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Configuring the Cluster Service

Updated: November 11, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

You must supply all initial cluster configuration information in the first installation phase. This is accomplished using the Cluster Configuration Wizard.

As seen in the flow chart, the form (Create a new Cluster) and the Join (Add nodes) take a couple different paths, but they have a few of the same pages. Namely, Credential Login, Analyze, and Re-Analyze and Start Service are the same. There are minor differences in the following pages: Welcome, Select Computer, and Cluster Service Account. In the next two sections of this lesson, you will step through the wizard pages presented on each of these configuration paths. In the third section, after you follow the step-through sections, this white paper describes in detail the Analyze, ,Re-Analyze and Start Service pages, and what the information provided in these screens means.

During Cluster service configuration on node 1, you must turn off all other nodes. All shared storage devices should be turned on.

To configure the first node

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click Cluster Administrator.

  2. When prompted by the Open Connection to Cluster Wizard, click Create new cluster in the Action drop-down list, as shown in Figure 9 below.

    ca3ca580-6935-4348-b402-28c9cc9ce19eFigure 9. The Action drop-down list.

  3. Verify that you have the necessary prerequisites to configure the cluster, as shown in Figure 10 below. Click Next.

    5c94847c-0cfd-48a9-835b-2af8b02e8650Figure 10. A list of prerequisites is part of the New Server Cluster Wizard Welcome page.

  4. Type a unique NetBIOS name for the cluster (up to 15 characters), and then click Next. In the example shown in Figure 11 below, the cluster is named MyCluster.) Adherence to DNS naming rules is recommended. For additional information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    163409 NetBIOS Suffixes (16th Character of the NetBIOS Name)

    254680 DNS Namespace Planning

    007c9306-2085-4650-9d12-e1c791038f44Figure 11. Adherence to DNS naming rules is recommended when naming the cluster.

  5. If you are logged on locally with an account that is not a Domain Account with Local Administrative privileges, the wizard will prompt you to specify an account. This is not the account the Cluster service will use to start.


    If you have appropriate credentials, the prompt mentioned in step 5 and shown in Figure 12 below may not appear.

    b4178139-d618-4432-8bce-84e332265f0dFigure 12. The New Server Cluster Wizard prompts you to specify an account.

  6. Because it is possible to configure clusters remotely, you must verify or type the name of the server that is going to be used as the first node to create the cluster, as shown in Figure 13 below. Click Next.

    02226898-6244-4c2a-82e7-1c85c29849bcFigure 13. Select the name of the computer that will be the first node in the cluster.


    The Install wizard verifies that all nodes can see the shared disks the same. In a complex storage area network the target identifiers (TIDs) for the disks may sometimes be different, and the Setup program may incorrectly detect that the disk configuration is not valid for Setup. To work around this issue you can click the Advanced button, and then click Advanced (minimum) configuration. For additional information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 331801 Cluster Setup May Not Work When You Add Nodes

  7. Figure 14 below illustrates that the Setup process will now analyze the node for possible hardware or software problems that may cause problems with the installation. Review any warnings or error messages. You can also click the Details button to get detailed information about each one.

    437b9ea3-5d25-46d0-8b9f-fcddb8e4323cFigure 14. The Setup process analyzes the node for possible hardware or software problems.

  8. Type the unique cluster IP address (in this example, and then click Next.

    As shown in Figure 15 below, the New Server Cluster Wizard automatically associates the cluster IP address with one of the public networks by using the subnet mask to select the correct network. The cluster IP address should be used for administrative purposes only, and not for client connections.

    12440cda-e085-479c-a2ba-0f5b468837e3Figure 15. The New Server Cluster Wizard automatically associates the cluster IP address with one of the public networks.

  9. Type the user name and password of the cluster service account that was created during pre-installation. (In the example in Figure 16 below, the user name is “Cluster”). Select the domain name in the Domain drop-down list, and then click Next.

    At this point, the Cluster Configuration Wizard validates the user account and password.

    13120be5-e1e4-4161-8a8f-96bc4325aa5fFigure 16. The wizard prompts you to provide the account that was created during pre-installation.

  10. Review the Summary page, shown in Figure 17 below, to verify that all the information that is about to be used to create the cluster is correct. If desired, you can use the quorum button to change the quorum disk designation from the default auto-selected disk.

    The summary information displayed on this screen can be used to reconfigure the cluster in the event of a disaster recovery situation. It is recommended that you save and print a hard copy to keep with the change management log at the server.


    The Quorum button can also be used to specify a Majority Node Set (MNS) quorum model. This is one of the major configuration differences when you create an MNS cluster

    7a1d8f0a-4b75-43e5-8420-a9a09c57f618Figure 17. The Proposed Cluster Configuration page.

  11. Review any warnings or errors encountered during cluster creation. To do this, click the plus signs to see more, and then click Next. Warnings and errors appear in the Creating the Cluster page as shown in Figure 18.

    cfcc3bcf-b6e5-4ef9-8d54-4706f3fb057fFigure 18. Warnings and errors appear on the Creating the Cluster page.

  12. Click Finish to complete the installation. Figure 19 below illustrates the final step.

    e21dde23-c772-40b9-9bea-198a3792eb43Figure 19. The final step in setting up a new server cluster.

To view a detailed summary, click the View Log button or view the text file stored in the following location:


Validating the Cluster Installation

Use the Cluster Administrator (CluAdmin.exe) to validate the cluster service installation on node 1.

To validate the cluster installation

  1. Click Start, click Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click Cluster Administrator.

  2. Verify that all resources came online successfully, as shown in Figure 20 below.

    2de1567e-ffb0-45e7-bee8-79dec484675dFigure 20. The Cluster Administer verifies that all resources came online successfully.

As general rules, do not put anything in the cluster group, do not take anything out of the cluster group, and do not use anything in the cluster group for anything other than cluster administration.

Configuring the Second Node

Installing the cluster service on the other nodes requires less time than on the first node. Setup configures the cluster service network settings on the second node based on the configuration of the first node. You can also add multiple nodes to the cluster at the same time, and remotely.

For this section, leave node 1 and all shared disks turned on. Then turn on all other nodes. The cluster service will control access to the shared disks at this point to eliminate any chance of corrupting the volume.

  1. Open Cluster Administrator on Node 1.

  2. Click File, click New, and then click Node.

  3. The Add Cluster Computers Wizard will start. Click Next.

  4. If you are not logged on with appropriate credentials, you will be asked to specify a domain account that has administrative rights over all nodes in the cluster.

  5. Enter the machine name for the node you want to add to the cluster. Click Add. Repeat this step, shown in Figure 21 below, to add all other nodes that you want. When you have added all nodes, click Next.

    91360aed-53d5-4909-b3cc-68f586fdfb12Figure 21. Adding nodes to the cluster.

  6. The Setup wizard will perform an analysis of all the nodes to verify that they are configured properly.

  7. Type the password for the account used to start the cluster service.

  8. Review the summary information that is displayed for accuracy. The summary information will be used to configure the other nodes when they join the cluster.

  9. Review any warnings or errors encountered during cluster creation, and then click Next.

  10. Click Finish to complete the installation.

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