Thursday, 25 February 2010

Configuring a Cluster Using iSCSI

Ensuring High Availability using Clustering

  • Failover clustering

  • Network Load Balancing

Clustering is available in Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise and Windows Server® 2008 Datacenter editions (creating 8 and 16 nodes respectively)

Failover cluster with two nodes connected to a storage unit

In this exercise, we will build a two-node failover cluster using an iSCSI SAN

Requirements for a two-node failover cluster
You will need the following hardware for a two-node failover cluster:

1.Two Windows Server 2008 (Enterprise ed.) which will serve as cluster nodes
2.A cluster storage volume. This will be a third server running StarWind iSCSI software (iSCSI target)

1.Configuring iSCSI Storage Target

StarWind offers an excellent iSCSI target solution for free. Download the software from
Once installed, connect, register and add two iscsi targets. One will be the Witness Disk (Quorum) and the other will be the Data Disk. The ‘disks’ will infact be file images of disks.
Ensure that the Data Disk is around 5GB and the Witness Disk is 500MB and clustering is availbale on both.

2.Configuring the Failover Cluster on the Cluster Nodes pt1

a.Ensure that the Failover Cluster feature is installed on both cluster nodes. (Dont bother running the initial confiuration test!)
b.On Server 1, open the Failover Cluster console from Administrative tools
c.Right click Failover Cluster Management and select Create a Cluster
d.Within the wizard, add the two servers that will be the cluster nodes (server 1 and server2)
e.Say no to the validation warning
f.Give the cluster a suitable name and supply an IP address that the cluster can be reached on
g.Finish the wizard

Now that the basic cluster has been created, notice you dont have any storage. We will next configure the iSCSI initiators.

3.Configuring Failover Cluster on the Cluster Nodes pt2 (iSCSI initiators)

a.On both cluster nodes, open the iSCSI Initiator from Administrative Tools
b.On the Discovery Tab click add portal and enter in the name or IP address of the iSCSI target (the port should be 3260)
c.This should occur with no errors. If errors occur dont forget to check firewall settings on the iSCSI target server.
d.Select the Targets Tab. Two targets should be visible. One will be the Witness Disk and the other will be the Data Disk
e.Log on to both targets making sure the check box for automatic connections on computer restart is selected
f.Follow the same procedure on server 2
g.In disk managent select each disk. Bring each online, and format with NTFS

4.Configuring Failover Cluster on the Cluster Nodes pt3 (add storage)

a.Server 1, open the Failover Cluster console from Administrative tools
b.Find and select the storage section
c.Right click and add storage and add the iSCSI disks created earlier

5.Configuring Failover Cluster on the Cluster Nodes pt4 (Quorum/witness configuration)

a.In the Failover Cluster console from Administrative tools select the cluster name.
b.Select more actions and select ‘Configure Cluster Quorum Settings’
c.Select the ‘Node and Disk Majority’ option (the second radio button)
d.Select the disk that will act as the witness disk

The above configuration should provide you with automatic failover. Shutdown a machine and on the nodes section you will see the other node is still available

6.Configuring Failover Cluster on the Cluster Nodes pt5 (add a file server service)

a.In the Failover and Cluster Managemnt console select ‘Services and Applications’
b.Right click and select ‘Configure Services or Applications’
c.Select File Server
d.Provide a name (users will use this name to access the Data Disk) and a unique IP address
e.Select the data disk storage disk
Clients should be able to get to shared data even if a node goes down

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrew

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