Configure Highly Available Virtual Machines


A highly available virtual machine allows you to make applications and services highly available by installing them on a virtual machine (VM) configured for high availability.

To configure a highly available (clustered) VM, Create a failover cluster on two or more host computers running the Hyper-V role. It’s best to use CSVs to store high available VMs, becuase multiple VMs hosted by different Hyper-V servers can be put on the same CSV. If you use traditional shared storage, each node in the cluster requires a separate volume for its hosted VMs.

  • Perform the following tasks before creating a highly available VM:

–Verify that you have two host computers that meet the requirements for the Hyper-V role and Failover Clustering feature

–Be sure all host computers are members of the same domain

–Install the Hyper-V role and Failover Clustering feature on all servers participating in the cluster

–Configure the shared storage the failover cluster will use

–In Hyper-V Manager, configure the virtual networks the VMs will use

–Validate the failover cluster configuration by running the Validate a Configuration Wizard in the Failover Cluster Manager

–Create the failover cluster

–Add storage to a cluster shared volume if you’re using CSVs (recommended)

Creating a Highly Available VM

Use the Failover Cluster Manager, which configures a VM for high availability automatically. To start the New Virtual Machine Wizard: Click the Roles node and in Actions pane, click Virtual Machines and then New Virtual Machine.

In the first window, choose the target cluster node to host the VM. From that point, the wizard runs normally as though you had started it in Hyper-V Manager.

Select the location to store VM.

Other Options:

  • Specify the generation: 1 or 2, 2 offer some advanced features.
  • Assign memory.
  • Configure Network
  • Configure Virtual Hard disk
  • Install OS.
If VM already exists:

–Move it to shared storage using the Move option in Hyper-V Manager

–Configure the VM for high availability in the Failover Cluster Manager

–Click Configure Role in the Actions pane to start the High Availability Wizard

–In the Select Role window, click Virtual Machine

–Select one or more of the VMs and continue with the wizard

Decent shutdown

Best way to shut down a node in a Hyper-V cluster is to put it in maintenance mode

–By pausing it and selecting Drain Roles

To pause a node, right-click it in the Failover Cluster Manager, point to Pause, and click Drain Roles

Drain on shutdown – a new feature which drains roles automatically and live-migrates the VMs to another cluster node before the Hyper-V server shuts down.

Virtual machine monitoring


Enables you to monitor resources, applications, and services running on highly available VMs.

VM monitoring prerequisites:

–The guest OS and Hyper-V host must be running at least Windows Server 2012

–The guest OS must be a member of the same domain as the Hyper-V host

–The user running the Failover Cluster Manager must be a member of the local Administrators group in the VM’s guest OS

Creating a Windows Server 2012 R2 Cluster Shared Volume