Step-by-Step: How to extend a traditional Microsoft shared storage failover cluster into a multisite cluster with hybrid shared/replicated storage using SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition

Introduction

The following are the high level steps required to turn an existing 2-node File Server cluster into a 3-node multisite cluster using SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition. The same steps can be applied to most cluster resource types including Hyper-V, DHCP, Generic Service, etc. However, if you are working with a SQL Server cluster the steps will be slightly different as adding a node to the cluster is done through the SQL installation process and not the Failover Cluster Manager.

These instructions assume you have at least base level knowledge of Windows Server Failover Clustering and some familiarity with SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition. Also, these instructions do not address any changes which may be required to support cross subnet failover utilizing the new “OR” functionality introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2. For further information on deploying multisite clusters refer to the following resources:

Step 1 – Start with a traditional shared storage cluster

Step 2 – Remove any Physical Disk resources from the clustered service

Step 3 – Delete the Cluster Disk from Available Storage

Step 4 – Bring the shared volume Online on all cluster nodes

Step 5 – Verify that the volumes brought online all have the same drive letter across cluster nodes. At this time Disk Management may not display the drive letters but you should be able to verify the drive letters through Windows Explorer.

Step 6 – Change your Quorum type to node majority (if you will have an odd number of nodes) or Node and File Share Majority (if you have an even number of nodes).

Step 7 – Delete the volume resource that is in Available Storage

Step 8 – Create your mirror

Step 9 – Add the remote Node to the cluster*

* IMPORTANT NOTE
If you are using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 , you must not do this step through the Failover Cluster Manager GUI. Changes were made in SP1 to support symmetric storage however these changes actually make deploying multisite clusters more complicated in some circumstances. If you are using SP1 and want to add a node to a multisite cluster that is using a 3rd party storage class resource like DataKeeper, the only way to add a node without causing the cluster disks resources to be added back into the cluster (which really causes a mess to clean up) is to use PowerShell to add the node as described here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee461047.aspx

Step 10 – Add the DataKeeper Volume Resource

Step 11 – Change the DataKeeper Volume Parameters to associate it with the replicated volume

Step 12 – Redefine the cluster dependencies

Step 13 – Reboot the 3rd node to ensure the DataKeeper volume resource type is registered in Failover Clustering

Step 14 – Test your new multisite cluster

Keep in mind that only a shared source or the current target of a mirror can come online; you cannot bring a shared target online if it is not the current target of the mirror. In an unexpected failure Windows will follow the preferred owners list until it finds a node that is available to come online. In a manual Online if you try to bring a node Online that is not a shared source or a current target the Online will fail and the current node will remain online. Check the DataKeeper GUI to verify which node is currently the target of the mirror.

Step-by-Step: How to extend a traditional Microsoft shared storage failover cluster into a multisite cluster with hybrid shared/replicated storage using SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition

4 thoughts on “Step-by-Step: How to extend a traditional Microsoft shared storage failover cluster into a multisite cluster with hybrid shared/replicated storage using SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition

  1. Hi,

    I am trying to setup Replication using the method mentioned above. 2 node – 1 node multi site. But I am not able to see the shared volume tab as mentioned by you while creating the job. Could you please let me know if i am missing something.

    I am using Iscsi disks and trying to setup multi site cluster on hyper-v

    1. daveberm says:

      I understand from our UK partner that you sorted this out? Let me know if you have any additional questions.

  2. Richard says:

    Can the same outcome be achieved with DFS on Windows Server 2012? What does DataKeeper bring to the table here? It’s pretty expensive.

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