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Clustering DHCP

Posted on 2007-04-05
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This is all in a Test lab.

I need some help with clustering dhcp.  Here is what i have so far, i have 2 DHCP servers point to a single database on a 3rd machine.  This is need because clustering does nothing for the DHCP database.  My problem is i really do know much about setting up a cluster.  I have configured the NICs on both machines (Public and Private).  Communication is working well.  Cluster Service account is created.

My question is how to setup the cluster.  i really do under stand much about the Quorum.  Where does it need to be stored.  I have read i should put in on a seperate drive on the server, not a partition.  I have also read about SANs, but i and currently not using one.  Is the Quorum heald on each machine and replicated to eachother or something else?

Any direction would be great
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Question by:Mark Walden
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by:Pber
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You need shared storage (i.e. SCSI or SAN) before you proceed further with trying to cluster DHCP.

Normally clustering uses shared disk that each server has access to via SCSI or FC.  The shared disk is usually presented in several LUNS to the servers in the cluster.  One shared LUN is generally used by the Quorum and you need a second one for the shared DHCP database.

You can use a local quorum or a majority node set in 2003, but you are using 2000 and that is not available.

Until you get shared disk, I would stick with 2 DHCP servers following M$'s 80/20 rule for scope overlap.

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by:Mark Walden
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I am running Server 2003 Enterprise on all machines.  Forgot to notate that.  We do have a SAN in our production network, but not in the test lab.  So i cant produce what i want without the SAN?

I realy need to come up with a solution for this because our network is so large.  We have about 7000 to 8000 DHCP clients in 433 Scopes.  About 1200 Reservations that can not be lost.  I copy the database to the backup server daily, but this is getting old.

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Server 2003 has three quorum modes discussed here: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/7abc092f-f4e2-4685-9266-a7e20fe283d91033.mspx?mfr=true

Since you are working with two cluster machines, it would probably be best to set it up with shared storage.  The majority node set (MNS) could work for you in the test lab, but not if you want to test full high availability (both nodes need to be up for the cluster to function).  The quorum is used to maintain consistency in the cluster and to handle which node is active if the servers lose network connectivity to each other.  That is why the shared storage solution is the standard place for storing the quorum logs.  Both servers can read the configuration on start up and continue to utilize the quorum area to make sure all the cluster nodes know the state of the other nodes.  The MNS design uses a replication strategy to try and keep all the node's quorum area in sync.  This is primarily used for location seperated nodes where a traditional SAN is not an option.  Because of the implementation of MNS, it requires multiple nodes be active for the cluster to be functional and is therefore only effective in configurations with greater than two nodes.

I suggest you utilize iSCSI for shared storage in your test lab.  We use it as an inexpensive way to replicate our SAN environment.  There are a handful of Windows iSCSI target software titles around now ranging from free to production quality pricing.  Microsoft has iSCSI initiator software available for Windows as a free download.  This would allow you to have the quorum configured similar to how it would be in your production network SAN environment.
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