New Validation Tests in 2008 R2 Failover Clustering

Hi Cluster Fans,


Our Validate a Configuration Wizard was so popular that we’ve improved it in Windows Server 2008 R2.  Validate is the tool which verifies that your entire configuration is suitable for Failover Clustering.  It will test the servers, networks, storage, run a series of failover tests, and inventory all the configuration information into saved reports.  It can be run before, during or after deployment as a troubleshooting tool. 



Cluster Support

Running ‘Validate’ and making sure that no tests fail is one of only two requirements to have a supported Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2008 / R2.  The other is that each component has a Windows Server 2008 / R2 Logo.


More information about the Validate a Configuration Wizard:

More information about the Logo Program:



New Tests for Windows Server 2008 R2

There are 5 categories of tests in Windows Server 2008 R2.  The entire Cluster Configuration category is new, but this set of tests will only be run on clusters which have already been created.  It lists useful information about the current configuration which helps troubleshooters easily understand how it is deployed.  The image below is an example of some of the new, prescriptive information from Validate tests.




The Inventory and Storage categories run the same tests, with some minor changes.  The Network and System Configuration categories have a few additions.


In this image, the highlighted tests are new.




Cluster Configuration

       List * – Provides an overview of Core Group, Networks, Resources, Storage, Services and Applications.  It gives useful information about how the resources are configured and include graphical dependency reports.

       Validate Quorum Configuration – Checks if the quorum mode used is recommended, with the settings depending on the number of nodes and availability of storage similar to the “Configure Cluster Quorum Wizard”, in addition it checks the recommended values for quorum arbitration time

       Validate Resource Status – Validates that cluster resources are online, and list the cluster resources that are running in separate resource monitors.  If a resource is running in a separate resource monitor, it is usually because the resource failed and the Cluster service began running it in a separate resource monitor (to make it less likely to affect other resources if it fails again).

       Validate Service Principal Name – Issue a warning if the Service Principal Name cannot be found on a Kerberos enabled network names.  SPN verifies the identity of the computer to which it is connecting

       Validate Volume Consistency – If any volumes are flagged as inconsistent (“dirty”), it provide a reminder that running chkdsk is recommended.



       List Network Binding Order – Lists the order in which networks are bound to each adapters on the nodes.

       Validate Multiple Subnet Properties – if it is determined to be a multi-subnet cluster, retrieve the settings for all network name resources and determine if the private properties for HostRecordTTL, RegisterAllProvidersIP and PublishPTRRecords are optimal for that configuration and validates that settings related to DNS are configured appropriately for clusters using multiple subnets.


System Configuration

·         Validate Cluster Service and Driver Settings – Validate startup settings used by services and drivers, including the Cluster service, CSVFilter.sys, NetFT.sys, and Clusdisk.sys.

·         Validate Memory Dump Settings – Validate that none of the nodes currently require a reboot (as part of a software update) and that each node is configured to capture a memory dump if it stops running.

·         Validate System Driver Variable – Validate that all nodes have the same value for the system drive environment variable, such as C:\

·         Validate Operating System Installation Options – The ‘Validate Operating System Installation Options’ test will check that all nodes are using the Core or the Full Installation option.  It is required that all nodes run the same installation option since not all roles and features are supported on Core, so workloads would not be able to failover to Core nodes if the role or feature is not available.

o   This replaced the ‘Validate Operating Systems’ tests which was no longer necessary since x86 architecture is no longer supported in Windows Server 2008 R2, and we now check that all nodes are x64 or ia64 when adding them to the list of servers to Validate. 



For more information about all of the Validation tests, visit:


We will continue to improve ‘Validate’ in our future products, so send us feedback about which new tests you would like to see.  You can send feedback by clicking on the ‘Email’ link in the upper right corner of this page.



Symon Perriman
Program Manager II
Clustering & High-Availability