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Hyper-V Cluster QUestion

Posted on 2011-03-17
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I am working on setting up a Hyper-V cluster with two nodes for failover/high availability. I think I have a pretty basic understanding of what is needed to set this up so far, but I had a question. Let's say I have the two nodes setup, with dual switches for multipath and an iSCSI SAN for storage of the VMs. From my understanding both nodes would use the VMs that are on the SAN (not simultaneously, but one node would take over should the other node go down). Let's say that one of the VMs is running Windows Server 2008 and while doing security patches, etc. there is a corruption/issue with the OS. Obviously, this would effect either node since they are using the same file. I suppose that one would have to resort to restoring from backup at that point, but doesn't that make the failover/high availabilty pointless to some extent? Perhaps there is something that I am missing and would appreciate any insight on how this should be handled properly. Thanks!
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Question by:ctsuhako
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colditzz earned 500 total points
ID: 35158565
The failover/high availability functionality provides resillience against physical issues, host fails, switch fails, etc...
If a system can be afffected by windows updates 'breaking something' then failover clustering, Hyper-V, VMWare or any other cluster setup will not help you seamlessly.
The host nodes don't both 'own' the clustered service at the same time, so they can 'float' between the nodes within the cluster for maintenance periods or failover/high availability.

One benefit of virtualization is that your entire system is contained within one .vhd file (and the associated config files), so you can create snapshots of systems and then in the event of a failure within the virtualized OS you can roll back to the snapshot, BUT this is not a replacement for a solid backup/restore strategy.

Hope this helps.
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by:ctsuhako
ID: 35158603
Thank you, that is helpful. From perusing the web, it seems that there may be the ability to do a combination of Guest Clustering/Host Clustering. We are running Windows SBS 2008, and I have to do some research to see if that is supported at all.
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by:colditzz
ID: 35158712
No worries, I believe it is possible, but you can very easily over complicate the configuration that you have, and even then you may not achieve the results you require.
Depending on the services you would like to provide via Hyper-V virtual machines, you might be able to use NLB across the virtual machines hosted across the two nodes.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35159479
SBS can't particiapte as a failover cluster member. That requires Windows Enterprise or Datacenter editions. It can probably be part of Network Load Balancing. You can run SBS as a VM in a high availability cluster.
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by:colditzz
ID: 35159575
You can also use Hyper-V server (the free one) as part of a Hyper-V cluster - http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/faq.aspx - but, this is Core install only and does not provide any of the licensing benefits of using the Enterprise or DataCenter editions.
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Author Comment

by:ctsuhako
ID: 35159621
SBS can't particiapte as a failover cluster member.

By cluster member do you mean Guest Clustering? Is that because Exchange is woven in to SBS?

Thank you.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 35159667
I mean that you can't use SBS to host a service like SQL or Exchange that is clustered with another server because the machine running the service needs to be Enterprise or Datacenter. SBS has the capabilities of Standard, which can't participate in failover clustering.
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