WIndows Cluster Active/passive nodes.

Posted on 2011-02-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
1- When windows cluster is made up of 2 nodes, one passive and one active it makes sense that when the active has issues the resources will fail over to the passive node that will become the new active node and the old active node will become the new passive node.

2- What about the cluster that is made up of 3 Active nodes and 1 passive node. Does that mean the passive node is used only if all 3 active nodes fail?

3- there are some environments wher windows clusters  don't have passive nodes, ie, 3 active nodes with no passive nodes. how does this cluster function in matter of failover.

Question by:jskfan
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 34924694
Simply forget about the "active/passive node" concept, it doesn't really apply to MSCS. MSCS is not an "all or nothing" hot standby solution.
You have a cluster consisting of two to eight nodes, and you have (grouped) resources that this cluster manages.
Generally speaking, a resource group can be owned by any node in the cluster. How these resource groups are distributed by default, and in which order they failover to another node is completely up to you (and the status of the other nodes, obviously).
A resource is always "owned" by a single node, but since all nodes are peers, and all nodes can be the owner of any resource at any time, "active/passive" just doesn't apply.
A node can be considered "passive" if it doesn't own any resource at a given moment, but that can change at any time--and without necessarily making any of the other nodes in the cluster "passive" in return.

Author Comment

ID: 34924801

if I have  3 nodes in the cluster .can I manually assign the ownership of resources 1,2,3 to node1
and resources 4,5 to node 2 and resources 6,7,8 to node3 ?
in this case are all 3 nodes considered  active nodes?

what if node3 reboots then comes back, what will happen to the resources it has previously owned?
LVL 84

Expert Comment

ID: 34924857
Again: forget about "active/passive nodes", except for a snapshot consideration. It's all about owning resources and keeping them online. One node does not take over for another node. One node only takes over resources of another node.
If a node reboots and comes back online, it depends on the failover/failback strategy configured for the resource group. A resource group can be configured to just stay on the current node, or it can be configured to automatically fail back once the node is online again.
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Author Comment

ID: 34924910
in my example about 3 active nodes , the resources are distributed among 3 nodes.

what will happen when  node3 accidentaly reboots ? will the owned resources move randomly to another node ? what will happen when the node3 is back up online, will it automatically take ownership of the resources it owned ?

LVL 84

Assisted Solution

oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 34925060
The resources owned by node 3 will be moved according to the "Preferred Owner" configured in the properties of the resource group.
And as I said, if a node reboots and comes back online, it depends on the configuration of the resource group as well: the failover/failback strategy can be configured to just stay on the current node, or it can be configured to automatically fail back once the node is online again (which I'd advise against in normal configurations, it can lead to unwanted moves of resources).

Author Comment

ID: 34940888
when you say "Preferred Owner" .

Did you mean Possible Owners:

Because we have 2 node windows 2003 print cluster, if I go to Active resources and select properties of any resource, in General tab I see a field named, Possible Owners:
LVL 84

Accepted Solution

oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 34941470
You're looking at the properties of the resources (where you can define which node may own this resource to begin with).
The "Preferred owner" (which defines the failover order) is set in the properties of a resource group.

Assisted Solution

jskfan earned 0 total points
ID: 34950213
Thanks for your help.. I can see it now.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34990685

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