Overview (Server Clusters: Remote Setup, Unattended Installations and Image-based Installations)
Updated: January 1, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1
You can install Server clusters remotely in the following ways:
Using command line to install Server clusters
Unattended installation of Server clusters during the operating system install
Image-based installation of Server clusters during the operating system install
Using Command Line to Install Server Clusters
If Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Server is already installed and configured on your cluster nodes, you can simply use the command line utility called cluster.exe to install and configure the cluster service on those nodes remotely.
Unattended Installation of the Operating System and the Cluster Service
To perform a clean install or to upgrade the operating system, you can either perform a hands-on installation (you must manually provide all the answers required for setup), which this document will not address, or an unattended installation using a so-called answer file. Server clusters can be installed after the operating system installation completes, by specifying certain switches in the answer file. Unattended installation of the operating system and Server clusters is discussed in details in the Unattended installation of Server Clusters section of this document.
Image-based Installation of the Operating System and the Cluster Service
Another way to perform a clean install of the operating system is to use image-based installations, also known as disk cloning or simply cloning. Cloning is the fastest method of deploying Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Server. Image-based installations are useful if you are deploying computers that have similar hardware and you want to perform quick installations with no or minimal manual interaction. You cannot use image-based installation to upgrade an operating system. Image-based installation is discussed in more detail in the Image-based installations of Server Clusters section of this document.
Image-based Installation of the Operating System and the Cluster Service Using Automated Deployment Services (ADS)
Another way to perform an operating system installation and configuration is with ADS. With ADS, you can deploy an operating system onto one or more destination devices or can repurpose those computers. ADS uses above mentioned cloning mechanism to distribute the image on to a set of servers. By automating the deployment and repurposing processes, ADS reduces the overhead of maintaining diverse systems in your data center unlike plain cloning where it is useful if you are deploying computers that have similar hardware. ADS based operating system Image installation is discussed in more detail in the ADS based Image installations of Server Clusters section of this document.