I am trying to learn how the failover clustering features works with Windows 2008 R2 as I am going to be using as part of SQL Server 2012 always on.

I have been able to find information on how to set it up, and what it does. However, I am having trouble finding a nice technical document on how it actually works in detail (For example with keepalived there are docs that explain how often are heartbeat packets sent, what they look like etc).

I know this is a pretty broad question, but I would like to have a good understanding of mechanisms of this feature.

  • Magic! And unicorns, of course... – Mark Henderson Jun 7 '12 at 20:26
  • I have a rule about Microsoft services... Don't ask why things are the way they are or how they work... because you'll just go crazy trying to find the answer... I think maybe that applies here... – Ashley Jun 14 '12 at 11:32

Being that it's a proprietary product I don't think you're going to binary-level analysis of the protocol or even flow diagrams, but I think you can glean some helpful information from:

And, of course, if you want to see more of the low levels yourself set it up and throw a sniffer at it.

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