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I am using Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009's Role-Tailored Client (RTC), which utilizes a 3-tier architecture. The middle tier, which Microsoft calls the service tier, is a non-cluster-aware application that runs as a Windows service. I've identified that I need a virtual IP and name so that my Windows cluster can at a minimum start/stop the service on one of the clustered servers. I currently have two servers with Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise and are clustered.

How can I make the service tier application/service cluster-aware to a level that I can make it highly available?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The most generic method I can think of to do this would be to virtualise the middle-teir service in a hypervisor that supports high availability (such as VMWare vSphere).

Of course, this is only easy if you:

  • Have an existing virtual environment
  • Have existing shared storage
  • Have HA-compatible hardware

Otherwise it's difficult and expensive, but it's at least guaranteed to work with any non-cluster aware software.

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I like this solution because it keeps most solutions within the realm of Microsoft support; however, as you identified there are additional hardware requirements. Budget-conscious buyer beware. – Matthew Ball Sep 28 '10 at 1:15

Install the service on both nodes of the cluster. Create a new resource group and put the name and IP address in there. Add in a Generic Service and point it to the service you wish to cluster. Configure the services that need to access the service to point to the cluster name that you put in the resource group.

I've done this for a number of non-cluster aware services.

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That's the way to go. You can also configure it so that the necessary registry entries are copied. However, make sure all the service files are installed on shared storage. – Stephane Sep 20 '10 at 7:36
This TechNet page might be of interest as well: – Anders Zommarin Aug 23 '11 at 17:08

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