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Splitting cluster partition

Posted on 2006-06-30
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Can you split a W2K3 cluster partition?  My configuration is active/passive, with 2 servers connected to external storage array.  I have a resource group taking up 1 physical drive.  I would like to split this so I can put Exchange Transaction logs on the new partition.  Can this be done without deleting MSDTC partition and starting over?
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Question by:bleujaegel
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by:mass2612
ID: 17022678
I know you can extend the partition using diskpart.exe but I don't think you can shrink it. You might be able to do it with a 3rd party application.
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by:bleujaegel
ID: 17022735
I tried it with Acronis Disk Director, but it failed.  I'm thinking I may have to delete the resource group, and recreate it with the appropriately sized partitions.

Do you know if this will work?  I would copy the msdtc.log off first.  My concern is that from what I've heard a disk will have a signature.  I'm not sure if recreating it will change the signature, and render the cluster inoperable.
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by:mass2612
ID: 17022761
Sorry I'm not sure. Maybe someone else knows for sure but check these out.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=243204

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294209/ - How to rebuild or move a MSDTC installation to be used with a SQL failover cluster
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by:oBdA
ID: 17026374
This can't be done; you can only use complete drives (not single partitions on one drive) as a resource in a cluster server. You either have to put the Exchange log files on the same drive (and obviously in the same resource group) as the MSDTC resource, or you'll have to repartition the SAN to split the current MSDTC drive into two smaller ones.
If you want to repartition the SAN, just take the MSDTC reosurce offline and delete it. Repartition the SAN, make the drives visible to the active node (shut down the other nodes when making the new drives visible, until you've configured them as cluster resources!), create the resources again.

How to configure Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator on a Windows Server 2003 cluster
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301600/

You might want to try that in a virtual server environment first. A two node cluster is fully supported:
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/default.mspx

Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 to Create and Configure a Two-Node Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Cluster
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/virtualserver/deploy/cvs2005.mspx
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by:bleujaegel
ID: 17027119
I know what you mean.  When I try to partition it and assign it to a resource group, it only allows me to assign the whole disk (both partition S:, partition T:) for example.  I try to assign S: to MSDTC, and T: to Transaction logs, but it doesn't work.  

I'm a little confused where you said
>>you can only use complete drives (not single partitions on one drive)
followed by
>>you'll have to repartition the SAN to split the current MSDTC drive into two smaller ones

I'm actually running a Powervault cluster, so I'm not sure if this is technically a SAN.  In a post with Leew, he said that it's a cluster and not a SAN, but I suppose this is just a generic term.  

I currently have 8 drives, 3 for RAID 5 Exchange Database
2 drives for RAID 1 MSDTC
2 drives for RAID 1 Exchange Virtual Server

How would you modify this so that you could add the transaction logs.  I would say if I had 1 more drive I could make another RAID 1 partition and put the Transaction logs there.

Or maybe I could just make 4 - RAID 1 partitions and put all 4 resource groups in their own physical drive arrays.  What are your thoughts.  Thanks for your help.
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by:oBdA
ID: 17027855
Powervault comes in a lot of flavors, so it depends mainly on the capabilities of your external storage. If you can divide the MSDTC RAID1 into two virtual drives for the cluster, that would be one possibility. If you can add two more drives for a fresh RAID1, that would be another.
Then again, with your current setup, I'd just put the transaction logs onto the MSDTC drive. It would mean that they can't failover independently, but if that isn't a requirement, it's the easiest way.
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by:bleujaegel
ID: 17028734
It's a Powervault 200S.  

>> If you can divide the MSDTC RAID1 into two virtual drives for the cluster...

The 'if' makes me think that I may not have this option.  Do you mean that you can take a RAID 1 array, and partition the 1 'physical' drive that this creates into multiple partitions that MSCS will recognize as multiple physical drives, so that you can create multiple resource groups?  

This seems to be the sticking point.  Currently MSCS only allows me to use the 1 physical drive per resource group, regardless of how many partitions I create on the physical drive.

I haven't seen anything regarding 'virtual drives' in the PERC 3/DC BIOS, so I will have to investigate this further.
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by:mass2612
mass2612 earned 250 total points
ID: 17028770
From what you descirbe here I think you will need to create two seperate RAID configurations with seperate disks. I've got a feeling that MSCS can only assign resource groups via disk rather than partitions. Therefore if you wanted to use RAID 1 you may need 2 disks assigned in a RAID 1 array for one resource and then two different disks configured as a sepearate RAID 1 array for the alternate resource group.

I believe with a traditional SAN you can you the SAN admin tools to segment areas of different disks into one large logical disk therefore you can have multiple disks across the same physical disk however the OS does not see any of the disk sharing.
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oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 17029426
The 200S should be able to split a RAID configuration into several LUNs (logical units) that the server then sees as single drives. This has to happen with the management software.
http://www.scsistuff.com/powervault%20config.htm
"Online RAID expansion lets you increase the size of a RAID group and associated LUNs while in production."
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by:bleujaegel
ID: 17029488
I'm guessing OpenManage is the management software for this.  I do not have a Dell server, so do not have any software capable of this.  

Does OpenManage generally work on non-Dell servers?  If not, do you know of any others that would provide similar functionality?  I'm assuming that you cannot download OpenManage from Dell for free.  I tried looking, but I couldn't find it.  There are many people selling OpenManage CD's on eBay, however.
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by:oBdA
ID: 17029556
You need the Dell OpenManage Array Manager, which should have come with the PowerVault. If not, ask your distributor.
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by:bleujaegel
ID: 17032432
I just ordered it.  I will try repartitioning the Powervault after it gets here.  
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