Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Live cloning in SCVMM 2012 R2

Live cloning in SCVMM 2012 R2

One of the new nice features in Windows Server 2012 R2 – Hyper-V, is that the hypervisor supports live cloning (live export/import) of virtual machines running on this platform.
The VM can either be online, stopped or in saved state.

Please note: although this is supported, you should be careful with this feature, as it is seldom smart to power on two machines with the exact same identity on the same network.

When is this useful?

Imagine you have a virtual machine accessed by a bunch of users. One of these users are complaining about something that you would like to troubleshoot. However, taking this VM offline or denying access to the other users would most likely result in unhappy users or/and customers.

By having the ability to live clone this VM, you can do this without affecting the running virtual machine, and get an identical copy containing the issue, resolve it, and apply these changes to the live VM.

To summarize: this little – but important feature very important in a service provider cloud, as well as for the ISV’s and the enterprises where there is development and testing.
It will save organizations a huge amount of time and lead to more rapid testing and troubleshooting.

1)      Find a VM in the VMM console that is running on a Hyper-V 2012 R2 host.
2)      Right click on the VM, Create, Clone.
3)      Run through the wizard and give the VM name (this is not the %computername% a name that differs from the Live VM and complete the wizard.

Once this is done, you can monitor the processs in VMM and see that the VM is actually live exported, and imported to the destination host.

Happy testing!


Wrivera said...

what is the difference between live migration in hyperv and live cloning in system center 2012. sorry i am new to this and want to learn fast :)

Kristian Nese said...

When you live migrate a virtual machine, you are moving the VM from one host to another. Live Cloning is a process that let you duplicate the VM so you get an identical VM based on the source. Under the hood, you are taking a live export and import of the running VM you are cloning.