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Windows 2012 Hyper-V : GUEST FIBER CHANNEL architecture

September 24, 2012 10 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.

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