2012 Server Clustering, Dell Equalogic, VMWare

Hi experts, one of our clients wants to setup file server clustering. DFS is not a route they want to pursue. They have an existing 2012 server (non R2) and they want to add another 2012 file server and setup clustering. Both servers are VMs setup on VMWare and they want to use the same shared storage from a Dell Equalogic SAN. Is this a good article to follow to set this up? - https://clusteringformeremortals.com/2012/12/31/windows-server-2012-clustering-step-by-step/ 

Also the change needs to be transparent to end users, will in the process of setting up clustering end users get disrupted? Currently there is a login bat script which maps the drive

All end user clients are still using Windows 7. Will the users notice if one the servers they are connected to goes down?

Thanks
abhijitm00Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Also the change needs to be transparent to end users, will in the process of setting up clustering end users get disrupted? Currently there is a login bat script which maps the drive

All end user clients are still using Windows 7. Will the users notice if one the servers they are connected to goes down?

So they want to Cluster their Current File Server ? which has live data for Users and Groups ?

So a quick Summary Plan would be... (quickly from memory!)

0. Create DNS names, Create Cluster IP Address and Names.
1. Create new 2012 Server.
2. Create new Shared Storage LUNs (on Dell  Equallogic).
(at this point you could do RDM or Software iSCSI)
3. Add Path Module to ESXi hosts.
4. Add Host Software to VMs.
5. Add iSCSI Software to VMs.
6. Add new network interfaces for Cluster Heartbeat.
7. Install/Add Clustering Failover Software.
8. Run Cluster Verification Utility.
9. Create Cluster.
10. Test Cluster.
11. Add Cluster File Share.
12. Test Cluster File share.

I would recommend, you create two new servers.... do the above, and transfer the data out of hours to the new cluster...

otherwise, I cannot see how it will not impact users.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
I recommend setting up DFS Namespace. This will make it easier to transition from the stand alone file server to the clustered file server. You should pretty much always use DFS Namespace anyway, as it makes it easier to switch to a new file server without breaking links, updating login scripts, changing drive mappings, etc.

Setting up the existing file server VM in a VMware HA cluster is usually enough for most organizations. Setting up file server cluster is more complicated.

I don't ever setup additional networks just for cluster communication/heartbeat, as Windows will create virtual interfaces to do it anyway.

During HA failover, downtime is maybe 15-45 seconds or so, depending on how fast the storage is and how quickly the cluster can fail over. Your client machines may or may not notice.
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