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Troubleshooting the Quorum Resource in a Server Cluster

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

This guide explains how to troubleshoot the quorum resource in a server cluster running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, or Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, operating systems. The guide includes information for these operating systems as originally released and for these operating systems with Service Pack 1 (SP1). Some of the information will also apply to server clusters running the Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server operating systems.

This guide covers only clusters using the single quorum device model, not the majority node set model.

To get started with this guide, review the following sections of this introduction.

When to Use This Guide

How This Guide Is Organized

Terminology Used in This Guide

When to Use This Guide

You should use this guide when, on a server cluster that uses a single quorum device (storage that is attached to all nodes of the cluster), the Cluster service will not start normally on any node, and the problem seems as if it might be related to the quorum resource. In some cases, you can use this guide when you can start the Cluster service, but messages in the event log or cluster log indicate that you have a problem with the quorum resource.

For information about distinguishing quorum problems from other problems that interfere with starting the Cluster service, see Troubleshooting Quorum Resource Problems.

Do not use this guide to find out how to perform a task, such as configuring the quorum resource for a new server cluster. You can find information about how to perform tasks and configure settings on the following pages on the Microsoft Web site:

This guide assumes that you have a basic understanding of the quorum resource in a single quorum device server cluster, how the quorum works, and how the quorum helps ensure that all nodes in the cluster have the same view of the cluster membership and cluster configuration. You should also have a thorough understanding of how the quorum resource is configured in your organization.

How This Guide Is Organized

This guide is divided into several sections:

Terminology Used in This Guide

To use this guide, you should be familiar with basic terminology for a server cluster, particularly the following terms:

single quorum device server cluster
A cluster configuration that has two or more nodes and is configured so that every node is attached to one or more cluster storage devices. The cluster configuration data is stored on a single cluster storage device, called the quorum resource.

There are two other possible cluster configurations: a single node server cluster and a majority node set server cluster.

cluster configuration database
A database containing configuration data for all cluster objects. Copies of the cluster configuration database are located on the quorum resource and on each cluster node. Under normal conditions, the copies are synchronized and contain the same information.

quorum resource
A crucial cluster resource that maintains the configuration data that is necessary for recovery of the cluster. The quorum resource is generally accessible to other cluster resources so that any cluster node has access to the most recent changes to the cluster configuration database.

This document provides information for clusters where the quorum resource is located on a single quorum device, as described in "single quorum device server cluster," earlier in this list.

quorum log
A log maintained on the quorum resource to store cluster state and configuration changes during times when a node is down. The quorum log ensures that even if all nodes go down and the cluster must be formed again, those changes will not be lost. Also known as the recovery log or change log.

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