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I am at my wit’s end with File Server clustering under Hyper-V. I am hoping that someone might be able to help me figure out this Gordian Knot of a technology that seems to have dead ends (like forcing cluster VMs to use iSCSI drives where normally-attached VHDX drives could suffice) where logic and reason would normally provide a logical solution.
I will be running three servers (in the end), but right now everything is taking place on one server. One of the secondary servers will exist purely as a witness/quorum, and another slightly more powerful one will be acting as an emergency backup (with additional storage, just not redundant) to hold the secondary AD VM and the other halves of a set of clustered VMs: the SQL VM and the file system VM. Please note, these each are the depreciated nodes of a cluster, the main nodes will be on the most powerful first machine.
My heavy lifter is a machine that also contains all of the truly redundant storage on the network. If this gives anyone the heebie-geebies, too bad. It has a 6TB (usable) RAID-10 array, and will (in the end) hold the primary nodes of both aforementioned clusters, but is right now holding all VMs. This is, right now: DC01, DC02, SQL01, SQL02, FS01 & FS02. Eventually, I will be adding additional VMs to handle Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync, but only to this main server (the secondary server won't be able to handle more than three or four VMs, so why burden it? The AD, SQL & FS VMs are the most critical for the business).
If anyone is now saying, “wait, what about a SAN or a NAS for the file servers?”, well too bad. What exists on the main machine is what I have to deal with.
I followed these instructions, but I seem to be unable to get things to work. In order to make the file server truly redundant, I cannot trust any one machine to hold the only data store on the network. Therefore, I have created a set of iSCSI drives on the VM-host of the main machine, and attached one to each file server VM. The end result is that I want my FS01 to sit on the heavy lifter, along with its iSCSI “drive”, and FS02 will sit on the secondary machine with its own iSCSI “drive” there as well. That is, neither iSCSI drive will end up sitting on the same machine as the other. As such, the clustered FS will utterly duplicate the contents of the iSCSI drives between each other, so that if one physical machine (or the FS VM) goes toes-up, the other has got a full copy of the data on its own iSCSI drive.
My problem occurs when I try to apply the file server role within the failover cluster manager. Actually, it is even before that -- it occurs when adding the disks. Since I have added each disk preferentially to a specific VM (by limiting the initiator by DNS hostname, and by adding two-way CHAP authentication), this forces each VM to be in control of its own iSCSI disk. However, when I try to add the disks to the Disks section of Storage within Failover Cluster Manager, the entire process fails for a random disk of the pair. That is, one will get online, but the other will remain offline because it does not have the correct “owner node”. I mean, really -- WTF? Of course it doesn’t have the right owner node, both drives are showing the same node name!! I cannot seem to have one drive show up with one node name as owner, and the other drive show up with the other node name as owner. And because both drives are not “online”, I cannot create a pool to apply to a cluster role. Talk about getting stuck between a rock and a hard place!
I’ve got more to add, but my work is closing for the day and I have to wrap things up. I will try to add more tomorrow morning when I get in.
My main objective is to have a file server VM on each machine, the storage on each machine, but a transparent failover in case one physical machine fails. Essentially, a failover FS that doesn’t care which machine fails -- the storage contents are replicated equally on each machine. Am I even heading in the right direction?