Windows Server 2016 #HyperV DEMO03: Production Checkpoints

Hello folks,

In today’s demo I will show you another new feature in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V called Production Checkpoints.

A little bit of overview about checkpoint (aka snapshot):
A checkpoint is a point-in-time capture of a virtual machine’s storage and memory state, which can then be reverted to at some later point in time.

When Microsoft first designed checkpoints back in Windows Server 2008, they were designed specifically for Dev and Test environment and not for production use, because the virtual machine is unaware of the checkpoint capture and therefore the state could be inconsistent. If you think about this scenario, if you have an exchange server, SQL server, or a file server, when you roll the server back with all the memory state, it thinks that has all the clients are still connected to it, it thinks it still has the I/O operations of that you don’t want a server to have at this point in time.

However people are using checkpoints in production, so Microsoft in Windows Server 2016 introduced Production Checkpoints, which gives you the exact same user experience that you get with checkpoints today, but instead of capturing the memory state, they use VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) infrastructure to get a data consistent snapshot inside the (Guest) Windows virtual machine. However for Linux virtual machine, the file system buffers are flushed out, which makes the OS an application-consistent state and therefore usable in production environment.

WARNING! That this still doesn’t eliminate the need for regular backups. Please keep taking backup!

One important point to mention that you can still use the old-style (standard) checkpoints if you prefer, as well as configure the standard checkpoints to be used if the production checkpoint is not possible (e.g. If the backup integration service isn’t available).

A question that you might ask, so what is the difference then between Production Checkpoints and Standard Checkpoints?

The following table shows when production and standard checkpoint is applicable, depending on the state of the virtual machine:

Please note that there is no difference between a production checkpoint and standard checkpoint that was taken when the virtual machines is in Offline state.

There are only two types of checkpoint that can be created:

1) One with a Saved State.
2) One without a Saved State. 

Regardless of how a checkpoint was created – they are all treated equally after creation.

Let’s look together at the Production Checkpoints in action!

DEMO:

I hope you enjoyed this short demo and I would like to thank you for viewing.

Cheers,
/Charbel

About Charbel Nemnom 311 Articles
Charbel Nemnom is a Microsoft Cloud Consultant and Technical Evangelist, totally fan of the latest's IT platform solutions, accomplished hands-on technical professional with over 15 years of broad IT Infrastructure experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize performance of mission-critical enterprise systems. Excellent communicator adept at identifying business needs and bridging the gap between functional groups and technology to foster targeted and innovative IT project development. Well respected by peers through demonstrating passion for technology and performance improvement. Extensive practical knowledge of complex systems builds, network design and virtualization.

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