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File Server Clustering using Server 2012

16 Jun

NOTE: this is for quick reference for a friend… I CANNOT guarantee that this information is correct

 

This will be a quick blog post about setting up file server clustering. I will be expanding on another blog post that I found here. I will focus more on setting up storage and testing out clustering. I will be testing my cluster setup on a subnet on my  domain.

Prerequisites

  • Set up a test domain. My test domain will be called “nc-net”.
  • One machine running server 2012, set up with ADDS, DNS and DHCP. I Called this “NC-ADDS”.
  • One machine running server 2012, with extra attached storage of 100 GB’s and call this “Nc-Windowsfiler”
  • Two machines running server 2012, called “SMB1” and “SMB2”. These will be our cluster node machines.
  • One machine running windows 8. This will be our client used for testing the cluster.

Notes

  • Make a domain administrator account on your test domain. Use this account to setup everything.

Setup Cluster Storage Subnet

  • My test domain “nc-net” will need a subnet for my cluster to talk to each other.
  • I made my cluster storage subnet ip range 192.168.2.0 ->192.168.2.255.
  • SMB1&2 and NC-windowsFiler are all connected to this subnet with a second NIC.
  • “nc-net” does not have to connect to the internet.

Install ISCSI Target Server feature

  1. On the “NC-WindowsFiler” machine, run “Add roles and features”. In roles add “File and Storage Services” and make sure to select “iSCSI Target server”
    iscsi target server
  2. Finish the installation.

Start the iSCSI initiator on cluster nodes

  1. On SMB1 & 2, start the iSCSI initiator.
    1. Start -> Control panel -> iSCSI intiator -> let the service start.

Configure NC-windowfiler as iSCSI Target server.

  1. On “NC-WindowsFiler” bring your 100GB hard drive online. Call the virtual hard drive “SMBShared” and assign it a drive letter (I used E:).
    bring smbshared online
  2. Navigate to “File and Storage Services” -> iSCSI -> “To create an iSCSI virtual disk, start the New iSCSI Virtual Disk Wizard”.
    iscsi wizard
  3. The “New iSCSI Virtual Disk Wizard” will appear, under “Server:” you should see your “NC-windowsFiler” server. Under storage location choose your “SMBShared” hard drive and hit next.
  4. Assign the new virtual disk you are creating a name like “iscsi virtual disk”.
  5. Assign the virtual disk size.
  6. Assign the iSCSI Target -> new iSCSI Target.
    1004.ConfigureISCSITarget-4
  7. For the iSCSI Target name I used “iscsitarget”. Proceed to allow SMB1 & SMB2 access to this iSCSI Storage.
    1. If one of the SMB’s isnt showing up, you may need to hit “Browse” -> search for computer.
    2. If an SMB still isnt showing up, ensure that the iSCSI initiators have been started on your SMB’s.
  8. Skip Authentication for now. You may set this up later if you want.
  9. Install the iSCSI Target role and you should see this screen when the installation is finished.
    7115.ConfigureISCSITarget-7

Configure iSCSI initiators on cluster nodes

  1. On both SMB’s do the following.
  2. Open the iSCSI initiator.
  3. In the box next to “Target:” enter the iSCSI Target name you just set up (I inputted “iSCSITarget”).
    7587.ConfigureISCSIInitiator-1
  4. Hit “Quick connect” and a menu called “Quick Connect” will appear. Under “Discovered Targets” you should see your “iqn…iscsiTarget…” and the status should  be connected. Under progress report you should see a “Login Succeeded” notice.
    8737.ConfigureISCSIInitiator-2

Configure disks on cluster nodes

  1. Do the following on both cluster nodes.
  2. Open computer management -> disk management.
  3. Bring the new offline disk online and initialize it as a GPT partition.
    1. i think once the disk was online, the volume was already configured and called SMBshared.
  4. The disks should now be visible on both servers.

