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Creating Server Cluster w/2008 Enterprise Edition and no SAN

Posted on 2009-05-12
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Hello-

I am trying to setup a cluster or failover solution with a client's data folders.  Basically it is about 300GB of data that needs a very high level of availability.

I have two identical Dell 2950 Servers, both with Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.
They both have 4 physical hard drives configured with RAID 5.
I have a C: partition of 150GB and an E: partition (or data partition) with 500GB.
When I run the failover cluster test it says I don't have any available disks for clustering.

For some reason I thought I would be able to use the E: drive (data partition) as a failover within both servers.  Is this possible?  At this point I don't have any type of external SAN setup.
Am I able to use existing storage on a server (or both servers) as some type of failover?
Thanks in advance for your help.

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Question by:slevin10
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oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 24369266
For a failover cluster hosting files, you *will* need external storage. Failover clustering does not do any sort of file mirroring--the SAN volume will be moved to the active node. No workarounds, no tricks.

Maybe start with Virtual Server and a test cluster in a virtual test environment first to get a feeling for failover clustering. A two node cluster is fully supported (use W2k3 for the nodes, W2k8 doesn't support SCSI anymore):
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/default.mspx

Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 to Create and Configure a Two-Node Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Cluster
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/virtualserver/deploy/cvs2005.mspx
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by:Andres Perales
Andres Perales earned 250 total points
ID: 24369467
As oBdA stated for a failover cluster you need some sort of shared storage between the two servers.
What kind of data are you talking about?  If it is files in a file share you can setup DFS and enable DFS replication to create two copies of this information across two servers.
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Author Comment

by:slevin10
ID: 24375217
Thanks to both of you guys.  
I guess I had the wrong idea about clustering.
It looks like what I am ultimately trying to accomplish is to have DFS replication as Peralesa mentioned.
The data that needs to be replicated are mostly AutoCad files and projects.
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