Well, I won’t start with a big opener because this is going to be a damn long contribution. Failover Cluster, huh? Pretty boring. Aren´t there 25973534563 other guides about iSCSI and Failover Clusters out there already?
Probably, but I didn’t found a single one with a decent explanation about the single steps from A to Z. The reason why I am writing about this is because we had to install and configure a SQL Failover Cluster on a single Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Host. And there is no other way of creating a Cluster without having an Hyper-V Failover Cluster underneath your hands.
So here we go.
The guide consists of four parts:
Be sure to add enough virtual disks to your File Server before starting this process because you need disk space for the iSCSI targets.
Let us start with the iSCSI Target Installation. Open Server Manager and navigate to “Add roles and features”.
Install the Fileserver and iSCSI Roles on your Target Server.
Open the Server Manager and navigate to File and Storage Services -> iSCSI
Set the iSCSI Virtual Disc Location
Set the iSCSI Disk Name
iSCSI Disk Size. If you have a high level of disk activity e.g. SQL you should take a fixed size. Otherwise select Dynamically.
Create a new iSCSI Target
Set a target name
Add the Access Servers (Nodes) via ID or IP
Access Server Overview
Now we’ll connect the Nodes with the target server over the iSCSI Initiator. You have to do the following steps on all Nodes!
Open the iSCSI Initiator on the Nodes
Type in the name of your target server and press quick connect. The Node will automatically connect to the target server
After the successful connection auto configure your disks in the ‘Volume and Device’ tab.
Ok, preparation nearly done. We’ll configure the connected disks now. You have to do the following steps on all nodes.
Once connected, the iSCSI Disks will appear offline. Diskpart will fix this!
Start a new administrative command prompt and execute the following commands:
Repeat this steps for all new assigned iSCSI Disks on all Nodes. Afterwards verify with ‘list volumes’ that all of the volumes are formatted.
Final Step! Let’s have some failover fun.
It’s important to configure the network settings for all involved servers correctly, otherwise the validation test will fail or report warnings will come up. The best practices network configuration for a basic cluster with two nodes and one file server look like this:
I have done it with virtual HyperV Switches. Each Node has his own iSCSI network connection to the target server.
Furthermore, the Nodes communicate among themselves over a heartbeat network.
Open the Server Manager and install the Failover Clustering Feature for each Node.
Start the Failover Cluster Manager. It doesn’t matter on which Node
Start the Cluster Validation Wizard. The following validation will check if all prerequisites for the cluster are met.
Select all Cluster Nodes
Run all Tests
There should be no errors or warnings, otherwise you will get trouble while creating the cluster. The Cluster Creation Wizard will be started after you close the Validation Report
Set a Cluster Name and IP Adress
Untick the option to add all storage, otherwise all available local disks will be added to the cluster!
The Cluster is now created and ready to use.
Have fun with your new Failover Cluster and don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions.
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