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Tip: Create a New Failover Cluster in 12 Steps

Once you’ve thoroughly researched and planned your implementation of Failover clusters, you’re ready to actually create the cluster. The mechanism to create and manage Failover clusters is the Cluster Administrator application, part of the Administrative Tools folder.

To create a new Failover cluster, follow these steps.
(Note that the first three steps must be performed on all nodes that will be part of the Failover cluster.)

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1. Open Windows Server 2008 Server Manager from the Administrative Tools folder.
2. Select Features in the left pane and click Add Features in the right pane.
3. Select Failover Clustering in the left pane and click Next.
4. Open Failover Cluster Management from the Administrative Tools folder. In the center pane, click Validate A Configuration from the Management section.
5. On the first screen of the Validate A Configuration Wizard, enter the network name of each node. You should select all of the nodes that are available to ensure that your testing validation is as accurate as possible.
6. Click Next to show the Testing Options page. You should run all tests to ensure that you fully test your configuration. If you are running the validation process of failing a previous validation, you can run only the tests that were not successful earlier.
7. Click Next to verify the tests to be performed. Once the tests are completed, the Summary page will indicate whether the tests were successful and whether the configuration is suitable to use as a Failover cluster.
8. Click Finish to end the Validate A Configuration Wizard. If errors were reported, fix the problems indicated and run the wizard again. If the validation was successful, click Create A Cluster in the Failover Cluster Management window.
9. Once the Create Cluster Wizard starts, you need to enter the names of the nodes that will be used to form the cluster. These should be the same nodes you entered previously during the validation process.
10. Click Next to proceed to the Access Point For Administering The Cluster page. On this page you need to enter the cluster name and IP address that will be used to identify and administer the cluster once it is created. The cluster name and IP address will be the virtual name registered in DNS and will be used to connect and manage the cluster itself. This information is usually different than the name and IP address that will be used by clients to connect to clustered applications.
11. Click Next to validate the settings and proceed to the Confirmation page. Ensure that all the information is accurate for the creation of the cluster. If not, click Previous to go back and change the settings. Otherwise, click Next to proceed to the cluster creation page.
At the completion of the cluster creation process, the Summary page will show you the results. If there were no errors, your cluster was successfully formed. If there were any errors, click the View Report button to get details.
12. Click Finish to exit the wizard.

From the Microsoft Press book Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Companion by Charlie Russel and Sharon Crawford.

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