Installing Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) and creating a cluster involves several steps, from installing the Failover Clustering feature to configuring and validating the cluster. This guide will walk you through the process for Windows Server 2019 and similar versions. Before starting, ensure that all servers you plan to include in the cluster meet the necessary hardware and software requirements and are connected to the network

Step 1 – Install Failover Clustering

1. Once you have your 2 servers with the OS installed, you then need to open up the server manager & press Add Roles & Features”

2. You will be met with this wizard which will take you through the process. Click next, to go into the Installation Type

3. Once on the installation type section, you will choose the top option which is “role-based or feature-based installation” and click next.

4. On the server selection page, make sure you have selected the correct server, as highlighted below & click next.

5. Once you are on the Server Roles page, you will see a box that says Failover Clustering, make sure to press this, you will have a pop-up; Add Features that are required for Failover Clustering, press add features & click next.

(please note, I already have Failover clustering installed)

6. Once you have added those features you will be taken to the confirmation page, this is where you will see what you are installing in the white box. You can check the “restart the destination server automatically if required” box if you like or do a manual restart when ready. Once you are happy, press Install, this will take a few minutes.

7. Once the installation has been completed, restart the virtual machine. Make sure you repeat these steps for every server that will be a part of your cluster.

Step 2 – Creating a cluster

Configure Network Settings (Optional but Recommended)

Ensure all servers have static IP addresses and are configured to communicate within the same network subnet. Proper network configuration is crucial for cluster communication.

Validate the Cluster Configuration

Search & open up Failover cluster manager, once opened, on the right-hand side you will see actions, where you see Validate Configuration, select & it will open up the Validate a Configuration Wizard, you will go through the wizard to add all the servers you plan to include in the cluster by entering their names and clicking Add.

Click Next and select Run all tests (recommended) to ensure your configuration meets all necessary criteria. Once validation is complete, review the report. Address any warnings or failures before proceeding.

Create the Cluster

In Failover Cluster Manager, in the Management section, click Create Cluster. This will open up a wizard, go through the wizard by adding all the servers that will be included in the cluster. You will need to provide a name for your cluster shortly & specify an IP address, which will be used by clients to connect to servers hosted by this cluster. Once you have gone through the wizard, review the configuration settings you have made & they are all correct, click next & finish.

Go into Failover cluster manager & select Validate a configuration & go through the wizard, you will then need to go through this. (remember to make sure they are a part of the same domain & type in the correct name!)

Select Testing options & select Next, going through the wizard, it will eventually run tests to ensure everything is working.

Once you have completed the validation, you can go & select Create A Cluster in Failover Manager, you will go through another wizard, complete those steps and you have created a cluster!

We will create a second part of this blog: How to implement SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition in your cluster coming soon! Keep an eye out for it!

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