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MS DTC on Windows Cluster 2003

Posted on 2009-04-28
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Hi Guys,
I have a windows 2003 R2 Sp2 / 2 node cluster which i inherited from previous Sys Admin.
One node is a web server (IIS) and the other is a file server.
i can see a DTC Resource on it in one of the groups.

When the group fails to the other node....all is good.
but when it tries to fail back to the original node it fails...and causing the group to move again then staying on the other node.

my questions:
1. is MS DTC required ? (i thought it is only for SQL)
2. Why is it failing?
3. can i somehow clean all the DTC configuration in a asafe manner and recreate it?

cheers,

Elwood
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Question by:fleetcare
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Expert Comment

by:Pber
ID: 24260001
Generally the DTC is used for SQL but I've seen other types of cluster resources require it.  Best practice would be to have the DTC in its own resource group independant of your groups.
To try and answer some of your questions:
1)  Hard to tell since you inherited from the previous sysadmin.   Tt may be best to find our what the web server or file server are doing.  It may be possible, but without knowing your environment/applications it would be impossible to predict this.  You could disable it for a period of time and see if there are ill effects.
2)  Once again hard to determine why it is failing.  This link might help, but without know why msdtc is running, it may be difficult:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa561924.aspx
3)   You should.  We've done this serveral times on some of our misconfigured clusters to make them right.  Use the steps in here to move the msdtc to its own cluster group.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/243204/en-us - refers to 2000, but steps are still valid in 2003.  Now if the dtc files, it won't take down your other resource groups.
See this as well:  
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301600
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Author Comment

by:fleetcare
ID: 24266433
Hi Pber,
Thank you for your information.
The DTC resource is not in its own group. it is in a group with
Disk Q / Cluster Name / Cluster IP Address resources.

Does the DTC resource exist on the cluster to make the failover to the other node successful (maybe iis transactions)?
I know the Web server is querying a SQL Server which is not part of the Web Cluster...

If i remove the DTC from the cluster, can something serious happen when it fails to the other node?

thanks,
Elwood
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Accepted Solution

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Pber earned 2000 total points
ID: 24269136
Once again, without knowing your environment, it's tough to tell why DTC is on the cluster.  The DTC is usually grouped with the SQL server clusters.  It is possible that the web service is using a COM+ or a .Net component that uses it.
The DTC is used to coordinate SQL type transactions from data involving several sources/targets to ensure the transaction is reliable.   See this:  http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/sql-server/what-exactly-is-msdtc-any-when-do-i-need-it/
You could just try and keep the resource offline and see if it affects your web services.  You are probably best just re-building the MSDTC on the cluster from scratch.
 
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Author Closing Comment

by:fleetcare
ID: 31575342
Thanks Pber for all the Information.
I think like you mentioned...it is best to rebuild the DTC on the cluster from scratch.
Cheers,
Elwood
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