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Frequently Asked Questions: Clustering and High Availability in VMM

Updated: November 6, 2008

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

Can I use VMM 2008 to manage a failover cluster on computers running Windows Server 2008?

Yes. When you use VMM 2008 to manage a failover cluster on computers running Windows Server 2008, you can add the entire cluster in a single step. VMM 2008 automatically detects node additions and removals to the cluster. In addition, you can manage (create, migrate, remove, and so on) highly available virtual machines (HAVMs) from the VMM Administrator Console or from the Windows PowerShell - VMM command shell.

Can I use VMM 2008 to manage a server cluster on computers running Windows Server 2003?

Yes. However, VMM 2008 support for a Windows Server 2003 server cluster is less extensive than its support for a failover cluster on computers running Windows Server 2008. VMM 2008 does not recognize a Windows Server 2003 server cluster, so you must add each node of the cluster individually. For hosts running Windows Server 2003, VMM treats each clustered host just like any other stand-alone host. You cannot use VMM 2008 to create highly available virtual machines (HAVMs) that can be placed on Windows Server 2003 hosts. Nonetheless, if any HAVM fails over from one host to another host in the cluster, VMM 2008 detects and correctly reports the HAVM on the new host.

Can I create a virtual machine that is not highly available on a host cluster managed by VMM 2008?

No. VMM 2008 allows you to create highly available virtual machines only on a host cluster. However, if any virtual machines that are not highly available exist on the cluster nodes, VMM discovers and manages those virtual machines like any other non–highly available virtual machines.

What is the behavior when an HAVM is shut down using VMM 2008?

The Shut down action behaves differently depending on the following conditions:

  • User is logged on and the console is locked: Shut down action turns off the virtual machine.

  • User is logged off and the console prompts for credentials: Shut down action turns off the virtual machine.

  • User is logged on and the console is unlocked: Shut down action shuts down the guest operating system.

  • User is logged off and the console is locked (requiring Ctrl-Alt-Del to unlock it): Shut down action shuts down the guest operating system.

If I add a node to an existing host cluster, do I need to do anything in VMM?

When a node is added to a host cluster outside VMM 2008, VMM discovers the new node and displays it in VMM Administrator Console under its host cluster. The node has Pending Management status until you add it to VMM as a host. Until you add the host in VMM, if any highly available virtual machine on any other node in the host cluster fails over to the new node, the virtual machine has Missing status in VMM. Use the Add host action to add the host to VMM. For more information, in VMM 2008 Help, see How to Add a Pending Host to VMM.

If you add a node to an existing Hyper-V host cluster, you also will need to set the default remote connection port on the new host to port 2179, the remote connection port that Hyper-V uses. You will find the property on the Remote tab of the Host Properties dialog box.

Can I make the VMM 2008 server highly available by configuring it as a clustered application on a failover cluster of physical servers? 

No. Instead, you can run VMM 2008 on a highly available virtual machine.

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