Hyper-V Replica and Riverbed
Microsoft recently published results of a study using Steelead appliances with a feature of Windows Server 2012 called Hyper-V Replica (HVR). HVR allows you to easily replicate virtual machines to another Hyper-V server. This is not the same as live migration, but is intended as a way to create a readily avaiable replica of your virtual machines that can quickly be brought online if needed.
When enabled, the replica server starts to background transfer virtual hard drives to the target server and refresh the replicas as changes are made to the source drives. Virtual hard drives can be large, and network connections can be slow or overburdened. Sounds like a great fit for Steelhead WAN optimization and indeed, Microsoft found the Steelhead appliances reduced network traffic and subsequent time to replicate from 70 to 98% in continuous use.
The testing environment involved setting up about a dozen virtual machines to simulate a complete business. Automated tools were used to generate activity. Microsoft then enabled and tested different scenarios with Hyper-V replica while monitoring the network traffic through two Steelhead 2050L's using RiOS 8.0.
We found that the Steelhead appliances exceeded expectations in reducing network traffic in a variety of scenarios including initial and delta replications. The Steelhead appliances were easy to configure and Hyper-V Replica did not require any special configuration or deployment steps (for using the WAN optimizer). Over and above the built-in compression technology provided by Hyper-V Replica, the Riverbed devices were able to further optimize replication traffic. The time taken to complete and maintain replication and network traffic was reduced by up to 98% with 70% being typical for sustained and varied workloads.
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