Welcome to Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering

Welcome to Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering

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The beta of Windows Server “8” is now available for IT professionals and software developers around the world to download, to evaluate, and to give us feedback on.

Specifically for the Failover Clustering feature, we have delivered a large number of new features in Windows Server 2012 that we hope you will find exciting and compelling.  Now is the time to discover the new capabilities and give us feedback.

To get you started, in this blog I will discuss some of the higher level themes for Failover Clustering features in Windows Server 2012.  Following this blog, there will be a series of “How to…” blogs that will give some quick guidance in how to setup and configure some of these new features, to enable you to go try them out and give us feedback.  We have some more comprehensive documentation coming later, but we wanted to help get you started today.  Welcome to Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering!

Scalability – With Windows Server 2012 you will be able to have the industry leading most scalable private cloud, with Failover Clustering having four times the scale over Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering.  There is now support for 64-nodes in a single cluster, as well as 4,000 virtual machines running on a cluster. 

Manageability – One of the major themes in Windows Server 2012 is multi-machine management.  You will see a new Server Manager which will enable managing your private cloud and along with cluster integration.  To manage a cluster of this scale you will see new management paradigm’s in the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in to search, sort, and filter views in the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in.  This will deliver a highly scalable easy to manage platform.

VM Mobility – In Windows Server 2012 a virtual machine can seamless move anywhere in your datacenter.  You will be able to migrate VMs from one cluster to another, and between clusters and stand-alone hosts.  Virtualization and high availability go hand-in-hand, so you will see tight integration with all the new Hyper-V features on a cluster.  This will give you incredible flexibility and allow you to rethink your cluster deployment models.

Monitoring Applications in your Private Cloud – With Windows Server 2012 you will be able to monitor application health and have application mobility in new and more flexible ways.  VM Monitoring will enable you to monitor the health of applications running inside of VMs in a lightweight way, and bubble the health state down to the host layer to take recovery actions.  With Guest Clustering there will greater flexibility in how you configure a solution that achieves not only application health monitoring, but also application mobility.  You will have greater flexibility to create Guest Clusters with fibre channel, iSCSI, or File (SMB) based storage.

Dynamic Clusters – With Windows Server 2012 how clustering determines quorum and resiliency is dynamic to the state of the cluster.  This will deliver a private cloud that is flexible, dynamic, and more resilient.

Cluster Shared Volumes – First introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2, CSV enables all nodes in a cluster to access a common volume.  With Windows Server 2012 CSV has undergone many innovations that enable it to provide a highly scalable, increased performance, security, and flexible shared storage infrastructure for your private cloud.  Additionally, CSV will be supported with more workloads beyond Hyper-V… such as with a new Scale-out File Server.

This is just a very small taste of some of the new Failover Clustering features available in Windows Server 2012.  You can discover a feature breakdown at this link

Once again, welcome to Windows Server 2012!  Look for more information to follow on the Clustering and High Availability blog site that will provide preliminary guides in how to setup and get going with some of the new features.

We would love your feedback, I encourage you to post feedback to the High Availability (clustering) newsgroup.  The product team will be actively monitoring it and will be helping to answer your questions and hear your feedback.

Thanks!
Elden Christensen
Principal Program Manager Lead
Clustering & High-Availability
Microsoft

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