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I'm considering a Hyper-V replication scenario in which:

SiteA is a Failover Cluster of 2012R2 machines containing a number Linux guests serving as production databases and application servers.

SiteB is principally a replication target for disaster recovery purposes. In addition, it's been suggested that we may need to run one very small utilization Linux guest in the SiteB building. Is it possible to run a live machine on a replication target, assuming that the replication target is suitably sized? Are there any specific drawbacks to doing so, assuming it's even possible?

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Is it possible to run a live machine on a replication target?

Yes it is. As for drawbacks, make sure the target host is appropriately sized to run production workloads and the replicated workloads in the event of a failover.

The replicated virtual machines don't run on the target until a failover is initiated (by you) so there should be little to no resource utilization on the target host, other than the bandwidth used by the replication traffic, but you should make sure that in the event of a failover the target host has enough resources to run all of the workloads.

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  • Actually, the replication target will see more or less as many writes to its disks as the primary host saw. So it's not just network bandwidth that gets consumed. You need enough storage throughput, too. – Jake Oshins Feb 25 '15 at 4:20
  • @JakeOshins - I forgot about the writes to the replicated VHD(X). Thanks for catching that. – joeqwerty Feb 25 '15 at 5:50
  • @JakeOshins, is that strictly correct? The writes are not in real time, but are a matter of network throughput and will occur at each replication pass. What is a disk cannot keep up -- with the replica die, or will it accept the IO and queue it until it can catch up? This is a non-trivial matter because we were planning to use less expensive storage in the replication target. – Systemspoet Mar 10 '15 at 14:41

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