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7 Steps to Replicating Hyper-V VMs to Different Locations

Microsoft Hyper-V users have come to appreciate the value of Hyper-V replicas. When configuring Hyper-V replicas you have two choices: Configure a centralized storage location where your VMs will be replicated, or configure a separate location for each primary server's VM replica.

In some instances, you might find it beneficial or even necessary to replicate certain VMs to a location other than the default location. To accomplish this task, you have two options. You can, of course, replicate the VM to the default location and then simply move that VM from one storage location to another. Doing so will consume a significant amount of time depending on your network connectivity and the size of the VM, but it's definitely a viable option.

Alternatively, you might want to replicate specific virtual machines to separate storage areas. Here's how:

  1. Configure your Hyper-V Replica normally going through and specifying the location where you want to store VMs. There is no change or break from the process at this step.
  2. Locate the VM which you want to replicate to a storage location other than the default you configured in step 1 and right-click the VM, then drag down to Enable Replication.
  3. The Enable Replication Wizard starts and takes you through a series of questions to configure replication for this VM. At the Choose Initial Replication Method screen, make sure you schedule the initial replication by selecting "Start replication on" and specify a date. This process will create the initial files and place them in the default location for replicating VM but the files are relatively small in size and can be very easily moved.
  4. Now go to Hyper-V Manager, select the VM and choose to move the VM.
  5. Select the storage destination you want this VM to replicate to.
  6. Return to the primary server where the VM is hosted and where you want to initiate the replication from; to do this, right-click the VM | Replication | Start Initial Replication.
  7. Select Start replication immediately.

The replication will begin to the storage location you moved the VM to.

As you can see both methods work; it's questionable whether one is significantly faster than the other, but at least the latter option will allow you to then replicate to a custom location without having to go through and manually move the VM. Basically, you apply this option once. Moving forward, that VM has a custom location different from the default, until you specify otherwise.

Are you using Hyper-V Replica? Have you been in a situation where you need to replicate VMs to a location other than the default? Please share your experience in the comments section.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 09/30/2013 at 3:53 PM


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