Simplifying Hyper-V and Failover Clustering with VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V

How to use Hyper-V and Failover Clustering with VT Technology Management Utilities


A goal of this article is to introduce new functionality implemented in VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V (vtUtilities) version 3.2 that greatly simplifies management of Microsoft Hyper-V on environments configured for high availability with Microsoft Failover Clustering. This version of vtUtilities does not support ‘bare metal’ storage and cluster provisioning yet, so you will need to follow steps outlined here: to configure your storage and create cluster. The rest of this article will show how vtUtilities can be used to create and manage highly available Hyper-V resources such as virtual machines and Hyper-V Replica Broker.

Cluster Discovery and Cluster View

You can connect to the existing clusters by using vtUtilities 'Select View' dialogue as shown below

Discover Hyper-V clusters in Active Directory.

to automatically discover all clusters in Active Directory or manually enter target cluster name. Alternatively you can connect to the clustered Hyper-V host and simply click on the cluster information bar displayed in vtUtilities Guest List View for the clustered host.

Cluster inforbar can be used to connect to the Cluster View.

In either case vtUtilities will open Cluster View for the specified cluster and you can use Back and Forward buttons on the commandbar to switch views in navigation history.

vtUtilities Cluster View Summary.

You can overview cluster summary information and get easy access to the selected Windows failover cluster events from a root of navigation tree displayed in the cluster view, view and manage status of cluster nodes by selecting ‘Nodes’ in the navigation panel as well as view and fully manage cluster roles representing highly available virtual machines and Hyper-V replica broker (available only on Windows Server 2012 or higher).

vtUtilities Cluster View Nodes.

Cluster View Virtual Machines

Virtual Machines result view shown in the right panel displays a list of all virtual machines configured for high availability with a possibility to stop/start a corresponding cluster role (please note that it’s different from starting or stopping Hyper-V guest corresponding to the cluster role), move virtual machine or its storage to a different cluster node, configure (add) another virtual machine from any cluster node as highly available or remove cluster role for highly available virtual machine.

vtUtilities Cluster View Virtual Machines.

Move’ action will bring ‘Move’ wizard allowing specifying move type, destination along with applicable move options. Applicable move types depend on Hyper-V version: live migration and virtual machine storage move available only for Windows Server 2012 or higher. Moreover, live migration is applicable only to running virtual machines (please note that virtual machine configuration such as virtual network adapter connection should be consistent with live migration requirements).

Moving clustered virtual machine.

Double clicking on virtual machine in Clustered Virtual Machines list or using Manage action link on the right will result to navigation to Guest List View with a corresponding virtual machine selected. Note that you can use ‘Back’ and ‘Forward’ commandbar buttons to easily switch between vtUtilities views.

Cluster Hyper-V Replica Broker

Hyper-V Replica Broker result view (available only for Windows Server 2012 or higher) allows configuring and managing Hyper-V Replica Broker cluster role. You can just click Configure action link in case if a corresponding cluster role is not configured on managed cluster to bring Clustered Hyper-V Replica Broker configuration wizard show below:

Configure Hyper-V Replica Broker Wizard.

Use Stop, Start, Move action links to pause/resume or move a corresponding cluster role. Remove action link will remove cluster role corresponding to the Hyper-V Replica Broker, while Settings action link will open ‘Configure Hyper-V Replication Settings’ dialogue allowing to configure Hyper-V replication settings on managed cluster. Make sure to use cluster shared volumes or SMB 3 shares as target locations in replication settings. Refer to TechNet resources for more information about certificate requirements in order to configure HTTPS settings on clustered environment. Please note that Hyper-V Replica Broker Settings functionality should be used on clustered environment for replication settings configuration instead of Replication tab on Hyper-V Setting dialogue.

Hyper-V Replication Configuration dialogue.

Updated vtUtilities Functionality for Clustered Hyper-V Host

There are couple other changes in vtUtilities Guest Definition and Guest List Views in addition to mentioned cluster infobar. For example, highly available or clustered virtual machines will be represented by a different icon in the Guest List view and will also have corresponding check box on Guest Definition View Management tab. This checkbox can be used to add or remove virtual machine to/from a corresponding cluster role. It’s also possible to move the virtual machine configured for high availability from a Guest List View either by using context menu or Action|Move menu and corresponding commandbar button.

Configure clustered virtual machine in Guest Definition View.