Clustering virtual machines

Clustering virtual machines

You can use server clusters along with Virtual Server 2005 either to test failover between two virtual machines or for training purposes. You cannot, however, use server clusters with Virtual Server to fail over between physical computers. Server clusters should be used with Virtual Server in a non-production environment only and are not intended as a high-availability solution in a production environment. If you require high availability of your physical computer, you should implement other methods to achieve this, such as the use of fault-tolerant hardware.

Requirements

Using server clusters with Virtual Server requires the creation of two virtual machines, which must be running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. A domain controller, which can also be a virtual machine, is also required.

Steps

The following steps provide a general outline of the procedures needed to create a cluster with Virtual Server in a non-production environment. For detailed instructions on configuring a cluster using Virtual Server, see the Microsoft Web site.

Step 1: Create a fixed-size virtual hard disk

Create a fixed-size virtual hard disk. This will be used as the server cluster's shared quorum disk.

Step 2: Create two virtual networks

Create two new virtual networks. These virtual networks will be visible only on the local computer and not on the physical network.

Step 3 (Optional): Create and configure a virtual machine as a domain controller

You must configure a virtual machine as a domain controller only if the virtual machines that you want to cluster do not have access to a domain controller. If you do create a virtual machine as a domain controller, attach it to one of the networks created in Step 2.

Step 4: Create the virtual machines that will be used as cluster nodes

Create new virtual machines to be used as the cluster nodes. You can then connect these virtual machines to both of the virtual networks and the virtual hard disk you created earlier. You then must add a SCSI controller to the virtual machines and attach the quorum disk to the SCSI adapter. You must follow a very specific order when attaching the virtual networks and virtual hard disks to the nodes. For detailed instructions, see the Microsoft Web site.

Step 5: Configure the cluster service on the guest operating systems

Configure the cluster on the two nodes. Instructions for doing this are in the documentation for Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition.

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