A: Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 enables a virtual machine (VM) to be replicated asynchronously (which means updates aren't sent in real time, avoiding high network and hardware needs) to a second Hyper-V server that could be used in a disaster recovery scenario.

In this scenario, a replica Hyper-V server would be in a second, disaster recovery location.

The first step in setup is to enable the target Hyper-V server for the replica to accept replication requests:

  1. Start Hyper-V Manager.
  2. Select the Hyper-V server that will be a replica server and select the Hyper-V Settings... action.
  3. Select Replication Configuration in the settings navigation area.
  4. Check the option for Enable this computer as a Replica server, then select whether to use Kerberos (HTTP) and/or certificate-based (HTTPS) (see screen shot below).
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    Hyper-V Replica
  5. Select the option to allow replication from any authenticated server and a default location to store the replica, or select the option to only allow replication from specific servers and select a storage location for each selected server. Then click OK.
  6. On the replica server, make sure the Hyper-V Replica HTTP Listener (TCP-In) firewall exception is enabled, if using Kerberos (HTTP), or Hyper-V Replica HTTPS Listener (TCP-In), if using certificate-based (HTTPS).

To enable a virtual machine (VM) to be replicated, perform the following:

  1. Select the VM you want to replicate and select the Enabled Replication... action.
  2. Click Next to the wizard main page. Click Next again.
  3. Specify the name of the target Hyper-V server. Click Next.
  4. Select the authentication type (Kerberos or certificate-based) and whether compression should be used. Click Next.
  5. Select the hard disks of the VM to be replicated. Click Next.
  6. Select recovery point options--either Only the latest recovery point or Additional recovery points (see screenshot below). Here you can also specify the number of additional recovery points to be stored. You also have the option to take Volume shadow Copy Service (VSS) incremental snapshots at a specific interval. This provides an application-integrity-assured snapshot, as any VSS writers are called during the VSS replica snapshot creation. Make the selections and click Next.
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    Configuring Hyper-V Replica recovery history
  7. Select how the initial replication of data should be performed--whether over the network, via external media, or using an existing VM on the replica Hyper-V server. Select a time to start replication, and click Next.
  8. View the summary and click Finish, which will begin the replication.

View the replication status using the Replication tab of the source VM. Alternate IP configuration can be specified for the VM and can be configured by going to the VM's Settings, Network Adapter,Failover TCP/IP. The alternate IP configuration is injected into the VM in the event of a failover, to ensure the VM can properly communicate in the disaster recovery network.

For a step-by-step how-to, see my video about Hyper-V Replica.