Finally most eagerly anticipated Windows 8 next release has been announced by Microsoft. This is the second public release of Windows 8 after releasing Windows 8 Develop Preview edition was announced on 29th February 2012.
I have already downloaded Windows 8 Beta and I’m going to have a look at installation process in this blog post. if you haven’t yet downloaded Windows 8 beta, you can download from TechNet Evaluation Center by accessing following link
Download windows 8 Beta –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538
After downloading required media files, let’s get started with the installation. When you boot from Windows 8 Beta media you will first see new Windows 8 Boot logo
After it loads up you will see Windows Server 8 Beta Setup
You can select Language / Time format and the keyboard method and proceed with the installation
Next installation prompt, we can select available editions. At the moment, there’s only Datacenter Edition available in the beta which provide you with two options to select either GUI version of the Operating System or Core version. I have selected GUI version of the Operating System. we will look at later how we can switch back and forth from GUI to Core using Windows 8.
Next prompt we have Licensing terms which needs to be accepted to proceed further
There are two types of installation options available which is Upgrade and Custom Installation. since I don’t have any operating system installed, I will select Custom Installation method
Next we need to select a partition for installation. once we are done selecting a partition then the setup process will begin installation
Once installation completes, we need to set administrator credentials before logging-in to the system.
Once we have set Administrator credentials, we can now log-in to the system
we can now see our very first preview on Windows Server 8 Beta Desktop Experience
When you login using Administrator account, it will automatically run Server Manager which allows you to configure your server.
We will evaluate and look at more features on Windows Server 8 Beta on future posts
In this blog post, let’s have a look at Windows Network Load Balancing Cluster capabilities by configuring a two node Cluster.
After configuring two nodes with IIS, let’s go ahead and install Windows Network Load Balancing feature using the Server Manager.
Using Server manager, we can add new features by right clicking on the features section and selecting “Add features”. After selecting add features options it will initiate “Add Features Wizard” which will allow us to select “Network Load Balancing” features to be installed in our system. We need to install Network Load Balancing feature on both nodes.
After we click next, we will get a confirmation page to install Network Load Balancing Feature
Now that we have installed Network Load Balancing Feature, a summary page is given.
We have now completed, installation procedure, which will allow us to start Network Load Balancing Manager from administrative tools
You should receive a similar interface which enables you to create Network Load Balancing Clusters using Network Load Balancing Manager
Next, let’s go ahead and create a new Network Load Balancing Cluster
We need to connect to our First Node and select an interface. Since I’m having only one interface, I will proceed to the next step
Next we need to provide Host parameters. ip address of my selected network adapter will be automatically added in to this section.
Next we need to set a Cluster IP(Virtual IP) for clients to connect to our Load Balancing Cluster. by pressing Add button we can add an IP Address
We need to specify Cluster IP in the below mentioned window
After we add a new IP, it will be visible in “Cluster IP Addresses” Section and we can proceed to the next step
Next we need to specify Cluster Parameters. In the Cluster operation mode I will be selecting Multicast operation mode as I have only one adapter. For more information relating to Cluster operations Mode please visit Technet article (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782694(WS.10).aspx). I will also explain in a different blog post more on Unicast and Multicast Client IP request distribution methods.
Next we can configure port rules. By default from 0 to 65535 ports will be opened. We will keep this as it is and continue
Now that we have completed creating a Network Load Balancing Cluster, we can review configuration from Network load balancing manager.
As we have already configured the first NODE, let’s go ahead and add the second node to this cluster
Similar to our configuration with the first node, we need to run through the wizard and add the second node to our cluster.
We will also leave out port rules console as it is and proceed
After we finish adding the second node, we can refresh and see whether both nodes are working without any issues. It’s possible for us to see that the status of both nodes are now set to converged state.
We can now connect to the cluster IP or name and access IIS web page utilizing load balancing capabilities between both nodes.
If I disable a network adapter or shutdown a node, it’s reflected in the NLB Manager and shows that the node is “unreachable”
I hope you find this post on configuring a TWO node IIS Network Load Balancing Cluster useful.
Using Failover Cluster Management Console, we can create a new cluster as you can see below
After, selecting Create Cluster option, Create Cluster Wizard will appear, which will guide you through the process of creating a new cluster.
Next, we need to add servers which we are planning to include in this cluster.
I will search from my active directory and add two nodes which I have already validated as my cluster nodes.
Next, we need to specify an IP Address and also a name for Cluster Administration
After providing necessary information, next we have a summary/confirmation page
After selecting next, wizard will start creating a cluster based on information which we provided
As the final step, we can see a summary page which contains information relating the cluster which we created. We can also select “View Report” which will give us a more detailed overview of all the configuration which was created by the Create Cluster Wizard
Next let’s see how we can verify successful creation of the cluster. we can visit Failover Cluster Management Console to verify whether we can access Cluster1 which we just created. After accessing Cluster1, you can see that there’s a summary page which provides us with an overview of cluster configuration.
