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Design for a Clustered Service or Application in a Multi-Site Failover Cluster

Updated: October 24, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

This design starts with a clustered file, print, or application server and expands it into a multi-site cluster, which adds a disaster recovery option for the clustered services. In this context, an “application” could be any of a number of client-server applications, such as a database application. For details about networking, storage, and other requirements in a multi-site cluster, see Requirements and Recommendations for a Multi-Site Failover Cluster.

For additional designs, such as designs for clustered servers without a disaster recovery option, see Mapping Your Deployment Goals to a Failover Cluster Design.

ImportantImportant
The four-node design shown in this topic does not apply to multi-site failover clusters that are running Exchange Server 2007. Multi-site failover clusters that are running Exchange Server 2007 use the Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) feature of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and have a maximum of two nodes. For information about CCR and clustering, see the CCR topics at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=129111 and http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=129112.

Note that for the maximum availability of any server, it is important to follow best practices for server management—for example, carefully managing the physical environment of the servers, testing software changes before placing them into production, and carefully keeping track of software updates and configuration changes on all clustered servers.

The following diagram shows a multi-site failover cluster that uses four nodes and supports a clustered service or application.

Multi-site failover cluster with four nodes

Multi-site cluster: file, print, or application

With the design shown in the diagram, in most situations, the nodes of the cluster that reside at the main site provide access to the clustered service or application, with failover occurring only between these nodes. In the case of a disaster where the nodes at the main site are lost, the nodes at the secondary site begin providing service automatically, or with minimal intervention.

To see more diagrams showing how failover, failback, and quorum work in this design, see Example, Clustered Service or Application in a Multi-Site Failover Cluster. For details about networking, storage, and other requirements in a multi-site cluster, see Requirements and Recommendations for a Multi-Site Failover Cluster.

For information about configuring this design, see Checklist: Clustered Service or Application in a Multi-Site Failover Cluster (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=129126).

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