Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clustering

Considering Failover Clustering For Your Environment

I recently had the opportunity to assist with the deployment of SQL Server 2012 in a failover cluster on vSphere 5.5.  I have to admit, the vSphere tasks had not changed since I deployed a file service cluster on Server 2008 R2 last year.  You'll be happy to know that the VMware setup document was straight forward and easy to follow.  This experience reminded me of the article I wrote back in Sept of last year (Clusters for Service Consolidation).  In the article, I proposed the use of Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS) as method of consolidating services in the datacenter.  A cluster could have multiple roles configured.  This could open the door to a more available datacenter at an infrastructure level.  However, the one thing I did want to expose here, is that there is a definite improvement in the failover cluster service in Server 2012 R2.  The storage/quorum issues experienced with 2008 R2 failover clustering are not an issue with 2012 R2.  This is significant, since the 2008 R2 cluster experienced loss of quorum due to storage problems, while the 2012 R2 cluster on the same storage didn't skip a beat.  I was very impressed with the new performance and would recommend seriously considering MSCS as a major player in your datacenter.  Before you start your project though, I recommend taking the time to read the documentation before you make the first click.  I know how hard that can be sometimes, but you'll be glad you did.  Below are a few more resources to learn more about the new features and prepare for your deployment.

 What's New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server

Microsoft Clustering with VMware vSphere Design Guide

Migration Paths for Migrating to a Failover Cluster Running Windows Server 2012 R2

Deploy highly scalable tenant network infrastructure for hosting providers

Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Compute Foundations

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