Alternative Ways to Sync/Replicate

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    The setup is as follows

    Main Office:

    Phost1 (Phyical Host 3 VM’s (PDC & 2 Member Servers)

    Remote Site:

    Phost2: (Phyical Host 3 VM’s imported from Phost1

    2 x Draytek 2860’s with VPN setup between sites


    We want to replicate the data on the 3 VM’s from Main to Remote site several times a day, we do not want to use Hyper-V Replication, The Directors want to have some software that will copy incremental changes down the VPN to the remote site (Dedicated line for this), so if they want to the can view the files added on the VM’s and in the event of a disaster they can see they have their files etc

    Any help or recommendation would be appreciated, thanks in advance



    The VMs at the replica site, regardless how they get there, can’t be running if the originals are on-line, assuming the address spaces and domain criteria are the same at both ends. So your managers won’t have access to simply browse to the remote site using Windows Explorer as they may be doing locally at Main Office. Each VM has at least 1 virtual hard disk file (VHD or VHDX), and those files can be mounted like ISO files, or attached to a running VM as a new drive. But I’m pretty sure you’ll have to remotely log into some device at the remote site which itself has direct access to those VHDX files.

    Because the hypervisors will have total control of the VHDX files while the respective VMs are running, the Replication function is almost certainly your best bet for ensuring the replica VHDX files are faithful copies. You can set a schedule for specific times, or just have it running all the time. And it’s free, included as a basic component of Hyper-V since 2012. I doubt anything simple like XCopy or RoboCopy commands will work, because of the file lock (but I could be very wrong–never tried it.) To get what you want, you’ll have to find something that works with the VSS service on the hypervisor.

    Not an endorsement, but you might want to look into Peer Software. I admit to having exposure with some of their tools, don’t know how they’d perform with Hyper-V VMs. Backup Exec is another choice, but I suspect is loads more complicated (and expensive?!) than you want to deal with. Also available is Veeam, but I have no experience with it. Have you searched for any freeware for this? A brief search came up with a couple of blogs where folks were stuck with paying out because the free stuff doesn’t appear to have Real-time or Near-Real-time capability.

    If you’re struggling with use of bandwidth of your VM replication, have you read up on MS’s Best Practices for it? For any VM, add a new IDE hard drive and move the system swap file to that new volume, but don’t choose that volume for replication. That kind of dynamic data doesn’t need to be replicated. Same thing goes for MS SQL. Move the TempDB files to a drive separate from it’s default C: location (can be SCSI), and don’t replicate that volume, either. All you want is the static volume (boot, or storage area) volumes.


    Check the rating of VPN providers here and choose the one you need.

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