Hi cluster fans,
Many of you ask about the cheapest way to deploy your own cluster. We all know that the hardware requirements are very flexible, so long as the components have a Windows Server logo and the complete solutions passes Validate (support policy) … but what about storage?
Clustering does have a few storage requirements. The storage must be shared between the cluster nodes so that when a node fails and the other node picks up the workload, it will be able to access the same data which is on that shared disk. You may use Fibre Channel, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or iSCSI, and the device must support persistent reservations (hardware requirements). But networked storage can be expensive…until now!
Windows Storage Server 2008 (WSS 2008) with the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.2 is now available to all MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. A version for evaluation (TechNet Plus or MSDN), demonstration (MSDN), development (MSDN) or test (MSDN) is now being provided to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers for the first time. Rather than using expensive shared storage you simply run Storage Server on another machine. All communication is done over regular Ethernet cables, so HBAs or an expensive SAN are not needed. With just any three computers (2 cluster nodes and 1 iSCSI Target / DC) and a hub you can have your own Failover Cluster! Now there are no excuses for not trying out clustering.
Full details and a FAQ are available at: http://blogs.technet.com/josebda/archive/2009/05/12/windows-storage-server-2008-with-the-microsoft-iscsi-software-target-3-2-available-to-msdn-and-technet-plus-subscribers.aspx
Clustering & High Availability