Sunday, 25 September 2016

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 - Failover Clustering Installation, Configuration & Post Configurations Process- Part 3

Hello Everyone,

In this post, I will explain about most useful feature of Windows Server, i.e. Failover Clustering.

I noticed that many IT Professionals wants to learn about clustering concept and process so I will try to explain in details with step by step process.

To see Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 Overview, Click Here!

To see Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 Hyper-V Installation, VM Deployment & What's New in VM Settings, Click Here!

Let's start understanding clustering in details....



What is Failover Clustering?


Failover Clustering is a Windows Server Feature which helps You to enable High Availability for Virtual Machines, Storage & Networks on physical server level which gives You option to live migrate VMs & storage to another nodes if any node goes down. 

By High Availability, I mean to make virtual machines & services up and running even if any of the clustered node goes down.

If any nodes in cluster goes down then Virtual machines will be Live migrated (hardly 1 or 2 RTO can be seen which is considered as Live Migration) to next available node based on priority of resource availability on nodes.

By resources availability means the nodes which have more number of RAM & CPU available to use i.e. free resources available.

This high availability concept makes production environments more reliable & reduce loss of SLAs. 

There are many other benefits like You can live migrate VMs or storage to other nodes based on utilisation of resources, helps in migrating Your Server & Roles from older version to upper version with almost 1 or 2 mins down-time only. 

With 2016, no down-time is required to migrate roles from 2012 R2 to 2016 (I will test the same and share new post on this soon). 

In 2012 R2, Concept for migrating Roles from Win 2012 to 2012 R2 is COPY CLUSTER (Click Here to see the process for migrating roles from Win 2012 to 2012 R2 using Copy Cluster option!). 

In 2016, This concept is changes to migrate roles from Win 2012 R2 to Win 2016. I will show the complete process in coming post...


Prerequisites for Failover Clustering:


There are few things which must be done before configuring cluster:


  • Network configuration must be same on all clustered nodes (Most Important). Click here to learn the concept for network configuration!
  • All nodes must be domain joined.
  • Failover Cluster Feature must be installed on all nodes.
  • Shared Disk must be added on all nodes (5 GB Quorum Disk & Other disks which You need to add in cluster as Clustered Shared Volume to keep VMs files in CSV). This means same disk must be shared with all nodes and should be visible on all nodes.
  • Online, Initialise & Create Simple Volume with drive name & drive letter for Quorum Disk only from any 1 node.
  • Online, Initialise & Create Simple Volume without drive name & drive letter for other disks which You will add in cluster as CSV from any 1 node.
  • Turn OFF the windows firewall.
  • Need additional 1 IP & Define name for Cluster.
  • Disable IPv6 from all network adapters & virtual switches on all nodes.

Other things to be checked:


Failover Clustering Feature - Installation Process:


Open Server Manager, Click on Add Roles & Features:




Click next 4 times and then select Failover Cluster feature:




Click Add Features:




Click Install:




Click Close:




Go to Tools and Click on Failover Cluster Manager:



Completed:



Similarly, Install Failover Clustering Feature on all nodes which You want to configure.


Failover Clustering Feature - Configuration Process:


Click on Create Cluster (2 options shown where You can click in below screen):



Click Next and Then enter IP address or Server name of all servers which You want to configure as Cluster Nodes:



Click on Yes for validating if all nodes fulfil all prerequisites related to server, network, disk etc (Must validate before proceeding to see report if everything is correct):



Click Next:



For first time validation, You must select to Run all test but make note if You are re-validating any production cluster again then choose Run only test I select option and unchecked disk part because during test, Disks are offline and online and in production Your services will get down which may result in business loss:



Click Next:



Monitor Job and once completed then click on view report to see all reports:


You can click on individual Name to see warning or error message:




Click Finish. Make sure check mark is enabled to create cluster with validated nodes:



Give Cluster Name & IP and Click Next:



Click Next:



Click Finish: Warning is because Cluster Disk is not added which can be added later as well:



Cluster configuration is completed:



Failover Clustering Feature - Post-Configurations:


Add Disk:


Expand Storage, Click on Disk & then Click on Add disk:



Select Disk to be added (Add Quorum Disk & other disks for CSV):



Disk is added as Available Storage in Cluster:



Right Click on Disk & Click on Add to Clustered Shared Volumes:



Disk is added to Clustered Shared Volume:



Now CSV Volume path will be created on all clustered nodes in C:/ Drive as shown below:



Change VM Path in Hyper-V Settings:


Open Hyper-V Console & Click on Hyper-V Settings:



Change the path to CSV Volume, once You change it then for any new VM provisioning, by default it will take same path:




This is all about Failover Clustering Features.


Share Your feedback or any query!!!

Happy Reading!!!

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