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Clustering on Windows Server 2016 TP4 - Storage Spaces Direct, Quorum, etc. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Everyone,

    We are trying to setup a cluster on Windows Server 2016 TP4 using 2 physical nodes, each with it's local storage and use Storage Spaces Direct to create a shared storage for the cluster. There is no network storage, only the nodes local storage.

    Our plan is to use the storage pool made out of the local server's disks using Storage Spaces Direct, to host a high-available SMB share that will be used for VMs running on Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator (FCO) which can connect and host VMs on an SMB share (and in the future will be replaced with Hyper-V VMs).

    I found few articles that describe how to configure it, but non is talking about the quorum requirement.

    As there is no network storage with a LUN that will host the quorum, is there another option to create a quorum besides a File Share Witness?

    I read here - http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=15340 - about the second option (Create a Storage Spaces Virtual Disk As A Witness Disk) but didn't fully understand how to configure it. Also, where should I create the virtual disk, on one of the cluster nodes? On both? Will it be highly available?

    Just to remind again, the storage is only local, which resides on the physical nodes of the cluster.

    Thanks!

    Thursday, March 10, 2016 4:12 PM

Answers

  • "if I configure a share on one of our servers in the network (a server which is not highly available), what happens to the nodes/resources in the cluster if that server holding the witness share goes down? Are the cluster resources still stay online?"

    Resources stay online.  The witness share is there for a quorum vote.  In fact, Windows Server 2012 R2 has a dynamic quorum model that automatically uses/stops using the witness to adjust quorum.  So you may not even see that the cluster is removing/adding that role in the cluster.

    "if I go with Disk Witness, how can I configure the disk to be part of the storage pool I'm going to cluster?"

    After creating the pool, you create virtual disks to be used.  You simply create one for the witness.

    "S2D has it's own witness regardless of the one configured for the cluster?"

    Yes, it creates its own witness that it needs for its operations.


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    • Marked as answer by Avisa Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:57 PM
    Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:46 PM

All replies

  • Hi Avisa

    Server 2016 introduces a new witness for Quorum

    Cloud witness checkout the docs here

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/clustering/2014/11/13/introducing-cloud-witness/

    You can choose from these options when creating a witness

    So you still have the option of none, file, disk and now have cloud as well (stored in Azure)

    In this instance if your nodes are in the same data center then there is no need to opt for cloud (but you can)

    I would go for fileshare or disk.

    The wizard will take care of it for you.

    I haven't tried it yet but I believe you can use additional shared storage for this or the S2D itself.

    Yours

    Ed

    If this was helpful please mark it as the answer

    Thursday, March 10, 2016 4:26 PM
  • My recommendation is to always use a file witness whenever possible.  You just have to create a 512MB disk for it out of the Storage Spaces pool.  Remember that this is different from the pool witness that S2D uses.

    Windows Server Technical Preview does have its own forum located at https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/home?forum=WinServerPreview


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:30 PM
  • Thanks Ed, I'm familiar with the options and will probably go with File Share Witness or Disk Witness but it's somehow complicated to configure in our network (I think...).

    Thanks Tim, I prefer to go with a Disk witness. With File Share Witness, if I configure a share on one of our servers in the network (a server which is not highly available), what happens to the nodes/resources in the cluster if that server holding the witness share goes down? Are the cluster resources still stay online?

    Also, if I go with Disk Witness, how can I configure the disk to be part of the storage pool I'm going to cluster?
    Last question, what do you mean with "Remember that this is different from the pool witness that S2D uses" ? S2D has it's own witness regardless of the one configured for the cluster?

    Thanks!

    Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:43 AM
  • "if I configure a share on one of our servers in the network (a server which is not highly available), what happens to the nodes/resources in the cluster if that server holding the witness share goes down? Are the cluster resources still stay online?"

    Resources stay online.  The witness share is there for a quorum vote.  In fact, Windows Server 2012 R2 has a dynamic quorum model that automatically uses/stops using the witness to adjust quorum.  So you may not even see that the cluster is removing/adding that role in the cluster.

    "if I go with Disk Witness, how can I configure the disk to be part of the storage pool I'm going to cluster?"

    After creating the pool, you create virtual disks to be used.  You simply create one for the witness.

    "S2D has it's own witness regardless of the one configured for the cluster?"

    Yes, it creates its own witness that it needs for its operations.


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    • Marked as answer by Avisa Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:57 PM
    Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:46 PM