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HDisk for clustering

    Question

  • How can I make my HDisk1 on each node acceptable for clustering? 

    I created a cluster  with 2 nodes, each has 2 Hdisks Hdisk0, Hdisk1.  HDisk0 is the boot disk with the OS and all data.

    I want to use Hdisk1 for the CA Failover clustering. 

    Validate cluster on the storage gave the warning "Storport-miniport driver is the only driver certified by Microsoft", yet it said I can use the SCSIport-minidriver on the HDisk1 for clustering.  But Navigating to Storage to "Add disk" to the cluster, "No disk is seen that can be clustered". 

    Any suggestion as to how to make use of the internal HDISK1 drives fro clustering will be appreciated.

    Monday, July 15, 2013 6:16 PM

Answers

All replies

  • How can I make my HDisk1 on each node acceptable for clustering? 

    I created a cluster  with 2 nodes, each has 2 Hdisks Hdisk0, Hdisk1.  HDisk0 is the boot disk with the OS and all data.

    I want to use Hdisk1 for the CA Failover clustering. 

    Validate cluster on the storage gave the warning "Storport-miniport driver is the only driver certified by Microsoft", yet it said I can use the SCSIport-minidriver on the HDisk1 for clustering.  But Navigating to Storage to "Add disk" to the cluster, "No disk is seen that can be clustered". 

    Any suggestion as to how to make use of the internal HDISK1 drives fro clustering will be appreciated.

    You cannot use internal SAS disks for clustering. You need to use either external SAS JBOD enclosure with a connection to your both cluster nodes (you'll re-mount your internal SAS spindles there) or use third-party software effectively mirroring LUNs from your two Hyper-V boxes and creating a fault-tolerant and high performance virtual SAN from them (no physical hardware in this case, no SAS JBOD, no SAS controllers, no SAS, no FC, no iSCSI etc. Here's the guy with pretty much the same question, please see my detailed answer there:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/ccb27ce8-c755-4fba-a387-86dade52ad59/server-2012-file-server-csv-for-hyperv-on-hp-p420-controller

    Hope it helped :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Monday, July 15, 2013 8:28 PM
  • For other people::::: 

    I went the way of iSCSI Storage  using a 3rd WIn2008R2 server as the iSCSI storage server. That seems easy to configure.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:51 PM
  • For other people::::: 

    I went the way of iSCSI Storage  using a 3rd WIn2008R2 server as the iSCSI storage server. That seems easy to configure.

    1) That could be a bad idea. For a very simple reason: you have your third node as a single point of failure. So shared storage dead means whole cluster is down. Not good... Acceptable for a pure test & development of course but I'd stay away from this design being targeted at production.

    2) There's a way to have everything up & running (and still being fault-tolerant) with having only a pair of nodes. All you need is to run a vSAN solution mirroring a pair of LUNs from the two nodes and emulating high-performance and fully redundant SAN w/o actually having any hardware. So you'll end with something like this:

    See product page for more details:

    http://www.starwindsoftware.com/native-san-for-hyper-v-free-edition

    At the end of the day implementing vSAN is:

    a) Cheaper. You have only two nodes instead of at least three (one server less, one OS license less, whole bunch of the supporting network

    infrastructure is simply missing).

    b) Faster. All read I/O is done locally and only writes need to be confirmed on the partner(s) node(s). With the design you have ALL the I/O will end travelling down the network. And it's SLOW. Also caches run directly on the node and not behind slow network.

    c) Fully redundant. With one node down you'll still have everything up and running. With your 3-node design storage is an effective single point of failure.

    So IMHO worth giving a try. For your setup the stuff is free anyway. 

    P.S. There are other companies doing the same thing natively for Windows - SteelEye and DataCore. Not sure do the have a free version or not (last time I've checked they did not). You may also hand-craft the solution on your own running DRBD and Pacemaker inside a pair of the Linux/FreeBSD machines. But this is COMPLEX.


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:40 AM
  • VR38DETT,

              I must have seen your StarWind suggestion previously and downloaded the free iSCSI SAN software and tried it out briefly.  It required Hyper-V, and I tried that also and quickly gave up because then I have too many things I was learning at the same time.  A peer found the Microsoft iSCSI Target article that require the 3rd Server and told me about it and I went that route, like you said, just in the lab environment to practice-configure failover clustering. 

