Learning Center

Windows server cluster management

The high availability benefits of failover clustering have increased the popularity of server cluster implementation in Windows environments. But how do you know if clustering is right for you? And further more, once your clusters are in place, what is the best way to manage them? This short learning center provides links to cluster management resources covering the facts you need to know before implementing a server cluster, as well as details on the best Windows tools for administering them.

DEFINITIONS

Cluster computing
A group of servers and other resources that act like a single system and enable high availability and, in some cases, load balancing and parallel processing.

Failover clustering
A backup operational mode in which the functions of a system component (such as a processor, server, network, or database, for example) are assumed by secondary system components when the primary component becomes unavailable through either failure or scheduled down time.

Load balancing
Dividing the amount of work that a computer has to do between two or more computers so that more work gets done in the same amount of time and, in general, all users get served faster.

ARTICLES

When (and when not) to use Windows server failover clustering
Failover clustering offers several benefits to those running Windows Server 2008, including simpler patching processes and increased business continuity. Still, IT pros should also be aware of the potential disadvantages of clusters before implementing them in their environments.

Understanding quorum in Windows Server 2008 clustering
In Windows Server 2008, quorum of server clusters can be determined in several ways. Find out which model to base your cluster on during configuration.

Considerations in building GeoClusters for Windows Server 2008
Creating geographically dispersed server clusters over multiple sites in Windows 2008 is a challenge even for seasoned Windows admins. Find out how to set up GeoClusters using third-party support.

TOOLS

Cluster Configuration Validation Wizard (ClusPrep)

Microsoft tool simplifies Windows server cluster configuration
Cluster configuration manager, commonly called ClusPrep, is a free Microsoft tool for determining if servers are properly configured to support clustering.

Validating Windows server clusters with ClusPrep
Microsoft designed the final steps in its server cluster configuration wizard to ensure that server clusters are set up correctly and functioning properly.

Cluster Diagnostics Tool (ClusDiag)

Take control of server clusters with Microsoft's ClusDiag tool
Microsoft's Cluster Diagnostics tool is a great utility for managing Windows server clusters. Learn the basics of ClusDiag, as well as installation tips to get you started.

Using ClusDiag for enhanced Windows server cluster reporting
Learn to use some of the reporting capabilities of ClusDiag, Microsoft's free tool for Windows server cluster management, with details on how to capture logs and view cluster reports.

Troubleshoot Windows server clusters with ClusDiag
Find out how Microsoft's Cluster Diagnostics Tool (ClusDiag) simplifies the way admins investigate and report on problems with server clusters in Windows environments.

MORE RESOURCES

Windows server clustering topic page
Find even more news and expert advice on managing server clusters.

IT Knowledge Exchange
Have a cluster question of your own? Ask your peers by submitting it to our ITKE forum.


This was first published in December 2008

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