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Procedures for Implementing Cluster Networking Best Practices

Updated: January 1, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

This section describes the procedures for implementing best practices:

Configuring Network Interface Controllers Prior to Configuring Cluster Service

  • Configure the speed of each network interface controller as follows:

    • Open Control Panel. Open Network Connections. Right-click the appropriate connection object and select Properties. Click Configure, and then Advanced.

    • Set the desired network speed using the drop-down list.

    • Ensure that other settings, such as Duplex Mode, are also the same for all adapters on a network.

  • Configure the Internet Protocol settings of the private network interface controller as follows:

    • Return to Network Connections. Open the Properties of the appropriate connection object.

    • Ensure that the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) check box is selected.

    • Highlight Internet Protocol and select Properties.

    • Click the radio-button for Use the Following IP Address and enter a static address.

    • Ensure that there is no default gateway configured for the private network.

    • Verify that there are no values defined in the Use the Following DNS Server Addresses box. Click Advanced. On the DNS tab, verify that there are no values defined. Make sure that the Register this Connection's Addresses in DNS and Use this Connection's DNS Suffix in DNS Registration check boxes are cleared. Note that if the cluster node is a DNS server, then IP address 127.0.0.1 will appear in the list and should remain there.

  • Configure the network connection order as follows:

    • Return to Network Connections. Select Advanced. Select Advanced Settings. In the Connections box, order the available network connections as follows:

      Public network(s)

      Private network

      Remote access connections

  • Change the default names of the network connections as follows:

    • Return to Network Connections. Right-click a network connection object. Select Rename. Edit the name value.

    • The name used for the connection object that represents a network, such as the private network, should be the same on all nodes. If the names of the connection objects are not the same, Cluster Service will choose one and change the others to match it.

Configuring Cluster Network Properties after Configuring Cluster Service

Windows 2000

When installing the cluster software, the Configuring Cluster Networks dialog box will be presented for each network (in arbitrary order). For public networks, make sure the name and IP address match the network interface for the public network. Check the box "Enable this network for cluster use". Select the option "All communications (mixed network)". For the private network, make sure name and IP address match network interface for private network. Check the box "Enable this network for cluster use". Select the option "Internal cluster communications only".

The default configuration during installation is to configure your public network adapter for "All Communication" and the private (heartbeat) network adapter for "Internal Cluster Communications." Microsoft recommends that you keep this default configuration. For your cluster to install and function properly, you must configure at least one of the networks for "Internal Cluster Communications" or "All Communications."

Windows Server 2003

The Windows Server 2003 cluster configuration wizard does not provide a way to change the network settings during configuration. The default setting for all networks is to enable All Communications. This will ensure that the cluster can operate correctly. To conform to best practices, you should make one of the networks into a private network and make the private network the highest priority for internal cluster communications as follows:

  • Set the private network role to be Internal Cluster Communications as follows:

    • In cluster administrator, double-click the cluster name. You will see a folder Cluster Configuration.

    • Double-click the Cluster Configuration folder and double-click the Networks folder to see all the available cluster networks.

    • Select the network you are configuring for the private cluster communications and chose Properties.

    • In the Properties for the network you will see roles such as Client access only. For the private network make sure that the Enable this network for cluster use check box is checked and that the Internal Communications Only role is selected.

  • Configure the private network to be the highest priority for internal cluster communication as follows:

    • In Cluster Administrator, select the cluster and choose Properties.

    • From the Network Priority tab, verify that the private network is listed at the top.

    • If it is not, use the Move Up button to increase its priority.

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