Failover clustering is technology that provides you with an ability to implement services in highly available manner. Many organizations that have business critical services rely on failover clustering technology in order to achieve better availability and service stability. Before you implement failover clustering, you need to identify services or application that you want to use in this technology.
First step in process of implementing Failover Cluster is installing feature on all servers that will be failover cluster nodes. You can do that by using Server Manager or following PowerShell command.
Install-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools
Once you have installed feature, you need to perform cluster validation. The validation wizard performs multiple tests for failover cluster configuration and settings. Wizard should be started before you create cluster, although you can create cluster without validation. Validation wizard must certify each of cluster nodes that will participate in failover cluster, by performing tests for cluster, inventory, network, storage and system. You can do that using Failover Cluster Manager console.
If you want to use PowerShell to validate cluster, you need to run the following command.
Test-Cluster –Node <ServerName1, ServerName2> -Include Storage,Inventory,Network,"System Configuration"
Once validation test is done, and everything is fine, you can start with creating cluster. Same as for validation, you can do that by using Failover Cluster Manager console or by using PowerShell command. If you want to use GUI to perform cluster creation, you need to do following:
- Open Failover Cluster Manager and on Create Cluster in Action pane
- Add all servers that will be cluster nodes
- Define IP address and cluster DNS name
- Verify parameters and proceed with creating cluster
For PowerShell lovers, appropriate command is:
New-Cluster -Name <ClusterName> -Node <ClusterNodes> -StaticAddress <IPAddress>
Once you complete this steps, your cluster will be configured and ready for adding application that need to be configured in highly available manner.