Do members of a Microsoft Cluster need to have identical amounts of RAM?

Posted on 2007-10-02
Last Modified: 2008-08-28
I know that MS *recommends" identical server hardware for cluster nodes... but is it really *required* for them to have identical amounts of RAM?  What are the possible issues if they do not?

We have an existing MS cluster, and some of the RAM in one node is failing. We have replacement memory, but the amount will not be identical to the other server. The replacement will actually INCREASE the amount of RAM.  Is this a problem?
Question by:bereanbs
    LVL 142

    Accepted Solution

    it is not required. the problem you can get, is when the nodes fail over to the server with less RAM, that this will lead to (more/excessive) paging, and hence slowing down the entire system.
    now, if all the dimensioning has been done with nodes with "low" RAM, and you now place/upgrade 1 node with more RAM, this will not be a problem at all.
    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    As you say, identical hardware is -recommended-.  In the case of RAM amounts, the only obvious issue you'll notice is that, if the cluster fails over to the node with less RAM, performance will be impacted.

    It's worth testing any applications that are running on the cluster to see if there are any app-specific issues that you'll encounter, but from an operating system standpoint I can't think of anything aside from the perf issue.

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