Q

3-node clusters on Microsoft Virtual Server

A Virtual Server user was having trouble setting up a three-node cluster, which should be possible according to Virtual Server documentation. He came to expert Serdar Yegulalp for help who did some research of his own to put together this response.

I am trying to set up a three-node cluster using Virtual Server. When trying to create SCSI adaptors I can only create two with ID 7 & 6. I have gone through features that say that VS 2005 R2 is capable of having four adaptors.

Why am I not able to see the adaptors? How do I get additional adaptor with ID 5 so that I can create a three-node cluster?
I did a little legwork about the way SCSI controllers are handled by clusters in Virtual Server 2003 R2 and found some interesting answers. It all comes down to the limitations of clustering in Virtual Server.

According to their own documentation, Microsoft has a limit on the number of shared drives that can be used in a cluster:

"There are limitations building your cluster using Virtual Server 2005. Virtual Server only supports having one virtual hard disk on each SCSI adapter that has been shared for clustering purposes. Also, since Virtual Server only allows you to have two SCSI adapters that means you are limited to two drives for your cluster."

This explains why you can only use SCSI IDs 7 and 6; you can't build a three-node cluster or greater in Virtual Server (VS) because you can't create more than two adapters in a cluster. Therefore, anything more than two nodes in VS2003R2 is not possible (at least not yet). There may be support for more than active/passive clustering in future versions of VS, though.

This was first published in November 2006
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