        Just a few minutes ago the StarWind Sales guy chatted with me and we concluded that for the application I really want to failover which is Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA), I cannot use the Active-Active clustering that StarWind software provides.  For CA, I need Active-Passive, because the Passive CA just must be able to access the CA database when it is active and use the same Private key for signing.

      I understand your idea that the 3rd server will be a single point of failure, unless we solve that issue another way. How do you suppose the Starwind software or another 3rd party software will failover the Microsoft CA with the 2 nodes?  With quorum and other issues, what 3rd party SW has "vSAN solution mirroring a pair of LUNs" that passed Microsoft Validate Cluster tests and will failover CA?  I'll like to try it out and if I can make it work, I will recommend it as an alternative.

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 4:23 PM
  • VR38DETT,

              I must have seen your StarWind suggestion previously and downloaded the free iSCSI SAN software and tried it out briefly.  It required Hyper-V, and I tried that also and quickly gave up because then I have too many things I was learning at the same time.  A peer found the Microsoft iSCSI Target article that require the 3rd Server and told me about it and I went that route, like you said, just in the lab environment to practice-configure failover clustering. 

        Just a few minutes ago the StarWind Sales guy chatted with me and we concluded that for the application I really want to failover which is Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA), I cannot use the Active-Active clustering that StarWind software provides.  For CA, I need Active-Passive, because the Passive CA just must be able to access the CA database when it is active and use the same Private key for signing.

      I understand your idea that the 3rd server will be a single point of failure, unless we solve that issue another way. How do you suppose the Starwind software or another 3rd party software will failover the Microsoft CA with the 2 nodes?  With quorum and other issues, what 3rd party SW has "vSAN solution mirroring a pair of LUNs" that passed Microsoft Validate Cluster tests and will failover CA?  I'll like to try it out and if I can make it work, I will recommend it as an alternative.

    1) For test & development having single point of failure is fine I think. One thing - I'd go with SMB 3.0 share in this case and not with MS target as it does no server-side caching and file access is simplier @ the end of the day.

    2) I don't see any relation between StarWind own cluster being Active-Active (BTW, you can configure Failover iSCSI policy and that's Active-Passive) and actual application running on top of the storage and it's requirement to be Active-Passive. These are TWO DIFFERENT CLUSTERS running on the same hardware. But let me talk to the QA and sales guys as I never remember CA being used by any of the customers. Maybe there are indeed issues :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 7:12 PM
  • [ ... ]

      I understand your idea that the 3rd server will be a single point of failure, unless we solve that issue another way. How do you suppose the Starwind software or another 3rd party software will failover the Microsoft CA with the 2 nodes?  With quorum and other issues, what 3rd party SW has "vSAN solution mirroring a pair of LUNs" that passed Microsoft Validate Cluster tests and will failover CA?  I'll like to try it out and if I can make it work, I will recommend it as an alternative.

    It's not the job of a storage software to cluster anything. Windows cluster is still there. What storage software does - it runs a distributed lock manager and emulates HA SAN volume from the mirror on the both LUNs. So for Windows it's just an iSCSI disk and Windows has no clue what's behind it (that's the idea of a storage virtualization in general).

    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 7:16 PM
  • [ ... ]

              I must have seen your StarWind suggestion previously and downloaded the free iSCSI SAN software and tried it out briefly.  It required Hyper-V, and I tried that also and quickly gave up because then I have too many things I was learning at the same time.  A peer found the Microsoft iSCSI Target article that require the 3rd Server and told me about it and I went that route, like you said, just in the lab environment to practice-configure failover clustering. 

    [ ... ]

    OK, I've talked to sales and nobody confessed anybody told you we're not going to support CA. Moreover US sales indicated they do have customers will similar scenarios in production. So if you're serious about the project being implemented this way (fully redundant and no 3d node being a single point of failure) you're welcomed to re-contact your sales rep and he'll organize you a demo. 

    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Friday, July 19, 2013 2:59 PM