Failover clustering

plays a critical role in serious disaster recovery strategies. Windows Server 2008 R2 failover clustering support introduced enterprise-class fault tolerance and recoverability to Microsoft’s server platform. Windows Server 2012 builds on this technology and offers important new and enhanced features that offer more expandability, non-stop storage availability for server applications, easier management, quicker automatic failover, and more options for designing failover clusters.

In addition to offering comprehensive Windows Server 2012 consulting services, LG Networks’ Microsoft-certified failover clustering experts can help you evaluate the benefits of adopting Windows Server 2012 clustering technology to build an advanced high-availability/disaster recovery solution, assist you to design and deploy a failover cluster environment powered by Windows Server 2012, provide online or on-premise consulting services and technical support for clustered physical servers or virtual machines, and show you how to streamline the management of clustered servers.

New and Improved Features of Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering

With failover clustering, if any clustered servers (called nodes) stop working properly, other servers automatically and transparently take up (or failover) their workloads such as Exchange Server or SQL Server. Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) is a refinement of failover clustering that provides a consistent, shared namespace that clustered services and applications (called roles) can use to utilize shared storage regardless of the node that is currently running them. This ability to replace IT resources on the fly can dramatically enhance network availability and facilitate rapid recovery in case of a localized catastrophic event.

 

 

Cluster Shared Volumes Allow Cluster Nodes to Access the Same NTFS File System Simultaneously

The failover clustering enhancements built into Microsoft Windows Server 2012 include:

Cluster Expandability
Failover clusters in Windows Server 2012 can scale to a greater number of nodes and virtual machines than clusters in Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Server 2012 scales to 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines per cluster. In contrast, Windows Server 2008 R2 supports 16 nodes and 1,000 virtual machines per cluster.

Server Manager and Failover Cluster Manager
Windows Server 2012’s new Server Manager makes it easy to manage cluster nodes by enabling remote multi-server management as well as the remote installation of roles and features. Server Manager can also start Failover Cluster Manager, which provides a wealth of new features including new search, filtering, and custom views; the ability to select a defined set of VMs for performing desired operations such as live migration; one-click configuration of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs); and support for Hyper-V Replica for point-in-time replication of VMs.

Virtual Machine Mobility
Multiple live migrations including VM storage can be initiated at the same time to nodes with adequate resources and failed migrations are automatically retried. In addition, you can add or a virtual machine to a failover cluster while the VM is running.

Cluster Shared Volumes
Improvements to Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs), which provide clustered VMs with common storage, include storage capabilities for additional clustered roles, the CSV proxy file system (CSVFS), support for BitLocker encryption, Direct I/O for faster access to file data, elimination of external authentication dependencies, integration with SMB Multichannel and SMB Direct for better performance and with Storage Spaces for lower-cost storage, and the ability to scan and fix volumes without service disruption.

Support for Scale-Out File Servers
The new clustered file server makes it possible to store server application data like Hyper-V virtual machine files on scale-out (known as active-active) file shares, offering performance and manageability similar to storage area network (SAN) solutions.

Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU)
This new feature allows the automation of software updates to the host operating system or other system components on clustered servers without downtime.

Monitoring and Managing VM Applications
This new capability enables high-level monitoring of applications hosted on clustered VMs running Windows Server 2012.

Integration with Active Directory Domain Services
Enhanced integration with Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) improves flexibility and resilience by including easy alignment of failover cluster dependencies on AD DS, automated recovery of unintentionally removed cluster virtual computer objects (VCOs), support for cluster deployments in branch office with read-only domain controllers, and the ability for failover clusters to start without AD DS dependencies.

Cluster Quorum Management
Improvements to cluster quorum management that simplify quorum setup and increase the uptime of clusters during the failover process include a revamped quorum configuration wizard, the ability to assign which nodes have quorum votes, and the ability to automate quorum vote assignment depending on the current state of the node.

Enhancements to the Cluster Migration Wizard
The enhanced Migrate a Cluster Wizard in Windows Server 2012 simplifies the tasks of installing, updating, and migrating Windows 2008 failover clusters through improvements that include the ability to export and re-import Hyper-V VMs, migrate to Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) disks, map virtual networks and storage, and reuse current storage.

Task Scheduler Integration
Windows Server 2012 failover clustering features a new integrated Task Scheduler that makes it possible to use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to configure cluster tasks, providing a versatile tool for utilizing cluster resources to run processes or applications at set times. Tasks can be scheduled to run on a single random node, all nodes, or nodes with specified resources.

Windows PowerShell support
An enhanced Failover Cluster module for Windows PowerShell provides a library of cmdlets for automating support for the Failover Clustering features in Windows Server 2012. New cmdlets support a variety of features such as the ability to manage cluster registry checkpoints, create Scale-Out File Servers, monitor VM applications, change the properties of a Distributed Network Name resource, create and manage clustered tasks, and create a fault-tolerant iSCSI Target Server.

