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2008 Failover Cluster QUORUM questions

Posted on 2014-03-18
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Last Modified: 2014-03-19
We have several 2 node Microsoft 2008 Server Failover Clusters.  Mostly SQL and File Servers.  Currently we have Node and Disk Majority setup as the quorum model.  On occasssion when nodes are patched and restarted - specifically noticed when both nodes have to be shutdown, the cluster won't start when only 1 node is brought back online.  Initially thought these rare occassions were when one node owned the quorum drive and the other node owned the application/service.  Then when both nodes are off one is powered up and of course the cluster won't start until I bring up the other node or forcequorum.   My questions are as follows:  (all based on the above 2 node cluster with node and disk majority quorum model)

1.   If node 1 is powered off, ALL resources/applicatons and quorum drive if owned by node 1 moves to node2 as long as the node is functioning properly CORRECT?
2.   Assuming everything moved to node2 and node 1 is powered off.  If node 2 then is powered off - it has nothing to failover to so I assume that node 2 has the last known good cluster configuration and will RETAIN ownership of the applications/resources/quorum disk.
3.  Both nodes are powered off and assuming node 2 still is defined as owning the applications/resources.   If I power up node 1 in this condition - will this fail to form the cluster because the quorum drive and apps are still on node 2?   Is this the rare condition that I mention above.
4.  In our lab, I've done every possible combination of tests of powering down, stopping cluster service, keeping both off, turning both on at the same time... you name it.  I can't get it to NOT START UP NORMALLY.

Anyone enlighten me on the specific condition that is causing my cluster to not start?
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Question by:rdelrosario
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by:Jaihunt
ID: 39937125
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by:rdelrosario
ID: 39937774
First article not much help... 2nd article went all over the place with everyone saying different things.   My specific question is what scenario would cause the "rare" issues that I mention above.  Again, in my lab I've done every possible scenario from pulling the power on both units at the same time to shutting down the cluster node 1 first or 2 first rebooting bla bla bla... it just all works.... but on the rare scenario the cluster won't start in my production enivornment.
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by:Jaihunt
ID: 39938826
As the article says if you stop the cluster services properly you can bring the resources in the passive node. but as per your condition it wont work. if you have any issues with bringing active node online like hardware issue. you can use no quorum option in passive node and bring all resource online. As per your testing method you cant bring resource online.
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Author Comment

by:rdelrosario
ID: 39939355
Jai.  I've outlined 4 questions in the original email that might help me understand what's going on.  Perhaps I'm not explaining myself properly as you mention "per your condition".  I'm trying to determine what condition is causing this.

Please confirm or deny my assumptions and/or questions in the 4 outlined points in my original question.   perhaps some clarification/confirmation on those I may be able to make sense of whats going on.
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by:Jaihunt
ID: 39939371
1.   Yes correct


2.  Yes correct. Before power off node 1 you need to properly shutdown the cluster  as mentioned in the article

3.  This is were confusing. If you are planning to shutdown the node 2 also you need to do as per the 1st article says. So you properly shutdown cleanly both nodes. so that you can bring the node 1 first bring the resource online.

4. I don't know what you are trying to achieve by shutting down both nodes and bringing differently.

As the first article mentioned if you want to clean shutdown of the nodes you need to follow the steps.
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Author Comment

by:rdelrosario
ID: 39939376
If I have a future scenario where the cluster won't start, is forcing quorum a safe option.  I've read that it could corrupt data??   If I can't achieve majority are there any other safer options or is this fine.   Again we run SQL, FILE SERVER and EXCHANGE Clusters
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Jaihunt earned 500 total points
ID: 39939414
That is standard recommended method if you cant bring active node or quorum online.

Please check the below link.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2010/06/08/windows-server-2008-and-2008r2-failover-cluster-startup-switches.aspx
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by:rdelrosario
ID: 39939800
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