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Exchange Server 2003 cluster diagnostics

Clusdiag is a free graphical cluster diagnostics and verification tool from Microsoft that can help you determine the health of your Windows/Exchange Server clusters. See some screenshots and get the download details in this tip.

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Clusdiag is a free graphical cluster diagnostics and verification tool from Microsoft that can help you determine the health of your Windows/Exchange Server cluster. It can analyze an online cluster or cluster log file, and capture all event log entries and cluster log files from each node of a cluster.

All collected information is merged into a single log file and then displayed by Clusdiag for human reading. Built-in filtering capabilities allow you to find information more quickly. One of my favorite features is the ability to display a graphical report of the network and disk configuration.

Supported versions to install ClusDiag

  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

Platforms on which ClusDiag can diagnose clusters

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

Download and installation

You can download Clusdiag here. After you download it, simply install the tool by answering some standard installation questions.

Using Clusdiag

For this article, I used a two-node Windows Server 2003 cluster with Exchange Server 2003 SP1.

Figure 1: Two-node Windows Server 2003 cluster with Exchange Server 2003
Figure 1

Clusdiag uses two modes:

  1. Online mode

    In online mode, ClusDiag can be run to verify that the cluster is set up correctly. ClusDiag moves resources to make sure that different members of the cluster can take over in the event of a member failure. This test should be run after a cluster is set up, but before it is put into production. Running the Clusdiag test on a production cluster may bring the cluster down.

  2. Offline mode

    Clusdiag in offline mode is designed to troubleshoot a failed cluster. Offline mode provides a variety of ways to view and synchronize log files, generate cluster reports, and examine the cluster disk and network topology.

Figure 2: Clusdiag online or offline mode
Figure 2

After connecting online to the cluster, you can start Clusdiag's discovery process.

Figure 3: Clusdiag captures log files
Figure 3

Clusdiag contains a link to the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Cluster Web site, where you can find much cluster information.

Figure 4: Link to the Windows Server 2003 Cluster Web site
Figure 4

One of the great benefits of ClusDiag is the graphical presentation of the Cluster Resource Dependencies. With the help of this nice function, you can see the dependencies from each created resource. As you can see in Figure 5, the following components depend on the EVS-SA (System Attendant) resource:

  • SMTP Virtual Server
  • Exchange Information Store
  • Exchange Message Transfer Agent
  • Exchange Routing Service
  • Exchange Search

You can see here that there are some changes to Windows Server 2000/Exchange 2000 clusters.

Figure 5: Graphical view of cluster resource dependencies
Figure 5

ClusDiag creates several log files in the Clusdiag installation directory. For every node in the cluster, it creates a log file called Nodename_cluster.log, which contains very useful information about each cluster node.

Figure 6: ClusDiag log files
Figure 6

If you want to run a test in Clusdiag's online mode, it requires that the following files are installed on the target node:

  • EXE files:
    • wddump.exe
    • spsrv.exe
    • spsrvcl.exe
    • spfail.exe

  • DLL files:
    • clusdiagdll.dll
    • netsniffDll.dll
    • ntlog.dll
    • wttcore.dll

These files are automatically installed when you click Run Test or Capture Logs (Full capture). It is possible to install the files manually if you click Tools in the menu.

Figure 7: Install remote files
Figure 7

If you want to have a graphical trace of the clusters network configuration, click Reports – Network statistics.

Figure 8: Graphical view of the network configuration
Figure 8

For a graphical view of the disk on your Cluste,r click Reports – Disk statistics.

Figure 9: Graphical view of disk statistics

Figure 9

Conclusion

ClusDiag is the first tool to examine the status of your Windows Server 2003 cluster. If you know that your Windows cluster is healthy, you then have a stable basis for your Microsoft Exchange cluster installation. In this article, I've shown just a few of Clusdiag's capabilities. I recommend you study the Clusdiag help file for more information.

Keep in mind to only use Clusdiag in online mode after cluster installation or in test environments.

Related links

  • High Availability Guide for Exchange Server 2003
  • ClusDiag Download page
  • Cluster Server Recovery Utility (ClusterRecovery.exe)

    About the author: Marc Grote is a MCSA/MCSE Messaging & Security, Microsoft Certified Trainer, and Microsoft MVP for ISA Server. He works as a freelance IT trainer and consultant in the north of Germany and as a part-time employee of Invenate GmbH in Hanover, Germany, consulting on the company's Windows server infrastructure. He specializes in ISA Server, Exchange Server, and security on Windows 2000 and Windows 2003. You can visit his homepage at http://www.it-training-grote.de.


    Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.
    Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Ask the Expert: Exchange 2003 cluster virtualization a good idea?
  • Learning Center: Exchange clustering 101 and 102
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server administration tools



  • Dig Deeper on Legacy Exchange Server versions

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