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Lab Validation: EMC Symmetrix VMAX and Microsoft Server Virtualization Scalability


Flexibility and High Availability

The EMC and Microsoft solution tested by ESG Lab offers a number of Enterprise-class flexibility and high availability characteristics. The solution was architected to be highly available using a number of technologies including Microsoft Live Migration and Failover Clustering. EMC PowerPath multi-path software and redundant SAN connections were used to create a highly available connection to shared VMAX storage residing on Microsoft CSV. High availability was provided at the storage system level in the VMAX disk array with a fully redundant architecture and a rich assortment of RAID protection options. As shown in Figure 10, ESG Lab tested these flexibility and high availability capabilities with a goal of ensuring that the virtual server infrastructure remained up and available during a Live Migration, a server failure, and a hard drive failure.

Figure 10. Flexibility and Availability

ESG Lab high availability testing was performed as an IO-intensive Iometer workload and a long running directory- level copy operation ran without error on 64 virtual machines. SCVMM was used for a Live Migration of one of the running virtual machines from one physical server to another. Removing a power cable on an active physical server triggered failover clustering of all of the running VMs to another physical server in the cluster. One of the active hard drives was removed from the VMAX to trigger an automated recovery of a 2-way mirrored volume.

Why This Matters

As more and more infrastructure is consolidated on a common platform, the impacts of failures become greater. ESG Lab has confirmed that EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage, combined with powerful Microsoft technologies (Hyper-V R2, Failover Clustering, CSV, and Live Migration), can be used to create a flexible and highly available virtual infrastructure.

© 2010, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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