Categories Networking

How to Successfully Create a Hyper-V Cluster Using Virtual Machine Manager (Part 4)

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Throughout part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this article series, I explained how you can use virtual machine manager to create a Hyper-V cluster. Since the overall purpose of creating a Hyper-V cluster is to make virtual workloads highly available, I will explain how you can deploy a virtual machine on a Hyper-V cluster via VMM and other methods. But before I will show you the process for making a virtual machine highly available via VMM, it is important to make sure that Hyper-V cluster is configured with appropriate storage, virtual networks, and shared volumes. Let’s review the Hyper-V cluster configuration.

If you go to the property page of a Hyper-V Cluster, there are several configuration tabs available that provide you the information related to the Hyper-V cluster and helps you configure the available storage, file share storage, clustered shared volumes, and virtual switches as shown in the figure below.


Figure 1

On the Property page of a Hyper-V cluster, you can find General, Status, Available Storage, File Share Storage, Shared Volumes, Virtual Switches configuration tabs and if any custom properties that have been defined for the Hyper-V cluster. Let’s take a look at each configuration tab.

General Tab: General tab contains the information such as Hyper-V cluster name, the location of the VMM host group where the Hyper-V cluster has been created, description of the Hyper-V cluster, cluster reserve, cluster reserve state, and cluster reserve details, if any. The Description field allows you to specify a description for the Hyper-V cluster. Description field helps you identify the role of a Hyper-V cluster in the production environment. If you have multiple Hyper-V clusters operating in the production environment and if each of them hosts different types of workloads, it is recommended that you specify a descriptive text that helps you identify the role of the Hyper-V cluster. For example, you can specify “Hyper-V Cluster hosts Mission Critical Workloads” or “Hyper-V Cluster hosts Test and Development virtual machines” and so on.

Cluster Reserve (nodes) setting specifies the number of node failures a Hyper-V cluster must be able to sustain while making sure all virtual machines run without any issues. This setting has a direct impact on the Intelligent Placement feature of the VMM. If the cluster cannot survive the failure of specified number (nodes) and still keep virtual machines highly available on the cluster nodes, Hyper-V cluster is placed in an over-committed state. If the Hyper-V cluster is over-committed, all the nodes running in the Hyper-V cluster receives a zero rating during the virtual machine placement or when the Intelligent Placement feature of VMM checks a suitable host for placing a virtual machine. You as a VMM administrator can ignore the placement warning and place a virtual machine on an over-committed Hyper-V cluster.

Status Tab: If you switch to Status tab, you will see Hyper-V cluster status information as shown in the figure below.


Figure 2

Status tab shows you the overall status of the Hyper-V cluster including cluster service status on all cluster nodes, status of cluster core resources such as Cluster Name, and Cluster IP. At the status tab, VMM also provides you status of cluster validation test for the Hyper-V cluster. As you can see in the figure above, VMM reports that the Cluster validation test has not been run for the Hyper-V cluster. You can always create a Hyper-V cluster without running the cluster validation test. While Hyper-V cluster might run without any issues without running the cluster validation test, but it is imperative to understand that Microsoft Cluster PSS Team does not support a Hyper-V cluster if cluster validation test has not been run.

Can you run Cluster Validation Test via VMM?

Yes, you can run cluster validation test via VMM by doing a right click on the Hyper-V cluster. To validate Hyper-V cluster via VMM, right click on the Hyper-V cluster and then click on “Validate Cluster” action as shown in the figure below.


Figure 3

When you click on the “Validate Cluster” action, VMM will create a PowerShell job to run cluster validation tests for all the nodes in the Hyper-V cluster and then provide a report as shown in the figure below.


Figure 4

VMM Jobs window will always show you the result of a task. As you can see Validate Cluster action was completed for the Hyper-V cluster, but VMM reported a warning. If you need to look as to what warming was generated as part of the cluster validation test, you need to open the cluster validation report created on any of the nodes located under \Windows\Cluster\Reports folder.

Once Cluster Validation test has been run for the Hyper-V cluster, reopen the Status tab to see the status of the cluster validation test. You will also see a hyperlink that points to the cluster validation report generated on one of the Hyper-V nodes in the Hyper-V cluster as shown in the figure below.


Figure 5

It is imperative to understand that you must resolve all warnings reported by the Cluster Validation test before running a Hyper-V cluster in the production environment or before you ask Microsoft PSS Team to provide you support on any Hyper-V cluster issues. Status tab also includes the status of cluster service on each node in the Hyper-V cluster as indicated in the above figure.

Conclusion

This article explained the information available on the General and Status configuration tabs on the property page of a Hyper-V cluster. General tab shows the information related to Hyper-V cluster such as Hyper-V cluster name, cluster reserve and cluster description that you can set to identify the role of a Hyper-V cluster. Status tab provides you the overall status of the Hyper-V cluster such as cluster validation test status, cluster service status on all Hyper-V nodes, and status of cluster core resources.

In the next part of this article series, we will continue to explore other tabs available at the property page of a Hyper-V cluster.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Nirmal Sharma

Nirmal Sharma is a MCSEx3, MCITP and was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in Directory Services and Windows Networking. He specializes in Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Directory Services, Failover Clusters, Hyper-V, PowerShell Scripting and System Center products. Nirmal has been involved with Microsoft Technologies since 1994. In his spare time, he likes to help others and share some of his knowledge by writing tips and articles on various sites.

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