How to Configure Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2019 - step by step

Windows Server 2019 Failover Cluster Installation and Setup – Step by Step

In this tutorial, we would learn how to install and setup Failover cluster in Windows Server 2019 step by step. In the previous tutorial, we configures an iSCSI storage server and created three virtual disk.

To install and configure a failover cluster, let’s look at our network setup, then we follow some steps

  1. Our Network Environment
  2. Determine the Cluster Disks
  3. Add Failover Clustering Role
  4. Create the Failover Cluster
  5. Add Disks to the Cluster

 

1. Our Network Environment

Our lab network is set up using VirtualBox and consists of 4 computers:.

How to set up a domain network is explained here. 

DC (192.168.1.90) – This is our domain controller.

Node1 (192.168.1.91) – This is one of the failover cluster nodes and a iSCSI initiator.

Node2 (192.168.1.92) – This is the second failover cluster nodes and an iSCSI initiator.

Node3 (192.168.1.93) – This is out iSCSI target server. It hosts the virtual disks

 

2. Determine the Cluster Disks

Before you start creating the failover cluster, you need to determine the disk that hold the cluster data. This is so that if a member of the cluster fails, then the data would still be available. In our setup, we have decided to host the disks in another computer (Node3). This is configured as iSCSI target server and contain 3 virtual disk.

The figure below shows Node3 with the 3 iSCSI disks configured.

ISCI target server hosts the failover cluster disks
ISCI target server hosts the failover cluster disks

How to configure iSCSI target server and disks

Note: Ensure that the disks are iSCSI virtual disks are initialized on one of the failover nodes

 

3.  Add the Failover Clustering Role

Now we have to install the Failover cluster role in Node1 and Node2. Follow the steps below to do that.

Step 1 – In Node1, click on Add Roles and Feature. This will launch the Add Roles and Features wizard. Follow the steps and select Failover Clustering as shown below. Then complete the installation.

Adding the Failover Clustering role
Adding the Failover Clustering role

 

Step 2 – Repeat the process for Node2

 

4. Create the Failover Cluster

We would now use the Failover cluster manager to create a cluster. Follow the steps below:

Step 1 – In Node1, click on Manager and select Failover Cluster Manager. The window is shown below

Failover Cluster Manager
Failover Cluster Manager

 

Step 2 – Click on Validate Configuration and follow the wizard steps to do the validation (this is done only in Node1). The wizard will ask you to specify the Servers you want to participate in the clustering. You will use AD to find Node1 and Node2 and select them.

At the end of the validation, you may have warning relating to unsigned drivers. Ignore these warnings because they come from VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Step 3 – Click on Create Cluster. You will have to select the Node1 and Node1. Then you need to specify the cluster name. The complete the cluster creation. The figure below shows the final screen indicating the cluster creation was successful.

Successfully creating a failover cluster
Successfully creating a failover cluster

 

5. Add Disks to the Cluster

Failover clusters require disks and in this case we would used virtual disks from the iSCSI target server.

Step 1– Add storage to the cluster. To do that open the Failover Cluster manager as shown below.

Failover cluster manager
Failover cluster manager

Step 2 – Click on Add Disk. The three iSCSI disks would be listed. Ensure that they are selected.

Adding disks to cluster
Adding disks to cluster

Click on OK.

At this point, the disks are added to the cluster and they are online as well. See the figure below

Completed cluster configuration
Completed cluster configuration

In subsequent tutorials, I discuss the concept of Witness in failover cluster and how to configure Quorum witness and Disk witness.

I also recommend you watch the video in my Youtube Channel.

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kindsonthegenius

Kindson Munonye is currently completing his doctoral program in Software Engineering in Budapest University of Technology and Economics

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