For details about LG Networks’ consulting expertise for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, which provides enhanced support for failover clustering, refer to LG Networks’ Consulting Services for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

 

How LG Networks’ Can Help You Benefit from Microsoft’s Failover Clustering

LG Networks’ Microsoft-certified consultants can help you evaluate the business benefits of Windows Server 2012 failover clustering, set up test systems to help you optimize performance and ensure compatibility for your critical workloads, design and carry out an efficient role-out plan, train your administration staff to manage your failover clustering solution, and provide as-needed consulting and technical support either online or onsite to keep your system productive. LG Networks’ can also provide comprehensive Help Desk services.

LG Networks’ service professionals can also help you migrate to Windows Server 2012 Failover Clusters from Windows Server 2008 R2 or from Windows Server 2003 clustering technology.
LG Networks’ CISM, CISA, GIAC, CRISC, and CISSP certified security engineers can assess the protection offered by your cluster environment and can recommend and implement affordable improvements. LG Networks’ security experts can also help you design, document, and validate disaster recovery and business continuity and plans.

Other High Availability Solutions Provided by LG Networks’ Experts
LG Networks’ Microsoft and Cisco-certified consulting experts can assist your company to build an affordable, fault-tolerant IT architecture that addresses critical challenges covering a broad array of networking solutions and operations such as:

Workplace Recovery Planning
LG Networks’ business continuity engineers can show you how to create a workplace recovery strategy so you can restore IT functionality in the event of an IT system disaster. LG Networks’ can assist you to define a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that incorporates scheduled disaster recovery evaluations and testing. LG Networks’ Microsoft and Cisco-certified professionals can also help you create an affordable, zero-downtime network solution that takes into account availability issues involving a broad array of infrastructure technologies and processes. To read more, see Disaster Recovery Consulting Services.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clusters
The clustering technology incorporated into the high-end editions of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 is dramatically redesigned to simplify the installation, setup, and management of server clusters that provide greater levels of network dependability, protection, performance, and versatility. New or enhanced features include automated cluster verification, revamped configuration and deployment, improved cluster management, new cluster architecture for increased availability, better security and quorum structure, elimination of failure points, more disk and RAM capacity, and enhancements for geographically dispersed clusters. To read more, go to Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering Support.

Virtual Servers
Virtualization technology is a key part of any up-to-date disaster recovery solution. Virtual servers can be configured, updated, replicated, and recovered rapidly and simply, offering a degree of versatility for achieving maximum uptime impossible to meet with traditional physical servers. LG Networks’ can assist your company to design and deploy a virtualized solution based on Microsoft Windows Hyper-V, which incorporates powerful business continuity capabilities that include online backup and live migration. Windows Hyper-V can eliminate most of the time and effort required for scheduled maintenance, failing over to hot backup data centers, and restoring normal network functions. For more details, visit Microsoft Windows Hyper-V Virtual Server Consulting.

Data Protection Manager Data Recovery Consulting and Support Services
LG Networks’ expert Microsoft DPM consultants can help your company to create a practical workplace recovery plan, implement an affordable non-stop IT architecture, configure a DPM-powered backup and restore system, thoroughly validate your DPM system, educate your administrative personnel or local consultants how to manage DPM, or provide complete information technology outsourcing services such as off-site hosting of Microsoft DPM machines in LG Networks’ data center. To learn more, go to Data Protection Manager (DPM) Consulting Services.

Backup and Recovery Solutions Consulting Experts
LG Networks’ can provide economical online access to consultants skilled in a broad range of utilities and services that deliver solutions for protecting Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, and Linux physical and virtual servers and desktops plus notebooks and smartphones. LG Networks’ can provide consulting support for leading backup products such as Acronis, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist, HP Data Protector, Double-Take Software, MozyPro, Retrospect for Macintosh, Apple Time Machine, VMware Data Recovery (VDR), and Solaris FLARs. LG Networks’ consultants can assist your company to deploy, upgrade, or troubleshoot data backup solutions for a range of topologies including on-premise, remote, cloud-based, or hybrid.

Why Pick LG Networks’ for Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Solutions?

Because LG Networks’ is a Microsoft Gold Partner and provides professional application support for a wide range of business applications, LG Networks’ is able to assist customers to arrive at efficient IT solutions that optimize the business value of your information system. As a Registered Partner for Cisco Systems, LG Networks’ offers the support of certified consultants and specialists with expertise in architecting, deploying and maintaining infrastructure environments built on Cisco products. The breadth of LG Networks’ technical know-how and LG Networks’ appreciation for the requirements of small and midsize companies make LG Networks the perfect partner for building and running a cost-effective, dependable information system.

How You Can Get Help from LG Networks’ Consultants for High Availability System Support

To ask LG Networks’ about technical assistance for non-stop architecture, phone 972-528-6456or send email to helpdesk@lgnetworksinc.com

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