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How do you set up Hyper-V shared nothing live migration?

Microsoft Hyper-V shared nothing live migration helps organizations migrate VMs to improve the availability of workloads in environments without expensive storage area networks.

During the initial release of Hyper-V, you had to install the Windows Failover Clustering feature on all Hyper-V...

nodes to increase availability for VMs. Microsoft introduced the shared nothing live migration feature to Windows Server 2012 and later OSes. This feature can improve workload availability without Windows Failover Clustering and was designed for small organizations that can't afford expensive cluster hardware and shared storage devices, such as a storage area network. Hyper-V shared nothing live migration saves money, but works differently than Failover Clustering. In fact, it's sometimes referred to as live migration without Failover Clustering.

Shared nothing live migration can be used to achieve high availability by moving VM workloads from a failed Hyper-V node to a working node in the cluster.

Shared nothing live migration can be used to achieve high availability by moving VM workloads from a failed Hyper-V node to a working node in the cluster. It doesn't require you to implement Windows Failover Clustering, but it can only be initiated manually using the Hyper-V Manager or PowerShell commands. In a shared nothing live migration scenario there's no downtime when moving VM workloads from one Hyper-V host to another. Hyper-V shared nothing live migration uses Server Message Block 3.0 technology first introduced in Windows Server 2012.

There are a few requirements your environment must meet before you can use shared nothing live migration. First, all stand-alone Hyper-V hosts must have Live Migration enabled and must run on Windows Server 2012 or later OSes. You must also create the same virtual switch on all participating Hyper-V hosts. Finally, enable Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Network services on all participating Hyper-V hosts.

If you have met all of these requirements, right-click the VM you intend to migrate and select the Move option, which opens the Move wizard. To initiate moving a VM using PowerShell, use the Move-VM PowerShell cmdlet as shown below:

Move-VM "VM1" <Hyper-V Host Name> -IncludeStorage –DestinationStoragePath E:\MovedVM

On a final note, although Hyper-V shared nothing live migration eliminates the need for buying expensive cluster hardware and shared storage in some situations, it isn't necessarily a replacement for a high availability cluster. Failover Clustering provides the automatic failover capabilities that a shared nothing live migration implementation can't provide. Shared nothing live migration must be considered as a mobility feature.

Next Steps

Tips for choosing the right migration technology

Putting live migrations in the fast lane

Best methods for optimizing a live migration

This was last published in February 2017

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