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2000 cluster without quorum disk?

Posted on 2002-03-13
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Is it possible to create a 2k cluster without an external quorum disk (i.e. i can't afford one).  like with 3 servers?
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Question by:ragesh
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 6862840
Quorum can be any disk and doesn't necessarily have to be it's own disk.  For example, If you have cluster storage on one set of disks, just put your quorum on that disk.

There is a setting to start the cluster service without a quorum, but I wouldn't recommend using it.  Just put the quorum on one of the existing disks in the cluster.
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by:Housenet
ID: 6863234
Hello ragesh
-When you create partitions from a raid array with a shared storage system & use 200 advanced server you can only join 2 servers.
-Your question leads me to believe you do not actually have the hardware yet...
-A quorum drive is actually just another 500MB ntfs partition that you create of the shared drive space. You do not need extra drives for this..
-If someone created the partitions on the cluster and did not create the quorium partition, one of the existing partitions should be resized or recreated & the quorum created..

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by:matt023
ID: 6863268
Like Leew and Housenet have said, a Quorum doesn't have to be on its own physical disk.  However, a Quorum should be on a different partition.  This is for the fail-over purpose and it's always wise to organize your cluster resources neatly.  If you put the Quorum on the same disk, without partitioning it, and the group where the disk is at fails over, you'll also loose your Quorum.  A Quorum is used to store the cluster settings.  It is a critical component in a cluster.  If a quorum doesn't exist, the cluster will not function.
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Author Comment

by:ragesh
ID: 6864549
Sorry, I'm a bit of a newbie to clustering with 2000.

First, what exactly is Quorum?  Is it a software component, a hardware device, a method of storage or some sort of overall system?  Is it a generic or brand name?

If I was to set up 2000 (suppose I had 3 servers) what are the REAL hardware requirements?  According to 'leew', could I just use 3 machines with IDE drives (for testing).

Yes, 'Housenet', you're right.  I do not have the clustering hardware.  Honestly, I doubt my company will pay for a $6000 disk array (which compaq says is their cheapest clustering drive).  I do, however, have three IBM 5500's laying around that I can use, if I figure out how to.

As of now, if I can't use 3 regular machines, we're probably going to use Oscar Clustering for Linux--my least favorite OS.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 6865017
Some things about Windows Clusters:

Windows 2000 Advanced Server supports 2-node clusters only.  Windows 2000 Data Center Server supports 4-node clusters maximum.  However, Data Center Server is not generally available unless you purchase a system with it.

What is your cluster to be used for?  A database?  Exchange?  File Services?  Parallel computing?  Windows doesn't do Parallel Computing, so you'd have to go with Linux.

You can create a cluster using the following components (I've done it):

*2 Adaptec 2920 SCSI cards, one in each server, make sure you set one of the cards' SCSI IDs to be something other than the default or they conflict.
*SCSI Hard Disk Enclosure with one or more drives.

Then connect both computers to the enclosure and power on.  Again, make sure EVERYTHING has a unique SCSI ID, including the Adapter cards.  Then install the Cluster Service on Advanced Server.  It should recognize the drive as cluster compatible and allow you to setup the cluster.  HOWEVER - THIS IS AN UNSUPPORTED METHOD OF CLUSTERING.  IF YOU USE THIS FOR ANYTHING MORE THAN LEARNING, YOU SHOULD BE AWARE MICROSOFT WILL _NOT_ HELP YOU TROUBLESHOOT ANY ERRORS YOU EXPERIENCE AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE SEVERE DATA LOSS IF SOMETHING HAPPENS OR EVEN AT RANDOM.

If you want to cluster, then look at the Hardware Compatibility list and use approved equipment.
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Expert Comment

by:Housenet
ID: 6865117
"First, what exactly is Quorum?  Is it a software component, a hardware device, a method of storage or
some sort of overall system?  Is it a generic or brand name?"
-It is a partition..  Like c:\ is a partition.. It is where the cluster service stores files, like logs that track which server controls active resources. The location of the partition is the shared storage cab..

"If I was to set up 2000 (suppose I had 3 servers) what are the REAL hardware requirements?  According
to 'leew', could I just use 3 machines with IDE drives (for testing)."
-I've never heard of using IDE drives or a SANS that supports IDE... It just doesnt make sence... Why go for an expensive 24/7 solution & then use drives what cant ever read-write simutaniously.. I'd say a good anaology would be... "I want a brand new ferrari, but want a ford escort engine instead of the ferrari engine"..
-The requirements are a shared storage sub-system.....

-ragesh start by watching this support web cast called "An Overview of Microsoft Clustering Technologies".. It will explain the basic's of clusterings with MSCS & HA hardware.. Dont worry too much about the Microsoft focus because the basic concepts & terms apply to all operating systems supporting clustering.


 
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Author Comment

by:ragesh
ID: 6865221
the ide's would just be for testing...not for real use of course.

i guess what i'm trying to ask is...
what do i do exactly to configure two windows 2000 servers to use a third server to be the storage device (instead of a using a disk array)
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 900 total points
ID: 6865251
You can't.  Not in any supported way at least.  You might be able to trick things by doing what I suggested with the two scsi cards and having the 3rd server use SCSI as well.  Then if you can get it's SCSI bus to talk to that of the others it could work... but this is not something I'd recommend or expect to work with any degree of reliability.
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Author Comment

by:ragesh
ID: 6865252
the ide's would just be for testing...not for real use of course.

i guess what i'm trying to ask is...
what do i do exactly to configure two windows 2000 servers to use a third server to be the storage device (instead of a using a disk array)
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Housenet
ID: 6865570
ragesh did you ever hear the expression RTFM ?
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