Workgroup and Multi-domain clusters in Windows Server 2016

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and previous versions, a cluster could only be created between member nodes joined to the same domain. Windows Server 2016 breaks down these barriers and introduces the ability to create a Failover Cluster without Active Directory dependencies. Failover Clusters can now therefore be created in the following configurations: Single-domain Clusters:… Read more

Planning Failover Cluster Node Sizing

In this blog I will discuss considerations on planning the number of nodes in a Windows Server Failover Cluster. Starting with Windows Server 2012, Failover Clustering can support to up 64-nodes in a single cluster making it industry leading in scale for a private cloud.  While this is exciting, the reality is that it is… Read more

Configuring a File Share Witness on a Scale-Out File Server

In this blog, I am going to discuss the considerations for configuring a File Share Witness (FSW) for the Failover Cluster hosting your workloads, on a separate Scale-Out File Server cluster. You can find more information on Failover Clustering quorum here. File Share Witness on a Scale-Out File Server It is supported to use a… Read more

How to Run ChkDsk and Defrag on Cluster Shared Volumes in Windows Server 2012 R2

Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) is a layer of abstraction on either the ReFS or NTFS file system (which is used to format the underlying private cloud storage). Just as with a non-CSV volume, at times it may be necessary to run ChkDsk and Defrag on the file system. In this blog, I am going to… Read more

How to Properly Shutdown a Failover Cluster or a Node

This blog will discuss the proper process for shutting down an individual node in a Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Cluster or the entire cluster with all the nodes.  Note:  While the steps outlined will be specific to Windows Server 2012 R2, the process applies to a cluster of any OS version. Shutting Down a… Read more

How to Enable CSV Cache

Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) Cache is a feature which allows you to allocate system memory (RAM) as a write-through cache.  The CSV Cache provides caching of read-only unbuffered I/O.  This can improve performance for applications such as Hyper-V, which conducts unbuffered I/O when accessing a VHD or VHDX file.  Unbuffered I/O’s are operations which are not cached by… Read more

How to Setup a Failover Cluster in a RODC Environment

In Windows Server 2012, a Failover Cluster can be created in an environment that has access only to a Read Only Domain Controller (RODC) but not a Read Write Domain Controller (RWDC). This deployment model can be useful in a branch office with unreliable network connectivity or in a perimeter network (DMZ) where the cluster… Read more

How to configure VM Monitoring in Windows Server 2012

Overview Do you have a large number of virtualized workloads in your cluster? Have you been looking for a solution that allows you to detect if any of the virtualized workloads in your cluster are behaving abnormally? Would you like the cluster service to take recovery actions when these workloads are in an unhealthy state?… Read more

How to Configure an Alias for a Clustered SMB Share with Windows Server 2012

Starting with Windows Server 2008, SMB file shares on a Failover Cluster are scoped so that they are only accessible by valid UNC paths associated with the network name they are bound to.  See this blog for more information: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2009/01/09/file-share-scoping-in-windows-server-2008-failover-clusters.aspx File Share Scoping delivered improved functionality that solved a number of issues, but introduced some… Read more

How to Create a Cluster in a Restrictive Active Directory Environment

In Windows Server 2012 there have been several enhancements to how Windows Server Failover Clusters integrate with the Active Directory.  In this blog I am going to discuss some of the changes to help enable creating Failover Clusters in restrictive Active Directory environments where permissions to create computer objects is delegated to specific organizational units (OU)…. Read more