Gotta Muster a Cluster? Build It with Windows - Page 2

By Deann Corum | Posted Sep 1, 2005
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Continued From Page 1

The Quorum Disk
Each MSCS cluster requires a quorum disk. The purpose of the quorum disk is to store the cluster log file. The quorum disk must be a shared storage device but separate from the rest of the shared storage. A standard recommendation is to make it about 100-200 MB in size. With Windows Server 2003, you no longer need to manually select which disk is going to be used as the quorum resource. It is automatically configured on the smallest shared disk that is larger then 50 MB and formatted NTFS. You may move the quorum resource to another disk during setup or after the cluster has been configured.

The Cluster Log File
In Windows 2000, the cluster log file size was initially set very small (64KB) by default and often had to be increased in size. The problem is that if the logfile fills before the entries can be snapshotted and the log file truncated, the cluster fails or generates an error, so make sure the cluster transaction logfile is large enough to handle the regular activity of your cluster. In Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, the default size of the quorum log has been increased to 4096 KB and this is sufficient for most purposes.

Cluster Log File Configuration
(Click for a larger image)
Installing Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS)
You install MSCS by using the Add/Remove Programs applet in Windows 2000 Advanced Server. MSCS is installed by default in Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition so you only need to launch the Cluster Administrator. You can also script the configuration with Cluster.exe. Longhorn will have a simple "Create Cluster" Wizard, but it will probably be around 2007 before we'll see that.

Troubleshooting
With Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, a setup log is created during configuration of Cluster Service in %SystemRoot%system32LogfilesClusterClCfgSrv.log to assist in troubleshooting, and a new tool called clusdiag is available in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. Good Luck!

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