Feedback for planed move from vSphere to Hyper-V

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by grandslam01, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. grandslam01

    grandslam01 MDL Novice

    Nov 18, 2012
    #1 grandslam01, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    This is my first post and get's right a bit one.
    I would like some feedback of you guy's about a more complex plan I have to replace vSphere with Hyper-V.
    Just to mention, this is my bit over-sized home-setup in a rack in the cellar which I use as "Home production" and also my playground for trying out new thing.

    Current setup:
    3 physical ESXI 6.0 hosts combined as vSphere Cluster.
    The cluster is backed by VSAN based on identical SSDs in all hosts. Which allows me to kill a host without loosing any VM. (currently don't use HA feature for failover the running VM's).
    The hosts are all identical expect 2 of them has additional LSI controllers with bigger HDD's attached.
    Each LSI is passed to a Freenas VM and holds my primary data for sharing by cifs. The primary Freenas creates daily snapshots and also replicates the all ZFS volumes (including the snapshots) to the seconds Freenas on the second host for backup purposed.
    The freenas system disks are on an USB stick passed to the VM. This allows me in a disaster case (esxi won't boot) to temporary boot the physical host form this freenas stick and access and share the data even esxi does not work.

    Additional I have:
    • a linux VM running crashplan to backup everything on the first Freenas offsite.
    • 2 Active Directory Domain controllers (placed by rule on different hosts).
      • freenas's are using them for authentication (cifs shares).
    • pfSense VM running my primary router/firewall
    • a lot of VM's for less critical services but some of them requires

    This setup is working since years, just added the features like VSAN as it came out, before I had the same setup but just with local storage for the ESXI hosts.

    The big disadvantages of this setup I experienced:
    • in this small VSAN setup, VSAN is really bumpy sometimes.
      • i.e. on crashes or degraded disks, I often have to manually clean up the storage objects to get everything back in a green state. I.e. moving VM's around, restart VM's to get degraded vswp files back online etc.
    • all VM's which relying on data from the Freenas VM needs to be restarted most of the time manually or at least have to make sure the mounts working as expected. -> especially important for the crashplan appliance which does the online backup of all data.
    • Freenas VM's which relies on Active Directory controller have to be started after the domain controllers are up and running or at least have to restart the directory service on freenas to get authentication get to work.
    • vSphere is a bit picky on hardware (VSAN compatibility or host drivers). Because this is a home setup it worked without everything on HCL, but requires tweaking sometimes.

    In summary, I never had data or VM's lost, even I cut the cord of the all 3 hosts together, and as long everything is online it works really good. But in case of outages or restarting all 3 hosts, I always require hours to get everything back online, especially if VSAN objects have to be repaired. Just the order of starting the depending VM's manually would be ok to me.

    My idea now is to move to Hyper-V with the new 2016 server.
    The main improvement's I see with this:
    • vm storage and even primary data storage (currently Freenas VM's) would be on the bare metal hosts -> nano server with hyper-v and storage functionality.
      • this would eliminate on level of dependent VM's because data would be available before VM's starts.
      • using windows for sharing seems to be more stable if domain controllers starting up later.
      • hyper-convergent storage with 3 nodes possible in windows 2016 to replace VSAN in the Hyper-V world. But I can add it later and currently put the VM's just on local storage on each host and switch later on to this.
      • anyway not strict separation of data and VM's required as with VSAN.
    • In my experiences, Microsoft just works better with Microsoft than my current setup where I mixed all vendors and different systems together.
      • At least for the ciritcal part's of my little "datacenter". I will still have a some linux and other VM's to serve some special services in my network. But most is used by Windows clients and so it should work better out of the box.

    Question I currently have, but please let me know ANY thoughts/feedback's on this.
    I'm not a windows n00b, but never introduced myself into clustering in general, storage and hyper-v in Windows server.

    • As a replacement for ZFS, snapshots and async replication, Is ReFS with VSS and storage replica a functional identical replacement for this?
    • does windows, including the new 2016, contains features I missed or misunderstood to get a better result?

    Just in case it maters. I already have a minimal SCCM setup, so adding SCVMM isn't far away and if required for any features, this is not a show stopper for me.

    Edit: just want to add. It hasn't to be high available (storage and VM's) but it should be easy to maintain, restore all services on fail and prevent lost data in almost any case.