The Introduction to Failover Clustering module provides you with the instruction and server hardware to develop your hands on skills in the defined topics. This module includes the following exercises:

  • Preparing System Requirements for Failover Cluster
  • Installing a Failover Cluster
  • Verify the Functionality of a Failover Cluster
  • Managing a Failover Cluster

Exercise 1 - Preparing System Requirements for Failover Cluster

A server cluster is a collection of 2 or more computers that provide fault tolerance or redundancy for mission-critical network services or applications like file servers, messaging (e-mail) servers and relational database management systems.

Server clusters are managed and monitored using proprietary administration tools provided by the software vendor. The servers that form part of a cluster normally use a shared disk storage where data resides. Typically in a server cluster, an active node provides the services to requesting client computers. While the passive node is a standby server that will automatically take over in the event of a hardware failure in the active node of the cluster. The transition from an active node to a passive node is called failover. With server clustering in place, users will hardly notice any disruption of network service as the underlying server clusters components’ ensure availability of the resource.

In this exercise, you will learn how to set up the system pre-requisites for the successful deployment of a failover cluster.

Exercise 2 - Installing Failover Cluster

After setting up the static IP address, installing the File Server services and configuring the iSCSI servers and initiators you will now install failover clustering.

In this exercise, you will learn how to configure server clustering using Microsoft’s implementation called failover clustering.

Exercise 3 - Verify the Functionality of the Failover Cluster

After installing and configuring a failover cluster, you need to run some system verification checklist on the target servers to ensure that the service is functional and it works. In this exercise, you will run the failover cluster high availability wizard, then install the File Server application on the cluster and verify the owner of a clustered disk resource.

Exercise 4 - Managing a Failover Cluster

In this exercise, you will view the failover, failback and preferred owner settings to manage the way a failover cluster responds when the server fails. In addition, you will test high availability of File Server by simulating a hardware failure on the active node of the cluster, then notice the file server services failing over to the passive node. This transition from the active node to passive node will ensure uninterrupted access to the file server.

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