Building a Host Cluster with Hyper-V Beta 1

I love these types of posts! And good old Robert L posted this amazing post on Hyper-V. Roberts Blog should be on the left and down a little :o) ...... Anyway if you want to rapidly build up a 2 node Hyper-V Cluster this is what your going to need..... Some Hardware.... A copy of Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V ..... and dash of really easy step by step instructions to build that high availability! So two are easy....... you just need to find the hardware! Have a read below and be gob smacked at how easy that was...... and lets face it...."copy and paste it" and turn it into your instructions for some of your deployment when Hyper-V is RTM'd.


Well by now you have heard the news that Microsoft shipped Hyper-V Beta 1 early!!

Like many of you I have been testing away and thought I would share the steps for creating a host cluster in Windows 2008 and Hyper-V. For those that have built host clusters in Virtual Server, you will find the process in Windows 2008 and Hyper-V much more streamlined and user friendly. One major improvement is the integration of Hyper-V as a cluster aware application and native support for making a virtual machine highly available.

So what are the 10 steps you have to go through to build a host cluster using iSCSI shared storage?

1) Build nodes with Hyper-V
2) Build Virtual Network Switches in Hyper-V
3) Establish iSCSI Target Quorum and Data drives
4) Use iSCSI initiator on each node to connect to targets
5) Install Failover Clustering on each node
6) Launch the Failover Cluster management console on both nodes
7) Run Validate on the cluster nodes
8) Create Cluster
9) Build a VM to make highly available
10) Make the VM highly available and test it



LAN IP address =
Heartbeat IP address =


LAN IP address =
Heartbeat IP address =

Cluster IP Address =

Step 1:

Building the nodes with Windows 2008 Enterprise or Data Center edition is a simple process.  Once you have the OS installed, you need to add the Hyper-V role in Server Manager (and reboot)

Step 2:

Once you reboot and Hyper-V installation completes, you need to launch the Hyper-V management console from the Administration Tools menu on each node.

[Do this on both nodes] On the right hand side, click the Virtual Network Manager, and create a new virtual network switch. For simplicity make it a private network and call it Private. The name must be the same on both nodes.

Step 3:

Go to the iSCSI target (hardware or software based) and build two disks enabled for shared access.  The Quorum disk needs to be 500 MB or larger, and the data disk needs to be big enough to hold the virtual machine, say 10 GB minimum. Be sure to enable the option for shared or cluster access to the disks.

Step 4:

On NODE1 launch the iSCSI initiator software.  Discover the iSCSI target via name or IP address and then establish a connection to the Data and Quorum disks that were established in step3.

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Once the disks are connected to Node1, use Disk Management to initialize and format them as NTFS volumes. Assign driver letter Q: to the quorum disk and a drive letter like S: to the data disk.

Once you have Node1 configured, perform the same steps to add the disks to Node2. When you go into Disk Management this time the disks are already initialized and formated, so all you need to do it bring them online and possibly assign a drive letter. Be sure to use the same drive letters as Node1.

Step 5:

From Server Manager, install the feature called Failover Clustering on each node. and when done, launch the Failover Clustering Management console on each node.

Step 6:

Launch the Failover Cluster Management console on both nodes of the cluster.  This is required in order for the validate step to execute on all nodes.


Step 7:

Verify that Node1 has current ownership of the disk resources and then launch the Validate process from Node1 specifying Node1 and Node2 are the nodes of the cluster, run all tests.  If issues are identified, the validate report will provide details on what the issue(s) are and how to resolve them.

Click Validate a Configuration


Provide the names of the two nodes


Execute the validation process


Get a report back on the progress, if successful you should see all green checkmarks


Step 8:

Once you have completed a successful validate process, you can now build the cluster.  It is a four step process

1) Select Create Cluster from the Failover Cluster Management console.
2) Specify the nodes of the cluster
3) Specify the name and IP address of the cluster
4) Execute the create process




Step 9:

Using the Hyper-V Management console, create a virtual machine called TestVM on Node1 that can be made highly available.  Use Windows 2008 for the operating system.  The integration components are automatically installed for you.

Do not start TestVM, it must be in the powered off state to make it highly available.

Step 10:

Make TestVM highly available and test it by failing the VM from Node1 to Node2.

Click Configure a Service or Application


Select Virtual Machine from the list of available services or applications


Select TestVM as the VM to make highly available


Execute the process



Now bring the VM online, right click the VM in the list and select "Bring this service or application online"


Once it is online you can test the fail over by moving the VM to Node2.

Right-click the Application and select "Move this service or application to another node", select Node2


Watch the process

1) The VM is placed in saved state
2) The resources are moved to Node2
3) The VM is resumed from saved state



Now the VM has successfully failed from Node1 to Node2.

You have successfully built and tested a 2-node host cluster using Hyper-V.  Note that you can have up to 16 nodes in a Hyper-V host cluster.

Hope this helps you understand Hyper-V host clustering......:-)

Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is a free version of iSCSI Target, named iStorage Server:

    It is powerful and beautiful

  2. Anonymous says:

    Windows Clustering and I have had a sorded past. Here’s a quote on my own personal history from my recent book on Server 2008: Have you ever despised a technology because you got burned by recommending it? Back many, many years ago I found myself recommending

  3. Vadim Nekhai says:

    You can use StarWind products for this task:

    StarPort – free iSCSI initiator:

    StarWind Server – powerful iSCSI Target:

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