We can also validate cluster creation process by looking at the report which is located at the system drive\Windows\Cluster\Reports
You will find CreateCluster.mht which contains information relating Cluster Creation process
now that we have successfully completed creating a cluster, let’s look at quorum configuration in my next blog posts. if you want to have a look at PART 01 and PART 02 please feel free to visit below mentioned links
As I have demonstrated how we prepare Cluster nodes for a two node failover cluster, in this post let’s have a look at how we can use Cluster Validation Tool to generate a report. I will be using Windows Server 2008 for this demonstration and before moving any further let’s have a look at what tests are performed using Cluster Validation Tool.
Cluster Validation tool is a wizard found on Failover Cluster Management Console. Following tests are carried out when you perform cluster Validation Tool
· Inventory Validation
· Network Validation
· Storage Validation
· System Configuration
We will look at what are exact components or sub-tests that takes place during validation testing in another post.
First we need to go to administrative tools and then open Failover Cluster Management Console
After selecting Failover Cluster Management option, it will open Failover Cluster Management Console
As you can see below, first screen provides us with a description relating to Cluster validation wizard.
Next we need to add what are the NODEs which we need to validate.
I will add my Cluster NODE01 and Cluster NODE02
After I select both NODEs, it gets added to my Cluster validation wizard
Next, we need to decide, whether are running all tests, or whether we are going to run a selective test. For this demonstration, I will be running all tests to validate NODE01 and NODE02
Next we have a confirmation summary screen. We can review what are the tests which will be performed against NODE01 and NODE02
once this is completed, it’s possible for us to view a report
We can open this report as a web page and we can see results.
In my next post, we will create a cluster and let’s see how we can configure it
In this blog post I will be demonstrating how we can create a TWO NODE failover cluster using Windows Server 2008 Failover cluster capabilities. First part of my blog post will contain information on how we can prepare both nodes before creating a cluster.
First we need to look at basic requirements which need to prepare a Failover Cluster.
- Make storage available to all nodes
- Configure Network adapters on all nodes
- Cluster components to be “Certified for Windows Server 2008”
I have configured two networks for Public network and also Private Network.
Let’s look at Public and Private network configuration
Public Adapter -> we configure with IP Address, Subnet Mask ,Default Gateway and DNS
Public Adapter -> I will only provide IP Address and Subnet Mask
Next let’s proceed and configure Storage Connectivity. I will be connecting to my storage using the build-in iSCSI initiator
After selecting iSCSI Initiator, first it will prompt you to start iSCSI service, which is set to start manually by default on Windows Server 2008 / Windows Server 2008 R2.
After that we need to allow iSCSI to communicate through Windows Firewall. This will be automatically configured for you when you select Yes
After this step, you will find iSCSI initiator properties.
Navigate to discovery tab and select “Add Portal” option for us to connect with our shared storage
We need to provide with an IP Address or DNS name for iSCSI target
Once we enter required information, we can proceed
Next we need to navigate to Targets TAB which will allow us to connect with the storage. Select Log on option
We need to allow following options when connecting with the storage
- Automatically restore this connection the computer starts
After completing this step, we have now successfully configured our storage connectivity.
Let’s go ahead and prepare disks using DISK Management utility
We need to right click on the DISK and bring it ONLINE
After we bring this DISK online, we can then go ahead and initialize this disk
We need to select which disk, we need to initialize so that it can be access by Logical Disk Manager. We will configure this disk as a MBR style partition disk
Now that we can access this disk, we will go ahead and create a volume
In this window, we will be specifying the size of the disk
Next we need to select a drive letter
Next, we need to change the volume label, and also select “Perform a quick format” option
Now that we have already configured, it’s possible for us to view this disk from Disk Management console
Now let’s move to NODE 02, on NODE 02 we need to bring DISK 1 online, which we have already configured on NODE 01
After refreshing disk management console, we can see that it’s no more in unallocated state, so we only need to bring it online now
Since we have completed configuring both disks, Next we will proceed and run validation using Failover Cluster Management console. Before proceeding, we need to go to Server Manager on both servers and install Failover Clustering which is located under features section.
In my next blog post I will publish how we can run Failover Cluster Validation Tool and validate configuration.
This is my first blog post which I will be writing on Clustering. first let’s talk about what is Clustering and why we need it. Clustering is group of resources working together as a single organized system. We use clusters to provide High availability and also to distribute load among multiple servers.
Failover Clustering is available as a feature on Windows Server 2008 and also on Windows Server 2008 R2. this was previously called as Server Cluster with Windows Server 2003. Failover Clustering feature is only available on Enterprise/Datacenter and Itanium Editions and it’s not included in the Standard or the Web editions.
Other feature which I will be talking about is around Windows Network Load Balancing. this is a technology which we use to balance server workload cross multiple servers providing availability and scalability. Network Load balancing is available on Windows Server Web/Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter/Itanium and Foundation Editions.
In my future posts, I will focus on each technology and share knowledge on how Cluster technology could be used in our day to day life.