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how to completely remove clustering while keeping all the VMs

Posted on 2014-11-06
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Last Modified: 2014-11-08
Two server2012r2 nodes in an HA cluster, SAN storage.  Getting lots of event errors and occasionally vm's are unreachable.

I didn't build the cluster and I would like to rebuilt it.

But first I have to unbuild it.

I want to keep the nodes, keep all the VMs (running as much as possible), keep the VM drives on the SAN storage but I want to completely remove HA clustering... just have 2 separate nodes sharing the same storage device.

Can this be done?

Thanks.
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Question by:gateguard
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Steve earned 167 total points
ID: 40428259
yea, it's possible but can be a bit of a pain.

assuming your 2 nodes are not overloaded, one node should be able to handle all the VMs on it's own.

Move all the VMs to the node which is in charge of the cluster.

cleanly remove that node from the cluster.

export the VMs

move the files if necessary

import them into the standalone hyper-v server

destroy the cluster once everything is moved


this does mean the VMs need to be shutdown, but means you can do one at a time instead of the entire infrastructure going off.


A slightly messier way is to just kill the cluster. it doesn't delete the VMs but it can cause issues depending on where the VMs are stored, as destroying the cluster stops access to the CSVs.
I recommend against that unless you can try it in a lab environment first.
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40428268
First of all how are the hosts connected to the SAN? iSCSI or Fibre/SAS HBAs?

You can remove the HA role from the VM within the Failover Cluster Manager console but I think the VM has to be offline for you to do this.

If you're looking at rebuilding your cluster then I would personally remove the HA role from the VMs, export them, then re-import to local drives on the hosts while you go about recreating the cluster.
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 167 total points
ID: 40428543
You would have to disable LUN sharing on your SAN. Then set up each LUN to be dedicated to one Hyper-V host.

Seems a waste in my mind.

Since a wipe and reload would be so disruptive perhaps figuring out why the errors are happening in the first place would be on order?

There could be misconfigurations in the SAN, bad firmware in a component or components, a bad driver, or so many other reasons.
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LVL 24

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by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 166 total points
ID: 40428563
I agree with Philip, wiping the entire cluster will result in significant downtime either way. It's probably best we address the existing issues with the cluster setup instead.
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