Today has been an expensive lesson in the need to keep your hardware up to date - chucking in extra RAM and bigger drives is NOT always enough.
The plan was to create a virtualised Windows 2008 Server cluster. I had experience on clustering Windows Server 2003 with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 so assumed it would be a case of getting to know the new user interface.
- Ensured I had the latest version of Virtual Server 2005 (R2 service pack 1)
- Checked the product keys I had matched the install media I was going to use
- Created two virtual Windows 2008 Server machines
- Configured all the extra network interfaces, SCSI adapters and drives
- Installed and ran the Failover Cluster Management snapin
No joy - "Disk bus type does not support clustering". After browsing the Internet I discovered that:
- Clustering in Windows Server 2008 only supports iSCSI instead of plain old SCSI -
- Virtual Server 2005 does not support iSCSI
But what about Hyper-V? Maybe I could install Windows Server 2008 as the host operating system and the virtual machines could be guests?
Sadly, Hyper-V has hardware requirements:
Q. What are the prerequisites to install and use Hyper-V?
A. In addition to the system requirements for Windows Server 2008 as described in the release notes, a 64-bit system with hardware-assisted virtualization enabled and data execution prevention (DEP) is required.
Hardware-assisted virtualization became available on x86 platforms in 2007 and, unsurprisingly, my 4 year old Dell Precision 670 hasn't a clue what I'm asking it to do.