SCVMM 2012 – Creating a Hyper-V Cluster

This culminating blog in a series on SCVMM 2012 shows how to create a Hyper-V R2 cluster in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. With the arrival of Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, cluster creation has almost become a trivial job, largely because of the excellent Cluster Validation Wizard. The previous blogs showed us what preparations to make before we could perform a successful bare metal deployment. One moment you have 16 unconfigured blades, the other you have 16 fully installed Windows Server 2008 R2 hosts including the Hyper-V role. All that is left is to build a cluster from them … the easy way!

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Because I didn’t have 16 available blades I had to settle for only two. But you’ll get the idea despite of this.

In Fabric | Servers we see three hosts in a host group called Research. The cluster will be built from the bottom two servers hv11 and hv12.

Let’s first look at the properties of one of those physical servers.

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The hardware properties of the physical server shows the BMC settings as used during the bare metal deployment.

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Under Network Adapters one or more mappings can be made with logical networks. A distinction can be made between Available for placement (of guests) or Used by management.

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Creating the cluster

The actual cluster creation is started by pushing Create | Hyper-V Cluster which starts the Create Cluster Wizard

 

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Enter the cluster name and credentials for creating the cluster. Oddly enough we don’t get to select a Run As Account. Instead we have to supply the username and password manually.

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In the next step we select a target host group and add up to 16 hosts that will be part of the new Hyper-V cluster.

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The cluster requires a unique IP address. Both IP v4 and v6 can be entered.

 

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Next a choice is given of shared disks that will be part of the cluster. The wizard automatically selects the smallest disk for witness disk (if the number of nodes dictates this kind of quorum).

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The Create Cluster Wizard can also create external virtual networks. Having named the different physical networks and creating the logical networks in SCVMM 2012 beforehand makes this job a little easier.

 

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The final step shows the Summary of all previous choices.

 

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Clicking the Finish button sets the cluster creation in motion.

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What is interesting if you study the detailed steps of the cluster creation job is that several tasks are performed in parallel (step 1.2.1)

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Of course Cluster Validation is also part of the procedure (1.5) and passing this will make the cluster fully supportable by Microsoft, regardless of the underlying hardware.

Important note:
Assuming you will be using SP1 for Hyper-V R2 clusters, please note that there will be a hotfix for being able to complete cluster validation successfully with 3 or more cluster nodes. I will update this text if I get the exact KB article number.

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The cluster is now fully operational

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… and visible in SCVMM 201

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This concludes a series of SCVMM 2012 blogs that show the radically improved new Virtual Machine Manager that is expected to RTM in the second half of 2011. I’m sure we will have a lot of fun with this product in the years ahead!

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