windows 2008 R2 clustering network configuration

Assume I have SAN and two servers running Windows 2008 Server R2 and I want to cluster the two servers. (Note there will be no VM's on these servers - they will be running purely physical.)  How many separate networks would I need?  I can see that I need one network card in each server for ordinary network  communication that are linked through a switch - I will call this the 'LAN' switch. I also need one network card in each server for the heartbeat network joined by either a crossover cable or a switch - I will call this the 'heartbeat' switch.  What about the SAN?  Do I need a separate network card in each computer for the SAN joined by a switch  by analogy with the previous names I will call the 'SAN' switch?

Or do I just add the SAN NIC to the  LAN switch?

Or to the heartbeat switch?

Or both?  

If more than one alternative  is possible I would appreciate knowing the merits of the different configurations?
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jakethecatukConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Here is a simple diagram showing what you could do.  The HEARTBEAT can be either a cross over cable or plugged into a switch but it's better to use a cross over cable in my opinion.
Using VLAN's, you could do this with one card - but it's not a good idea as you will get congestion on the NIC and you have a single point of failure.

Again using VLAN's, you could combine the HEARTBEAT and SAN traffic onto the same NIC but obviously, you will have to go through a swtich to do this.  If you can't have three NIC's then this is the most sensible option for achieving what you want.  The cluster will use both the production LAN and HEARTBEAT to communicate with each other.  You do however have a single point of failure back to your SAN.

Or, a minimum of one NIC port per network segment would be considered best practice.  Oh, and using a dual port NIC with the LAN and HEARTBEAT on is not a good idea :)

With the SAN, if you can go for two NIC ports using LACP to get more throughput, it would be worthwhile.  This will give you redundancy and performance.

This configuration should be mirrored on each node of the cluster to ensure consistency.

If you are connecting all these ports to the same switch, you may want to look at the swtich thruput capacity as you may be trying to pump too much data thru it.  If you are using two swtiches, HEARTBEAT and SAN can go on the same switch (this is to ensure you don't have data thruput capacity issues).
lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info. I am not looking at minimal configuration. So from what you are saying the recommended would be to put the SAN on one network - separate network cards in the core servers and separate switch to connect to the SAN.  Also a heartbeat network using separate network cards hooked to a separate switch or a crossover if only two servers being clustered.  Finally there would be a third network card in each server for the actual LAN itself and its own switch (and the workstations would be connected on this switch as well. So all told 3 network cards in the servers and 3 switches is what you are recommending?

Note that the SAN has only one network port right now - II was unaware of the LACP option and will check into it. Do you have any links for it?

Finally as far as your comment "This configuration should be mirrored on each node of the cluster to ensure consistency" is the configuration I just described in the first paragraph what you mean or do you mean yet another 3 network cards in each server connected via 3 additional switches for a total of 6 network cards in each server and 6 separate switches?
lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
A picture is worth at least 2000 words.  Thanks. Very clear.
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