I am looking on a strategy to partially Virtualize the Microsoft Cluster servers. The plan goes as explained below.
I am planning to implement 2 node cluster for the testing purpose and to start with. First node (active node) I will configure this on a physical server and the second node (Passive node) I will configure it on a Virtual Machine which is hosted on VMWare ESX server 3.x.
By implementing this solution I feel we can save cost on an additional physical server and we can use the existing Virtual Infrastructure in the organisation for configuring the passive node. And for the high availability purpose if there is any hardware or software maintenance to be performed on the physical node we can failover the resources to the passive node which is running on a VM and fail back the resources to the Active node (physical server) once the maintenance has been completed, so that the clustering technology is fully utilized without a downtime to the services.
It will be of great help for me if I get any best practices for implementing the above solution.
I am sorry for replying so late. Thank you both of you for providing these information. I am currently in the process of collecting all the information for implementing the explained solution. I will post the outcome of my expirement and the advantages and the dissadvantages.
Thanks once again.