Virtual Host Clustering With Virtual Server 2005 R2 Part I

Clustering is a technology that lets you increase the availability of a server, service or application so it does not become a single point of failure. For example, if you have a critical server running on your network, it can be placed in a cluster with another server that is standing by to take over in the event of failure.

Cluster Service, included with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise and Datacenter editions, is designed to increase the availability of your critical components. By combining this technology included with Virtual Server 2005 R2, you can even increase the availability of your guest operating systems running on a host. This is an important consideration if your virtual hosts are running critical applications.

Note: It is important to keep in mind that this does not increase the availability of applications running within a guest operating system. Any problems with specific applications running within a virtual machine will not initiate the fail over process.

Overview
There are different configurations that can be used to cluster your servers. The configuration you choose to deploy depends on the outcomes you want to achieve. That is, if you want to increase the availability of the hosts that are supporting your guest operating systems, then virtual server host clustering is a solution to consider.

What is Host Clustering?
With virtual server host clustering, you combine the clustering technology in Windows Server 2003 with Virtual Server 2005 R2. The hosts, running Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Server 2003, are set up in a cluster configuration. A minimum of two hosts are required. The number of hosts that can be supported in a single cluster depends on the version of Windows Server 2003 that is installed.

The guest operating systems are installed on a host in the usual fashion. Should a node in the cluster fail, one of the other nodes in the cluster will automatically take over support of the guest operating systems. For example, both Server A and Server B are nodes within the same cluster. Server A is running two guest operating systems. Should Server A fail, the guest operating systems fails over to Server B.

[tags]active directory server, virtual server 2005 r2, clustering server[/tags]