Majority Node Set (MNS) with only 2 nodes?

A new quick fix is available from Microsoft for Windows Server 2003 or the R2 Edition – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ee26bcf1-42ac-4b33-b3d8-863ac089a1ab&DisplayLang=en

Majority Node Set clusters need just that, a majority to function. If you have a 2 node and one goes down, you no longer have a majority. Here are the steps to use the fix and make a 2 node function:

1.      Install Enterprise Edition of the OS (I recommend R2).

2.      Install on the quick fix on each node and reboot.

3.      Create a cluster making sure you use Majoriy Node Set. When you get to the Cluster Configuration Review screen – select Cluster Cofinguration Quorum – and then select Majority Node Set from the drop-down.

4.      Now for the secret ingredient. Create a share on a third machine. This can be any server in the evirnoment, using any version of the OS. I recommend giving the cluster service account Full Control over the share and removing Everyone. You can use the GUI or command line to create the share. Nothing is special about the share or the shared server. Scott Schnoll gives you the command line steps here http://blogs.technet.com/scottschnoll/archive/2006/07/05/440286.aspx (steps 4-6). I would call the share simply FSQ (or use what Scott called it).

5.      After the quick fix has been installed and you have created a MNS cluster, a new property is enumerated. Use this command to see it:

cluster res "Majority Node Set" /priv

Notice that MNSFileShare is blank. Use this command to populate it (replace fileshareserver with your real server’s name):

cluster res "Majority Node Set" /priv MNSFileShare=\\fileshareserver\FSQ

6.      This creates the property:

cluster res "Majority Node Set" /priv

Notice that MNSFileShare is now not blank, it has the value \\fileshareserver\FSQ.

7.      At this point only the controlling node of your cluster knows about this change. Move the Cluster Group to the other node, thus populating this resource on it. Then bring the group back.

 

8.      On the fileshareserver under the FSQ share you will see the GUID of the MNSFileShare resource. You can now safely remote or shutdown one of your Clustered Nodes.

 

This is also great for Exchange 2007’s Cluster Continuous Replication feature, see http://blogs.technet.com/evand/archive/2006/07/06/440406.aspx and http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/E2k7Help/06e02853-562d-4413-9c7b-77fe4781c9eb.mspx?mfr=true.

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