Using Hyper-V? What to control your app tiers intelligently, SQL, Oracle, Sharepoint, IIS no problem…

So I find myself back in Vegas once again, It’s Symantec Vision Conference which this year is set in Caesars Palace, it’s going to be a great event with some big announcements around Hyper-V and Azure. I’ve lost count now the number of times I been to this very mad place but it’s probably the only place that can cope with thousands of people for conventions of tech companies so it’s very difficult to avoid.

If you’re using Hyper-V or just testing it in your environment then I have some great news, ApplicationHA 6.1 is now available for Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 and once the Hyper-V role is enabled it can be used to monitor and control your virtualized application workloads.

Over for the past months I have been working indepth with Hyper-V and ApplicationHA especially as we ran up towards the general availability of ApplicationHA 6.1 and Symantec Cluster Server 6.1 way back at the start of April. The new release also sees updates for support for newer versions of VMware vSphere and focus on guest support of Windows 2012 R2 along with updated corresponding Microsoft application support too. Importantly though Microsoft Windows with Hyper-V has also been added to the support platform and most of my time has been working with engineering and driving the beta for the release. The last few months have kept me busy building hands on labs and breakout sessions for Symantec annual Vision conference and prep for Microsoft Teched later this month too.

Hyper-V seems to be gaining traction over the past year or so now and conversations that I have had with some of our enterprise customers confirm that many of those are evaluating Hyper-V. What seems to be constant is that many are reviewing their options for their hypervisor platforms and a majority are testing Hyper-V and kicking the tyres so to speak to see what it can offer their business. I know that there are also a fair many that are starting or who have now deployed it into production. Of course VMware are still the major player in this space but Microsoft seem to be doing right things to drive in their direction.

ApplicationHA for Hyper-V leverages the Microsoft Failover Cluster Heartbeat service which Microsoft added to Windows 2012, ApplicationHA leverage’s this heartbeat function to communicate with Failover Cluster and informs that a heartbeat fault has occurred if ApplicationHA is unable to restart the application within the virtual machine. ApplicationHA will attempt to remediate the fault a number of times before it communicates with the heartbeat service. The diagram below gives an idea on the flow.


  1. Microsoft Failover Cluster detects issues with virtual machines if faults occur and moves the effected VM.

  2. ApplicationHA detects issues with the application under control and attempts to restart the faulted application.

  3. In the event that ApplicationHA is unable to start the application it instructs a heartbeat fault with Failover Cluster.

  4. Failover Cluster reboots the VM or moves the VM to another host if the application still has issues starting.

If you want to review this capability in more detail then I have posted a number of videos on Symantec Connect which walks through the installation and configuration from start to finish. The last video also demonstrates the Virtual Business Service feature within Veritas Operations Manager which essentially connects applications together into their relevant tier and provides the ability to control those and also remediate faults within the stack intelligently, definitely check it out when you get time as this feature is not just for ApplicationHA, it has the ability to be used with Symantec Cluster Server and now adds support for Microsoft Failover Cluster within the tiers too.