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Applying administrative procedures to server clusters

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Applying administrative procedures to server clusters

Typically, an administrator follows a set of server operating procedures when performing administrative tasks on a server, such as restarting a server, backing up applications and data, and installing new hardware or software. For a server cluster, reexamine these operating procedures; some will have to be modified in a server cluster environment.

Reexamining procedures that take a server cluster offline

Because you install Cluster Administrator on more than one computer, the tasks of administering servers and performing common server operating procedures are less disruptive to users. There are some administrative tasks that make a server unavailable to users. A server cluster, however, has another node that can continue to make the server resources available to users while you are performing administrative tasks. Therefore, you might not have to wait for nonpeak hours, when:

  • A server must be restarted.

  • New hardware must be installed.

  • New software must be installed.

Reexamining backups on a server cluster

Make sure that your backup procedures account for clustering issues. In a server cluster, the following procedure is recommended:

  1. Perform an Automated System Recovery (ASR) backup on each node in the cluster.


    • By default, Backup Operators do not have the user rights necessary to create an Automated System Recovery (ASR) backup on a cluster node. However, Backup Operators can perform this procedure if that group is added to the security descriptor for the Cluster service. You can do that using Cluster Administrator or cluster.exe. For more information, see Give a user permissions to administer a cluster and Cluster.

  2. Back up the cluster disks from each node.

  3. Back up each individual application (for example, Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft SQL Server) running on the nodes.

For more information, see Backing up and restoring server clusters.

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