Setup the cluster

Run validation tests

  1. Again do the following for both cluster nodes.
  2. Install the fail over cluster feature.
    1. Add roles -> features -> “fail over clustering”.
  3. Open “Fail over Cluster Manager” and select “Validate Configuration”. Hit next and select your cluster nodes. You can only test one at a time.
    select servers for cluster testign
  4. Run all tests.
  5. The validation test will finish. Make sure there are no errors, though there may be a couple warnings.

Create the cluster

  1. In “Fail over Cluster manager” choose “Create Cluster” from the main menu.
  2. For the “Select servers” step, input both SMB server names as selected servers.
  3. Name the cluster “smbcluster” and assign the cluster an IP address.
  4. Hit next until the end and your cluster should be setup.

Setup Cluster Access Point

  1. In “Fail over Cluster manager”, expand “smbcluster.nc-net.local” and right click on “Roles” -> add role.
  2. Select “File Server” and hit next.
  3. For the “File Server Type”, use “Scale-Out File Server for application data”.
    scale out file server type
  4. Assign a name to the client access point. I used “clusterAP” as my name.
  5. Finish up with the installation.

Enable clients to connect through SAN subnet

  1. In “Failover Cluster manager”, expand “Networks” and open the properties of “Cluster Network 2”.
  2. Check the box “Allow clients to connect through this network”.
    cluster network 2

Setup Cluster Storage

  1. In “Failover Cluster manager”, expand the “Storage” folder and right click “Disks” -> “Add Disk”.
    1. Note: If you get a warning that states “No disks suitable for cluster disks were found. For diagnostic information about disks available to the cluster, use the validate a Configuration wizard to run storage tests” check your configuration\look at the trouble shooting at end of this blog.
  2. A menu will appear named “Add disks to cluster”. Select the available cluster disk and hit “ok”.
    select disk cluster
  3. Choose “Scale Out File server…” for your type of cluster storage.
  4. Set the path for the new shared volume you are creating. The default path should be fine. Just give the share folder a name.
    1. My cluster storage path is “C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1”.
  5. Finish the installation, and your cluster should be set up!

Setup Quorum

  1. Add another disk to your “NC-WindowsFiler” VM. Bring it online and initialize it.
  2. Add this disk to your iSCSI target.
    1. FIle and storage sevices -> iSCSI -> tasks -> New iSCSI virtual disk -> name it “witness”.
  3. Now the disk should appear on your SMB’s. Bring the disk online on both SMB nodes.

Setup Quorum for the cluster

  1. On either SMB do the following (not both):
  2. Open “Failover cluster manager” and right click your cluster name -> “More actions” -> “Configure Cluster Quorum Settings”
    configure quorum start
  3. For the “Select Quorum Configuration Option” menu, select the third option “Advanced Quorum configuration and witness selection” and hit next.
    quorum configure disk witness
  4. For “Select Voting Configuration”, select “All Nodes” and hit “Next”.
    quorum select nodes
  5. Check the box next to, “Allow cluster to dynamically manage the assignment of node votes” and hit next.
    quorum dynamically manage
  6. For “Select Quorum Witness”, select “Configure a disk witness”.
    quorum configure disk witness
  7. For “Configure Storage Witness”, put a check next to “Cluster Disk 2”.
    select disk cluster
  8. HIt next and confirm your installation settings. Install the Quorum when you are ready.
    quorum configured

Openfiler stuff

  • OpenFiler is probably not the best chioce for hosting a iSCSI target.
  • I set up an open filer vm as my iSCSI Target, but ran into problems when I tried to add a disk to the cluster. I kept receiving the error below.
    • “No disks suitable for cluster disks were found. For diagnostic information about disks available to the cluster, use the validate a Configuration wizard to run storage tests”.
  • The only way to fix this is by purchasing the 1000 euro “Advanced iSCSI Target plugin” from their website… nope!

If you have any questions\concerns please feel free to comment. Please no comment spam… I get so much already 😦

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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