Key workloads to use in Azure IaaS guest clusters

Key workloads to use in Azure IaaS guest clusters

Q. What are some key workloads I can use in guest clusters running in Azure IaaS VMs?

A. With Windows Server 2016 there are a larger number of supported solutions that can run in guest clusters hosted in Azure IaaS thanks to features like cloud witness (using an Azure Storage account for the witness resource), Storage Spaces Direct (S2D which uses disks local to each node to create a cluster shared volume) and Storage Replica (block-level replication). This is in addition to certain application level capabilities.

Considering these capabilities key workloads now usable in Azure IaaS guest clusters are:

  • SQL Always On Availability Groups (this works without Windows Server 2016 as requires no shared storage but for quorum would need to leverage a file share witness)
  • SQL Always On FCI (requires Windows Server 2016 for S2D for the shared disk to be used by FCI)
  • Scale-Out File Server (requires Windows Server 2016 for S2D for the shared disk)
  • File Server (requires Windows Server 2016 for S2D for the shared disk or potentially Storage Replica)
  • Remote Desktop Services User Profile Disk (requires Windows Server 2016 for S2D for the shared disk that will store the UPD that will connect/disconnect from wherever the user session is hosted)
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