Virtualization Pro

Apr 1 2009   1:04PM GMT

VMware ESX shared disk clusters: Microsoft Cluster Server, Linux, etc.

Texiwill Edward Haletky Profile: Texiwill

People often ask about how to set up X clustering on Y operating system with virtual machines. X and Y could be Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) on Windows 2008, Global File System (GFS) on Linux, etc. In either case the answer is pretty straight forward, except when it comes to Windows 2008.

Windows 2008 clustering is not officially supported within VMware ESX. That will change eventually, but hasn’t changed in VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 according to the release notes.

That said, other shared disk clusters do work quite well. The way to set them up regardless of operating system is to use the instructions within the  Setup for Microsoft Cluster Service PDF provided by VMware.

“But this PDF is for MSCS, not RedHat, SuSe, or any form of Linux,” you protest.

I reply: This PDF is for any shared disk cluster regardless of operating system. When you set up a shared disk cluster within a VMware ESX host or hosts you are mainly concerned about the possible limitations, and how to set up the virtual hardware. The limitations are well covered within this PDF as is how to set up the virtual hardware.

When you go through this PDF you want to pay close attention to all examples on how to set up the virtual hardware. If you are working with a Linux clustering system, ignore the Microsoft specific setup but pay close attention to the the setup of the virtual hardware within the prose and ALL examples. The examples give much more information that the prose, specifically on how to hook up some of the virtual hardware and what is supported.

The PDF should be retitled “Setup of shared disk clusters: MSCS, RHEL, etc.”

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