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vCenter 5.1 Share vmdk disk for windows clustering

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hi

I've have a requirement to have four Windows 2008 R2 virtual servers in a Windows cluster.  Is there a way to use the standard tools in vcenter (adding a disk) that can be shared among the four servers so I can create the cluster?

Up to now, we have used physical servers with dedicated fiber for sharing storage on the SAN for clustering Windows Servers.

thank you.

Tony
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Question by:tonyjoewalker
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 39630082
If you want to create a Microsoft Failover Cluster with four servers, it is possible to create a failover cluster, using VMDKs, by creating a Cluster in a Box, but all four VMs must reside on the same host.

The key is to use virtual scsi bus sharing! which turns a vmdk, into shared disk between VMs.

Is this what you wanted?

see here for details

Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service - ESX 4.1/ESXi 4.1/vCenter Server 4.1
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_mscs.pdf

Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service - ESXi 5.0/vCenter Server 5.0
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-mscs-guide.pdf
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by:dipopo
dipopo earned 166 total points
ID: 39630194
Hi There,

As you already have FC connectivity to the data LUNs. I would go for "Cluster across boxes"
 with RDM in physical compatibility mode. Also VMware will "NOT" support quorum disks on virtual RDM's.


This will allow you to have resiliency as opposed to having all your clustered resource on the same box, although HA will restart them in case of a failure [~2mins downtime] but I think the main purpose of a cluster is to guarantee optimum uptime.


Considerations for Shared Storage Clustering

Storage Protocols
Fibre Channel: In vSphere 5.1 and earlier, configurations using shared storage for Quorum and/or Data must be on Fibre Channel (FC) based RDMs (physical mode for cluster across boxes "CAB", virtual mode for cluster in a box "CIB"). RDMs on storage other than FC (such as NFS or iSCSI) are not supported in 5.1 and earlier. In vSphere 5.5, Quorum or data can both be on iSCSI or FCoE as well. Virtual disk based shared storage is supported with CIB configurations only and must be created using the EagerZeroedThick option on VMFS datastores.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1037959
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compdigit44 earned 167 total points
ID: 39636338
Just keep one thing in mind a cluster-in-a-box would work BUT the host becomes a single point of failure. Ideal you should have two host with two VM split between them
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