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SBS Server 2011 and Failover clustering

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SBS Server 2011 and Failover clustering

Postby blin » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:56 pm

I'm being thrown off a little by the SBS 2011 documentation which states that SBS 2011 best configuration is on Hyper-V Server in a Workgroup with SBS 2011 as the domain controller. What if I installed SBS 2011 on a Hyper-V Server in a Workgroup, promoted the SBS 2011 VM to a domain controller, then brought the Hyper-V Server into the domain. Once establised I could install the second Hyper-V Server and join it to the domain and then create my cluster, Would that work? Thanks for your help.
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Re: SBS Server 2011 and Failover clustering

Postby blin » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:57 pm

Yes, you can cluster two Hyper-V Server nodes if they are members of the same domain. Windows Server 2012, and therefore, Hyper-V Server 2012, resolved an issue with forming a cluster without the presence of a domain controller, but you still need the domain controller in order to build the cluster or join nodes to it. If you were to try to use Hyper-V Server 2008, you would not be able to put your domain controller on the cluster as a highly available VM.

Remember, the licensing implications of this, though. Microsoft tends to assign licenses to a physical server, not to a virtual machine. Though I am not familiar with the licensing of SBS, if you were to be running a VM running Windows Server Standard Edition as a highly available VM in a Hyper-V cluster, you would need to purchase two Windows Server Standard Edition licenses; one for each physical server on which it is going to run. So, even though you only have a single VM running SBS 2011, you assign the license for that to a specific server. If you want it to run on another physical server, you need to have a license for that server, too. It would be best of talked to a Microsoft licensing specialist about your plans to ensure you are within the bounds of your license.
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Re: SBS Server 2011 and Failover clustering

Postby blin » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:58 pm

Here is what I would do. Install Window Server 2012 Standard on two physical servers. Create a Windows 2012 Standard VM on each server and make them DC's for a new domain (not the same domain as your SBS). Have the physical servers join that new domain. Create a cluster between the two physical servers, but do NOT cluster the current VMs, leave them as non-clustered VMs on each server to ensure that you always have at least on DC.

Now install SBS 2011 as a highly available VM in your cluster. Of course this assumes you have access to highy available shared storage where your VM will reside.
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Re: SBS Server 2011 and Failover clustering

Postby blin » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:59 pm

If the license is not the issue, yes, you can do it. This is what I did my network.

Before, my SBS 2008 was VM on Windows 2008 R2 running on HP ML110 with 8GB RAM. Recently, I added another ML100 and installed Windows 2012 on it. Then joined the SBS 2008 domain and moved the SBS to the new Windows 2012.

Now, upgraded Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 and joined the sbs 2008 Domain. Created the failover cluster. Of course, I don't have 3rd storage for real failover. What I am doing now is enabling Hyper-V Replica.

I also thought David's idea. It should work too.

Good luck!
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