Windows Server’s failover cluster functionality allows you to combine numerous independent servers into a single failover cluster with high availability and scalability.
We’ll teach you how to set up a simple three-node failover cluster on Windows Server 2016 Datacenter or Standard versions in this article. Physical servers or virtual computers can be used.
All servers must be joined into one Active Directory domain in previous releases of Windows Server. This is no longer a requirement in Windows Server 2016, and you can set up a failover cluster even on workgroup machines (in this configuration, you can cluster only SQL server, File server or Hyper-V roles). If you want to use Failover Cluster to provide fault tolerance for Hyper-V virtual machines, all servers in the cluster must have the same CPU model (either Intel or AMD), or live VM migration between cluster nodes will be unavailable.
At least two networks must be connected to each cluster node: a local area network (LAN) and a storage area network (SAN) (Storage Area Network). All servers you intend to add to the cluster must have static IP addresses configured. You must also guarantee that all servers can use FC, SAS, or iSCSI to access shared storage (iSCSI protocol version is not lower than iSCSI-3).
Install the Failover Cluster capability in Server Manager. You may also use PowerShell to install this feature:
Install-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools
All servers you intend to add to the cluster must have this component installed.
Open the Failover Cluster Manager console after installing the role.
In the context menu, choose Create Cluster.
Names of every nodes you want to add to the cluster should be specified (by name or IP address). These are the three servers in our case: win-agnode01, win-agnode02, and win-agnode03. Next should be selected.
Then specify the name of the cluster and the clusters’ IP address (this IP address should not be busy). This name and IP address will be used to manage and configure the cluster.
Next, it will launch the cluster configuration validation wizard and start the cluster creation process. You can read the detailed cluster creation log.
If all three cluster nodes are configured correctly, the wizard must successfully create a new cluster.
A new cluster with the name cluster1 should now appear in the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in.
The quorum must be configured to ensure the cluster’s proper operation. Each cluster node has one quorum vote by default. In addition, if specified, a quorum witness has an additional quorum vote. For each cluster, you can set up one quorum witness. To see if a cluster may be started, each item can vote once. The majority of voting members who are active members of the cluster determine the presence of a quorum for the cluster’s proper operation.
By right-clicking the cluster name and selecting More Actions > Configure Cluster Quorum Settings, you may change the quorum witness mode.
If your cluster has a lot of nodes, you’ll need to configure the quorum witness resource. You can utilise as a witness resource in Windows Server 2016.
File Share Witness — (shared SMB folder); Disk Witness — shared disc (accessible from all nodes at the same time); Cloud Witness — Azure cloud disc resource (blob storage).
Because there are three nodes in our cluster, quorum witness cannot be configured.
Select the Nodes section. As you can see, three servers have been added to the cluster, and all of them are available and working normally (Status – Up).
You can add discs to the cluster through the Storages section.
You can now enable failover for one of the proposed roles, Hyper-V virtual machines, or shared discs in the Failover Cluster Manager console.
By default, on Windows Server 2016, you can provide high availability for the following roles:
- DFS Namespace Server
- DHCP Server
- Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)
- File Server
- Generic Application
- Generic Script
- Generic Service
- Hyper-V Replica Broker
- iSCSI Target Server
- iSNS Server
- Message Queuing
- Other Server
- Virtual Machine
- WINS Server