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Creating a new Cluster in Windows 2003

Posted on 2006-03-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I need to find some step by step instructions on creating a new cluster.  What I want to do is cluster an existing server.  I have two servers I want to establish two clusters with.  
Cluster 1.  A server with a flat file database software currently running W2K3 Standard. I have a new blank server I will install WIN2K3 Enterprise edition on.  I then want to create a new cluster of the new "Blank Server" and the existing database server.

Cluster 2.  I have an existing file server running W2K3 Standard and another blank server I will install 2K3 Enterprise.  Again, I want to start the cluster on the new blank server, then add the file server to the cluster.

I have the atatched SCSI storage and the raid cards for the servers.  I just want to make sure I can upgrade an existing server, then add it to a cluster.  Or, should I upgrade the existing servers first, create the cluster, then add the blank server to the cluster?

Anyway, if anyone has a step by step guide for the W2K3 cluster setup, I would appreciate it.
Question by:scubaed69
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

NJComputerNetworks earned 2000 total points
ID: 16336576
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 16339733
All of the servers in a cluster have to run Enterprise Edition (or Datacentre edition). You can't have a cluster member that runs Standard Edition, so you'll need to upgrade your Standard Edition servers to Enterprise Edition before that can become members of a cluster.
LVL 85

Expert Comment

ID: 16345051
Before you continue with this project, check out your hardware. Unless the *complete* system (the server hardware *in* *combination* with the storage controllers and the external storage), you're wasting your time. You can't just take any two systems, attach some external storage, and then build a cluster out of it. You're likely to produce the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve, meaning increased downtime and less reliability due to unexplainable errors and trying to find the source, instead of increased uptime. And Microsoft won't help you:
See this link:
The Microsoft support policy for server clusters, the Hardware Compatibility List, and the Windows Server Catalog

Now, before you start spending huge amounts of money for cluster certified hardware, get Virtual Server to create a test cluster setup to see if it really fits your needs and to be able to experiment with it before doing it in a production environment, which is less forgiving. A two node cluster is fully supported:
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2

Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 to Create and Configure a Two-Node Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Cluster

Guide to Creating and Configuring a Server Cluster Under Windows Server 2003

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