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Windows Clustering

Dear all,

     Hope anyone can provide me with some information of windows clustering for the below queries:

1)What do you mean by cluster group, database cluster group and cluster networks
2)Hardware and software requirements for clustering
3)Can clustering work without a share disk?
4)the raid setting required for both local disk and external disk system
5)services required for clustering environment
6)differences between physical shared disk and virtual shared disk system
7) How do we carry out backup in a cluster environment? Any difference from the normal backup in windows 2000 advance server

Thank you.

regards,
eliza
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elizateh
Asked:
elizateh
1 Solution
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
1) Cluster group is a group of cluster machines (generally just two - unless you're using datacenter server which can cluster 4).  Database Cluster Group would presumably be just that - a cluster where the purpose is serving data from a database.  Cluster networks I'm not sure of - But a cluster generally has a second NIC in each node that is used for a "heartbeat" - if the heartbeat fails, the remaining system knows it has to manage all functions of the cluster.

2) Software - Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Data Center Server.  Other packages exist that could enhance application clusterability and/or other features, but the preceeding OSs will do.  Hardware - check Microsoft HCL on Clusters.  TECHNICALLY, you need an external SCSI disk and two SCSI controllers (one per server) and assign everything a unique SCSI ID.  I've setup a cluster using an Adaptec 2910, 2920, and an external SCSI box where all the SCSI devices had unique IDs and were connected to each other in a bus form (termination enabled on both SCSI cards)  But just because you can do this doesn't mean you should (Microsoft won't support this config because the items are not on the Cluster HCL).

3) Not Microsoft clustering.  Other cluster packages maybe.  You can network load balance without a shared disk, but Microsoft doesn't consider this clustering.  If you don't have a shared disk, the cluster has no place to put quorum which stores cluster state information so that if a node fails the other knows exactly where to pick up.  Further, Microsoft Clustering service won't even install without a shareable disk present (though it sometimes considers strange things sharable disks - I had it recognize an internal IDE expansion card's drive as a clusterable disk - how I don't know since I've never heard of daisy chaining two systems to one IDE drive...

4) No raid is required.  It's always advisable, but not required.

5) The Microsoft cluster service.  After that, you decide what you want to cluster.  File Shares, DHCP, WINS, IIS, etc.

6) Never heard of a virtual shared disk.

7) Your backup software should be able to detect that you're backing up a cluster and backup the quorum for you.  As for the Data on a shared disk, that depends.  Best practice is to connect to the virtual computer that the shared disk belongs to.  that way, it won't matter which node is currently handling I/O to the shared disk.  Veritas, for example, doesn't recognize the shared disks as belonging to the node - you have to connect to the virtual computer to back them up.
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elizatehAuthor Commented:
i read from one faq that microsoft cluster server use three techniques to make disk data available to more than one server - Shared disks, mirrored disks and "shared nothing". Does this means clustering can work without shared disk?
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schmieguCommented:
No, at least one disk (the Quorum) has to be a shared disk (leew mentioned this already). The same applies to every disk resource, the other node should be able to access in the case of a failover or manual move. The only cluster without shared disks I've ever heard of is the former VINCA (now LEGATO) Standby Server.

"Shared nothing" means, that only one node has access to the disk(s) - or generally to a resource - at a given time.



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