How can I use Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 to configure a cluster?

A. Virtual Server 2005 R2 lets you configure a two-node cluster; I've documented the process here. This article assumes you've already created the two guest OSs running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later, and they have a standard NIC connected to a public network.


You'll need at least two networks: the public network for regular communications to clients and a network for the private cluster node communication. Assuming the public network already exists, you'll create the private network by accessing the Virtual Server Master Status screen ( ) and click Create under the Virtual Networks left menu.


Enter a suitable network name and ensure None (Guests Only) is selected for the NIC to be used as the figure shows. Because this network is only for the guest OSs to communicate, it doesn't require physical network connectivity. Click OK.


You'll now create a new hard disk to act as the quorum drive for the cluster. From the Virtual Disks menu, select Create, Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk. Enter a location and name, as the figure shows. Because this is the quorum disk, a size of 500MB will suffice (and is the minimum size). Click Create. Repeat the above process to create a shared disk for data storage. Give it a name (e.g., clusterdata.vhd) and a size of 5GB. You can now configure the nodes in the cluster to use these resources. Ensure that the first node in the cluster isn't running and select "Edit Configuration" from its displayed options. Click "SCSI adapters" under the properties of the machine and click "Add SCSI Adapter >>". If you're not currently using the SCSI adapter that exists, enable it as "Share SCSI bus for clustering" as the figure shows.


On the new SCSI adapter, select the "Share SCSI bus for clustering" check box. You can leave the adapter ID as 7. Repeat these steps again and create a second shared SCSI bus for the data disk to connect to. Select "Hard disks" on the virtual machine's (VM's) properties and using the SCSI adapters added, map the quorum and data disks created earlier, as the figure shows. Click OK.


Finally, you need to add the network adapter for the private communication. Click "Network adapters" and select "Add Network Adapter >>". Select the private network you created, leave the MAC address as dynamic, and click OK, as the figure shows.


Your first node configuration should look something like the one that the figure shows.


You can now start the first node and perform regular cluster functions (e.g., set private IP static address on private NIC, create quorum partition, create data partition).


After you create the cluster on the first node, you can configure the second node by using the same procedure as above but instead of using SCSI ID 7, you'll use SCSI ID 6. After you've started the second node and configured its private NIC, you can add it to the cluster according to standard cluster procedures. You now have a full cluster running inside Virtual Server.

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