[Updated May’09: Windows Storage Server 2008 now available to MSDN/TechNet subscribers. Checkout Jose Barreto's Blog for details.]
Familiar with Virtual Server 2005 and shared disks for creating virtual clusters? Well its different with Hyper-V. The shared disk option is no longer available (which I did not know when I started testing). You have to use iSCSI instead. Here is a step by step method for creating a fail-over cluster within Hyper-V. Its a cheap way of setting up a test lab (assuming you don’t have access to Windows Storage server). In this post I use StarWind to simulate iSCSI storage … its not an endorsement of the product, I just picked it from amongst the crowd.
Windows Server 2008 fail-over clusters support Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), iSCSI and Fibre Channel disks as storage options. So, how would you go about setting up a virtual Windows Server 2008 test cluster using the new Hyper-V vitalisation product? The method I am about to outline is a little different to what you might be used to Virtual Server 2005. The following steps detail how I managed to setup a test cluster using simulated iSCSI storage. Before beginning it’s worth reviewing this article that outlines the storage options that are available to Hyper-V. By the end of this post you should have a simple two node cluster up and running using simulated iSCSI storage.
Tools for the job:
I wont go into how to create a VM but you can find more info from Virtual Guys weblog.
Before I began looking into the iSCSI simulated storage option for my cluster nodes I tried to expose a single VHD to each of my cluster nodes in the hopes that they would share it. I didn’t get very far and was presented with the following error when powering on the VMs:
This error is by design (thanks Justin Zarb for point this out) as Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V does not support this sort of storage (see link above for Hyper-V storage options). The above error is simply a file system error as the VHD “is being used by another process” … should have spotted that
Note: I’m assuming that you know how to install Windows Server 2003 and 2008. I’m also assuming that you know how to install and configure a Window Server 2008 Domain Controller. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I will see if I can point you in the right direction.
Create the network with a connection type of “Internal Only”. I enabled Virtual LAN identification and set the default ID to 2 as this will be my public LAN. Setting the default to 2 means that if I dont specify a VLAN on subsequent NICs they will be classified as public connections.
Tip: Be sure to rename each network card on the hosts to make identification easier. If its the public NIC, call it public etc.
Public NIC: VLAN 2
Heartbeat NIC: VLAN 3
iSCSI NIC: VLAN 4
Note: On all NICs in VLAN 3/4 be sure to disable the Client for Microsoft Networks, disable DNS registration and disable NetBIOS. Be sure to check your binding order too. The public NIC should be first.
Note: On all NICs in VLAN 3/4 be sure to disable the Client for Microsoft Networks, disable DNS registration and disable NetBIOS. Be sure to check your binding order too.
Note: On all NICs in VLAN 3/4 be sure to disable the Client for Microsoft Networks, disable DNS registration and disable NetBIOS. Be sure to check your binding order too. Make sure you format and assign drive letters to the SCSI VHDs on this VM.
Update 17/10/2008: I've also found that using the Image Files option works quite well too. Image files will allow you to pack more than one VM onto a disk partition. Check out http://www.starwindsoftware.com/images/content/StarWind_MSCluster2008.pdf for more info.
Note: Check out the how to the same with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/wss2003/productinformation/overview/default.mspx
Update May 09: Windows Storage Server 2008 has now RTM’d and is available online through MSDN and TechNet. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/WSS08.aspx
Configuring the iSCSI target software (Starwind)
Each cluster node now needs to be connected to the iSCSI target. Launch the built in iSCSI initiator and follow the steps below:
When completed (and hosts connected) you should see something like this on the iSCSI target VM.
The new fail-over cluster wizard is quite straight forward and much easier to follow when compared with Windows Server 2003. There isn't much point in going into too much detail … you’ll find plenty of info on the web.
Here is a step by step guide to installing a two node file cluster in Windows Server 2008.