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2 node cluster and quarum drive

Posted on 2006-11-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
is it posiible to cluster 2 servers without using any separate shared disk? if so where should the quorum drive be set up?

thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 18019679
Have you seen this one:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283715
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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 125 total points
ID: 18019704
You can also do this:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/overview/technologies/clustering.mspx
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/d58091c1-f31e-46ec-b7e1-40751add28a71033.mspx
http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/d/e/4de815ef-2904-420a-b726-e57de31ae63a/ClusteringOverview.doc

"Majority Node Set (MNS) Clusters
Windows Server 2003 has an optional quorum resource that does not require a disk on a shared bus for the quorum device. This feature is designed to be built in to larger end-to-end solutions by OEMs, IHVs and other software vendors rather than be deployed by end-users specifically, although this is possible for experienced users. The scenarios targeted by this new feature include:

Geographically dispersed clusters. This mechanism provides a single, Microsoft-supplied quorum resource that is independent of any storage solution for a geographically dispersed or multi-site cluster. NOTE: There is a separate cluster Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for geographic clusters.
Low-cost or appliance-like highly available solutions that have no shared disks but use other techniques such as log shipping or software disk or file system replication and mirroring to make data available on multiple nodes in the cluster.
NOTE: Windows Server 2003 provides no mechanism to mirror or replicate user data across the nodes of an MNS cluster, so while it is possible to build clusters with no shared disks at all, it is an application specific issue to make the application data highly available and redundant across machines.

Benefits

Storage Abstraction – frees up the storage subsystem to manage data replication between multiple sites in the most appropriate way, without having to worry about a shared quorum disk, and at the same time still supporting the idea of a single virtual cluster.
No Shared Disks – there are some scenarios that require tightly consistent cluster features, yet do not require shared disks. For example, a) clusters where the application keeps data consistent between nodes (e.g. database log shipping and file replication for relatively static data), and b) clusters that host applications that have no persistent data, but need to cooperate in a tightly coupled way to provide consistent volatile state.
Enhanced Redundancy – if the shared quorum disk is corrupted in any way, the entire cluster goes offline. With Majority Node Sets, the corruption of quorum on one node does not bring the entire cluster offline.
Installation
"
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pgm554 earned 125 total points
ID: 18020829
What would be the purpose of  a cluster if you have no redundent shared  storage?

Then it's not a true cluster.

You can use 3rd party products to replicate data between nodes for high availability like EMC ,Caminosoft or Symantec.

But all in all .not a true cluster.

If shared storage cost is the issue,why not just go iSCSI?
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Assisted Solution

by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 125 total points
ID: 18020891
It depends on the usage, shared storage is often a problem when the servers are some distance apart without really fancy kit hence the facility in 2003.  Q is quite unspecific, might even just be a test bed... hell I've got a cluster or two runing on VMWARE virtual machines!

Steve
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 18021590
Speaking of which ,6.0 is nearing release.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 18024419
pgm554,

I agree with you, because local quorum would be   useful only  for testing cluster-aware applications then if successful we can add another node without wasting time.

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/2b430fdb-51c1-4f92-92d6-96ed24f63f0b1033.mspx?mfr=true
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