Data is perhaps the most important asset of your business. While protecting your data today, you must account for conceivable data loss scenarios. The scale of a disaster may include a small amount of data loss compared to losing all the data in an entire site.
In the latter backups that also exist in that same site are not going to be of any real value. You need a way to get the production data that exists in a particular site, copied to a secondary, or disaster recovery (DR) location.
Virtual machine replication is the mechanism that allows site-level resilience and helps to ensure business continuity involving a total site failure.
What is Virtual Machine (VM) Replication?
Virtual machine replication is the process where you have a mechanism to take an exact copy of a virtual machine running in a particular site and copy the “VM replica” over to another “warm standby” virtual environment. This warm standby environment is generally a similarly configured hardware specification to the environment running the production workloads.
The general idea is that if the production site is taken offline by any number of disaster recovery scenarios, the secondary or DR site will be able to assume ownership of running the production workloads made possible by the replicated VM data.
Microsoft has designed Hyper-V replication to be a component of the Hyper-V role.
The Hyper-V replica allows replicating Hyper-V virtual machines from one Hyper-V environment to another to protect your data at a site-level and help to ensure business continuity in case a disaster strikes and takes an entire site offline. This is accomplished by Hyper-V replication creating an exact virtual machine copy of the Hyper-V VM running in a different site.
Automated Failover Features
One of the features of the Hyper-V replication built into the solution is the automated failover to replica virtual machines. With Hyper-V virtual machine replication, you can manually initiate failover tests, planned and unplanned failovers.
The test feature is great in that it actually allows testing of failover operation which is absolutely critical to test before an actual disaster strikes.