File Server Clustering

Posted on 2006-04-13
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I am about to install file server clustering on windows 2003 server. This is the first time I am doing this, Can any one please guide me through about how to setup the File server clustering. Any suggestions are welcome and I would definately give points to those suggestions too.
Question by:life_j
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    1. You need Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition or Datacentre Edition on all cluster members.
    2. You need shared storage (normally a SAN) that all cluster members are connected to.
    3. You should only use hardware that has been certified by Microsoft for use with Windows Clusters
    4. Use a separate NIC in each server for the cluster heartbeart, and connect those NIC's to a dedicated switch (don't be tempted to use a cross-over cable if it's a 2 node cluster) that's not connected to the rest of the network.
    5. Set up a separate LUN on the SAN for the cluster quorum resource. It doesn't need to be more than 100MB in size.
    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    To start with, a general configuration guide:
    Guide to Creating and Configuring a Server Cluster Under Windows Server 2003

    If this is your first encounter with server clustering, I'd recommend you download Virtual Server (free now!), install it on a machine with at least 1GB RAM (you need to have 1DC and 2 Nodes, at least 256MB each, so 1GB RAM is a bit on the low side), and create a test cluster there (a two-node cluster is fully supported in Virtual Server).
    Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2

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

    What Darwinian999 mentions in 3. is not really a "you should only", it's rather a "you can only". The complete solution (and not just the individual elements!) has to be certified; everything else will not only prevent you from receiving support if something doesn't work correctly, you're likely to spend more time troubleshooting errors than you will ever be able to save in terms of enhanced uptime (if the uptime enhances at all; nothing worse than a cluster that doesn't fail over properly ...).

    The Microsoft support policy for server clusters, the Hardware Compatibility List, and the Windows Server Catalog
    LVL 7

    Author Comment


    "you need to have 1DC and 2 Nodes, at least 256MB each, so 1GB RAM is a bit on the low side)" Sorry I didn't understand what you mean by 2 Nodes atlease 256MB each

    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    oBdA means that you'll need 3 Virtual machines - a Domain Controller and 2 Servers. The 2 Servers will be what you configure clustering on. Individual machines in a cluster are sometimes called nodes.

    Each virtual machine should be configured to have 256MB RAM, which means that 768MB will be taken up by Virtual Machines, leaving about 256MB for the operating system and other apps on the PC hosting the Virtual Machines (if the PC has 1GB RAM).

    I agree with oBdA's suggestion to use Virtual Machines to get familiar with clustering.

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