DawsonB
Contributor
Contributor

Creating a Windows 2008 failover cluster on ESX 3.5

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Hi,

I would like to create a Windows 2008 cluster on ESX 3.5. I understand from browsing the forums that support for parallel-SCSI as a shared bus type has been dropped for Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008. To enable clustering you have to utilise iSCSI on a target server. The option of introducing a target server incurs additional licensing costs.

Is ESX 3.5 to be updated to support Windows 2008 failover clustering? If so, when?

Is there another solution which does not involve additional cost? I have looked at StarWind but the free edition does not give us enough resources that are required.

How will ESX 4.0 support Windows 2008 failover clustering?

Thanks,

Brian

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

In ESX 3.5 you can make a 2008 Failover cluster only with a software initiator inside the Windows 2008 node.

For ESX 4 no problem.

See also:

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

In ESX 3.5 you can make a 2008 Failover cluster only with a software initiator inside the Windows 2008 node.

For ESX 4 no problem.

See also:

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro

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VMmatty
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I have had luck using OpenFiler () for presenting iSCSI storage to VMs. I have never used it in a production environment though, so if you are looking to do that then I would at least consider purchasing a support contract for it. I wouldn't want to be using free software without support for production workloads unless your tolerance for downtime and data loss is high.

I don't think there will be any support for 2008 Failover Clusters on ESX 3.5. You will likely have to upgrade to ESX 4 in order to make it work.

Matt | http://www.thelowercasew.com | @mattliebowitz
TimPhillips
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For failover cluster I would recommend you to use Starwind`s iSCSI. Using it for myself. Here you can read nice manual about confuigurating cluster using Starwind.

Regards,

Tim

IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The comparison chart for Starwind indicates that it doesn't fully support ESXi 4 since it does not support thin provisioning according to their comparison chart whereas it appears OpenFiler does.

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ConstantinV
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hello.

As you can see in this chart, Starwind Enterprise Server edition of our software fully supports thin provisionin, and full support of ESX Server 4, according to VmWare`s requirements, will be implemented in future versions of our software.

Regards,

Starwind Software Evangelist

VCP 4/5, VCAP-DCD 5, VCAP-DCA 5, VCAP-CIA 5, vExpert 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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firestartah
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

There is a great white paper on how to setup clustering in esx4 to answer your esx 4 question, that i got off the vmware website a while back. I've attached it as used it to setup up our environment

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful".

Gregg Robertson, VCP, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS, MCITP

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Gregg http://thesaffageek.co.uk
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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

>Starwind Enterprise Server edition of our software fully supports thin provisionin<

I interpreted by reading the comparison table that Starwind somehow prevented VMs from being stored thin on the iscsi-vmfs volume, and then sold it as a feature in the Enterprise version. At that point I was wondering why anyone would use Starwind. Now my take is it means thin provisioning of the iscsi Starwind volume itself, and that all levels of Starwind will store thin-provisioned VMs.

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ConstantinV
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hello, I`m Constantin Videnski, Starwind Software Evangelist. I would like to know, how do you realize, while reading our product chart, that any other, except Enterprise Server, edition of our software blocks using of Thin Provisioning functionality? If VmWare, Citrix Xen, MS Hyper-V or any other hypervisor or software supports creating TP disks our software CAN`T block using it. Or maybe you are talking about such scenario, when customer create iSCSI target by any edition except Enterprise Server, mount it to, let`s say, VmWare ESX Server, and creates iscsi-vmfs volume using Thin Provisioning, yes, in this case it will give no result, cause image file will be fullsized, while vmfs file will be thin provisioned.

Regards,

Constantin Videnski

Starwind Software Evangelist

VCP 4/5, VCAP-DCD 5, VCAP-DCA 5, VCAP-CIA 5, vExpert 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I would like to know, how do you realize, while reading our product chart, that any other, except Enterprise Server, edition of our software blocks using of Thin Provisioning functionality?

See attached

Thin provisioning in a VMWare context implies virtual machine files.

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ConstantinV
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Oh, I`m sorry I must be misunderstood you, either my state was corrupted because of my mistake. Anyway, I would like to say following: Thin Provisioning function is avaible for Starwind`s ISCSI target only in Enterprise Server, if you are using any other edition of our software it doesn`t affect in anyway Thin Provisioning of any other software or hardware. Also I would like to note that you can use thin vmdks, vmfs-iscsi or anthing else on flat ISCSI target implemented by Starwind.

Regards,

Starwind Software Evangelist

VCP 4/5, VCAP-DCD 5, VCAP-DCA 5, VCAP-CIA 5, vExpert 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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wililupy
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I managed to install a Windows Enterprise Server 2008 R2 Failover cluster in ESX 4.0 with no issues.

The only thing I did differently though is I used VMFS for the clustered disks instead of RDM. I also made sure that I had a seperate scsi adapter for my shared storage and that they were selected as LSI Logical SAS and that the SCSI Bus Sharing was set to Physical. Also make sure that the disks you are sharing can be accessed by both VM's.

I ended up creating 1 node on one ESX server, using two nics, one plugged in to my network and the other is a patch cable plugged into a NIC on the other ESX server. I did the same thing on the other esx server. I then build the virutal machine using version 7 with two scsi conrtollers. One is used for the local system, the other has the two drives used for shared storage and quorum.

I then installed Server 2k8 R2, installed Failover Clustering and File Sharing, went to Manage my Server and formatted the quorum and storage. I then went into the Failover Cluster Administrator and created the first node of the cluster with no problems. When I went to add the second node, it failed the checks, but I then told it to not perform the check and I was able to add the secondary node with no problems. The failover capabilities work with no problems.

I understand that this is not the VMWare tried and true method of running cluster on ESX, but for testing out the capabilities of Server 2k8 R2, this will work perfect.

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Topski
Contributor
Contributor

Hi all,

Will this ever be fixed in future updates of 3.5 ? Maybe Update 6 ? Or does Microsoft forces us to move to vSphere 4 ? Or Hyper-V ...?

Grtz !

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