direct access to a Fibre Channel SAN by using a standard World Wide Name (WWN) associated with a virtual machine, plus allowing Live Migration and  direct access to SAN LUNs.

  1. May 23, 2013 at 06:03


    Can you helpme to configure ?

    have 2 IBM x3650 M4 with Qlogic PCIe 2 ports QLE2562 on both servers and attached to a IBM DS3512, but still get receiving a meesage from livemigration or without it, just start VM with a vSAN Switch attached to it, and not start. always error..

    I need a SAN or FC Switch to have this configuration working ?? or with 2 independent FC PCIe on each server i able to configure a FC guest clustering on VMs ??


    • May 23, 2013 at 08:19

      Hi Gustavo

      Let’s see if I understood:

      Hardware : 2 x Hyper-V servers with HBA connected to a FC SAN
      1. Do you have a dedicated nic for Live migration? Have you assigned the Live migration nic on the Failover cluster MMC?
      2. What error message?
      3. You don’t need a SAN to perform Live Migration (W2012)
      4. Personally I do not recommend guest clustering. But, for Guest Clustering with FC connectivity, you need to configure the Virtual SAN Manager


      • October 4, 2013 at 05:31

        Thanks for your reply,

        Guest clustering with vFC and vSAN require a FC switch and NPIV enable SAN,
        I was able to make it work, i had to configure the required zoning into FC switch for pass-through vFC to SAN and put 2 virtual WWPN A and B for each VM into each switch´s zoning together with the four WWPN paths of SAN storage.

        My hardware,

        PureFlex 9 System X nodes

        A) 9 Nodes System x240 64 Gb RAM each one.
        B) 1 Storwize v7000 SAN (2 controllers 2 port each one. 4 paths) 15TB 10k, and 4 SSD Tier
        C) 2 FC Switches NPIV capable Qlogic
        D) Windows Server 2012 Datacenter in all nodes booting from FC SAN LUNs.

        E) I was able too configure Arcserve 16.5 inside a VM and make visible the IBM TS3100 24 Slots library and a LTO 5 drive.

      • December 8, 2013 at 06:36

        cool. Now VMM 2012 R2 does support vFC as well

  2. Lily
    November 13, 2013 at 09:35

    we use Windows 2008 R2 for Hyper-V
    1, can SQL 2008 R2/2012 be clustered using fiber SAN? Or have to useNAS with ISCI enabled?
    2, Can fiber SAN disk space be presented as native to VM SQL cluster?

    • December 8, 2013 at 06:31

      Yes, it can. Hyper-v can present FC to virtual machines.
      I would recommend though that you look at the new feature shared vhdx to run an SQL cluster

    • December 8, 2013 at 06:32

      You can use HyperV FC

  3. Richie Gordillo
    May 22, 2014 at 04:54

    Help me, because the company I work for is doing an implementation of System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 which was installed on a Hyper-V 3.0 virtual machine. The problem you have is that you will want to make an IBM 3200 library through an HBA, but when the VM is not recognizing the HBA on how we can present the library to scdpm. Maybe through the community that you’re leading ITPros someone can provide me some guidance.

    Thanking you for help you can give me.

    • May 22, 2014 at 10:01

      Hi Richie
      1. Can Windows/Hyper-V recognize the HBA?
      2. What HBA model are you utilising?

  1. May 8, 2018 at 21:19

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