Setting Up Failover Clustering for Hyper-V (Part 9)

by [Published on 20 Oct. 2011 / Last Updated on 20 Oct. 2011]

This article concludes the discussion of failover clustering for Hyper-V by walking you through the process of creating a new virtual machine and making it highly available.

If you would like to read the other parts of this article series please go to:

Introduction

At the end of the previous article in this series, I showed you how to create the file share that will be used as the majority witness. However, simply creating a file share isn’t enough. We have to configure our cluster to use it.

Begin the configuration process by opening the Failover Cluster Manager. Upon doing so, the console tree should contain a listing for the failover cluster that you have already created. Right click on the name of the cluster (in the console tree) and then choose the More Actions | Configure Cluster Quorum Settings commands from the resulting shortcut menus. This will cause Windows to launch the Configure Cluster Quorum Wizard.

Click Next to bypass the wizard’s Welcome screen. You will now see a screen asking you what type of quorum configuration you want to use. Choose the Node and File Share Majority (for clusters with special configurations) option, as shown in Figure A, and then click Next.


Figure A: Choose the Node and File Share Majority option.

The next screen that the wizard displays asks you to provide the shared folder path. This is where you enter the path to the file share witness folder that I showed you how to create in the previous article. If you have difficulty remembering the share name, Microsoft does provide a shortcut. If you click on the Browse button, Windows will display a dialog box that allows you to enter the name of the server on which the file share witness is being hosted. You can then click the Show Shared Folders button and any shares that are located on the server will be revealed, as shown in Figure B.


Figure B: You can use the Browse option to reveal the file share witness folder.

Regardless of whether you browse for the share name or enter it manually, the share should be entered in UNC format, as shown in Figure C.


Figure C: The share name should be entered in UNC format.

Click Next and you will see a confirmation screen telling you that your cluster quorum configuration will be changed to node and file share majority. Make sure that the information on the confirmation screen is correct and then click Next. Windows will take a couple of seconds to implement the change and will then display a summary screen. Click Finish to close the wizard.

Adding Hyper-V to the Cluster

The cluster is now complete. However, at the moment it really isn’t doing anything. If you select the Services and Applications container, as shown in Figure D, you will notice that there are presently no clustered applications. It is therefore time to install Hyper-V.


Figure D: The Services and Applications list is presently empty.

Installing Hyper-V

I have already talked about installing Hyper-V in one of the previous articles in this series, so in the interest of saving space I’m not going to go through the full procedure. I will however remind you that Hyper-V is installed as a server role through the Server Manager console. You must install Hyper-V onto both cluster nodes.

Creating a Clustered Virtual Machine

Now that Hyper-V has been installed, it is time to create a fault tolerant virtual machine. To do so, open the Hyper-V Manager on your first cluster node. Next, right click on the name of the server within the console tree, and select the New Virtual Machine command from the shortcut menu. This will cause Windows to launch the New Virtual Machine Wizard.

Click Next to bypass the wizard’s Welcome screen and you will see a screen that asks you to provide a name and a location for the virtual machine that you are creating. It is critically important that you store the virtual machine in a folder on the shared volume that the cluster is using. For instance, my cluster nodes map drive J: to the shared storage, so you can see in Figure E that I am placing my virtual machine on J:.


Figure E: The virtual machine must reside on shared storage.

Click Next and you will be prompted to enter the amount of memory that you want to assign to the virtual machine. Enter the amount of memory that you wish to allocate and click Next.

On the following screen, choose your network adapter from the Connection drop down list and click Next. You should now see a screen asking you to create a new virtual hard drive. You can either create a new virtual hard drive or you can link to an existing one. In either case, you must make sure that the virtual hard drive resides on shared storage.

Click Next and the wizard will ask you how you want to install a guest operating system. Choose the option to install an operating system later, and click Next. Finally, you will see a summary of the installation options that you have chosen. Assuming that everything looks correct, click Finish and the virtual machine will be created. Do not start the virtual machine at this point.

Making the Virtual Machine Highly Available

Now that you have created a virtual machine, it is time to make it highly available. To do so, open the Failover Cluster Manager, expand the console tree, and select the Services and Applications container. Next, click the Configure Services and Applications link, found in the Actions pane. This will cause Windows to launch the High Availability Wizard.

Click Next to bypass the wizard’s Welcome screen. You should now see a list of services and applications that can be made highly available. Select the virtual machine option, as shown in Figure F, and click Next. You should see a listing for the virtual machine that you just created. Select the check box for this virtual machine, as shown in Figure G, and click Next.


Figure F: Choose the Virtual Machines option.


Figure G: Select the virtual machine that you just created.

At this point, you should see a confirmation screen telling you that you are ready to configure high availability for the virtual machine. Click Next and Windows will take a few seconds to make the virtual machine highly available. When the process completes, you should see a confirmation screen like the one shown in Figure H. Click Finish.


Figure H: The virtual machine is now highly available.

If you look at Figure I, you will notice that the virtual machine is now listed in the Failover Cluster Manager’s Services and Applications container, but is shown as being offline. You can bring the virtual machine online by right clicking on it and choosing the Start Virtual Machine command from the shortcut menu.


Figure I: The virtual machine is listed, but is offline.

Once the new virtual machine is up and running, you can access it from the Hyper-V Manager in the usual way. If the Hyper-V Manager does not list the virtual machine then check the other cluster node. Only one node at a time will display the virtual machine. You can also look at the Current Owner column in the Failover Cluster Manager’s Services and Applications container to see which node the virtual machine is running on. For instance, in Figure J the current owner is HyperNode2, so only that server will display the virtual machine through the Hyper-V Manager (unless the virtual machine is moved to another cluster node).


Figure J: The virtual machine is running on HyperNode2.

Conclusion

Now that the first virtual machine has been created, you can begin creating any additional virtual machines that you may require. You can also add additional nodes to the cluster should the need ever arise.

If you would like to read the other parts of this article series please go to:

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