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Question on patching with clusters

Posted on 2008-10-11
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Hi

I have a query about clusters that I was hoping someone could help me with.

Let's say I have an Active/ Active/ Passive cluster (Windows 2003) formation for Exchange 2003.

How does this work if I want to install patches for

a) The OS
b) The application (i.e. Exchange)

In both cases, do I need to fail over Exchange to the passive node and then patch the node without the Exchange virtual server? Or does this apply only for OS patching, i.e. for application patching you need to patch the virtual servers itself?

Hope someone can help...I'm a bit confused by servers/virtual servers (not referring to Vmware virtualisation here btw)!

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Question by:kam_uk
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sstone55423 earned 1600 total points
ID: 22694372
Hi:
First download your patches so that you can manually install them.  You can use microsoft update to give you an idea of what patches need to be done, and in what order, but just document that and install them manually.
Second, make sure you have good backups of the cluster (all stores, systems states and quorum)
Then move all services to one of the nodes (making it active-passive), and then once they have moved, set the previously active node to "stop cluster service".  Then using whatever method you've chosen to update (manually, Microsoft update, etc) update this node. (the one you stop the cluster service on)
When done REBOOT this newly updated cluster node.
After it is completely up (or after you have done a series of updates, with a final reboot and the updates are complete) fail the services from the other node to this newly updated node.
Update the other node that is now passive in the same manner as previously indicated (stop cluster service) etc. and reboot.
After updates (do the SAME updates on both cluster nodes) move the services that  previously running before you started so that they are active-active again.
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by:kam_uk
ID: 22694679
Thanks!

Out of interest, what is the repurcussions of carrying out the updates on the live servers (apart from a brief outage)?

And what is the effect of only patching one node?

Just curious ;)
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by:Exchange_Geek
Exchange_Geek earned 400 total points
ID: 22694934
Cluster never fails over from a node which has got a latest version of any DLL file to the other node which has got lower versions of the same DLL
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