In this post, I am sharing all the steps I used to create a Windows Server 2012 File Server test environment that I used for some of my Hyper-V over SMB demonstrations. My goal with this post is to share some of configuration details and the exact PowerShell scripts I used to configure the environment (if you look carefully, you might be able to spot a few PowerShell tricks and tips). For me, this is a convenient reference post that I will likely use myself to cut/paste from when configuring my demo systems in the future.

This uses 5 physical machines, since the scenario involves deploying Hyper-V hosts and you can’t virtualize Hyper-V itself (I have another post that cover SQL Server over SMB in a fully virtualized environment). I am also using RDMA interfaces on the setup with SMB Direct, and those also can’t be virtualized. The demo setup includes one domain controller (which also doubles as an iSCSI target), two file servers and two Hyper-V hosts.

This is probably the most basic fault-tolerant Hyper-V over SMB setup you can create that covers the entire spectrum of new SMB 3.0 capabilities (including SMB Transparent Failover, SMB Scale-Out, SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel). If you build a similar configuration, please share your experience in the comments below the post.

Please keep in mind that this is not a production-ready configuration. I built it entirely using 5-year-old desktop class machines. To improved disk performance, I did add 3 SSDs to one of the machines to used as storage for my cluster, which I configured using Storage Spaces and the Microsoft iSCSI Software target included in Windows Server 2012. However, since I only had three small SSDs, I used a simple space, which cannot tolerate disk failures. In production, you should use mirrored spaces. Also keep in mind that the FST2-DC1 machine itself is a single point of failure, so you’re really only tolerant to the failure of one the two Hyper-V hosts or one of the File Server nodes. In summary, this is a test-only configuration.

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