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Q. How can I create a new cluster in Windows Server 2003?

A. To create a new cluster in Windows 2003, perform the following steps. (Note that if you want to create a cluster that contains more than one node using default mode, you'll need to create a quorum disk and configure multiple NICs for the nodes.)

  1. Start Cluster Administrator (Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Cluster Administrator).
  2. You'll see the Open Connection to Cluster dialog box. Under Action, select "Create new cluster" and click OK.
  3. At the New Server Cluster Wizard welcome screen, click Next.
  4. At the wizard page, enter the cluster's domain (the machine's local domain is selected by default) and a logical name for the cluster. The logical name isn't a virtual machine name but simply a name for the cluster. However, it must still be a valid NetBIOS name (15 characters maximum). Enter the required information and click Next.
  5. You're then asked to select the first node that will be part of the new cluster. Select the current node (it's selected by default) and click Next.
  6. Cluster Administrator will perform a check to ensure that the box that you selected as the first node is compatible with cluster functionality. After the check is finished, click Next.
  7. At the next wizard page, you must provide an IP address that will be used to manage the entire cluster. Note that this is a new address, not the IP address of the new cluster node. Enter the address and click Next.
  8. At the next wizard page, you need to enter information for the domain account under which the cluster service will run. The account must have local administrator privileges and will be granted additional rights after you've selected it. After you enter the account information, click Next.
  9. Next, you'll see a summary of the information you've entered on the previous screens, which the Figure shows. Click Next to begin the cluster installation. Alternatively, if you want to view which drive has been selected as the quorum disk and, if necessary, change it to another disk or a majority node quorum, click Quorum. (By default, Cluster Administrator selects as the quorum drive the smallest NTFS drive greater than 50MB.)
  10. After the cluster installation is finished, click Next, then click Finish.
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