Configuring Single Copy Cluster (SCC) nodes and shared cluster disks

Learn how to configure Exchange 2007 Single Copy Cluster nodes and shared cluster disks for an SCC setup in an Exchange organization with a CCR-based cluster.

Configuring the Network Settings for each Network Interface

In this example, we'll create an SCC consisting of two active/passive clusters that will be part of the same Exchange organization as the CCR-based cluster we discussed previously in this chapter. This means that you will need to install two NICs in each node (which we recommend you call public and private so that you can see what belongs to which network) and then configure the private and public interfaces for each of the two nodes identically to the network interfaces we configured on the two nodes in the CCR-based cluster setup. The only difference would be the IP addresses, since using the same ones would result in IP conflicts, but everything from the binding order, WINS, DNS, and so on should be the same for each interface. So instead of going through all the steps again, refer back to the "Configuring the Network Interfaces for Each Node" subsection of the "Managing a Cluster Continuous Replication-Based Cluster Setup" section of this chapter.

Creating the Shared Cluster Disks

You are reading part 2 from "Managing an Exchange 2007 Single Copy Cluster (SCC) setup," excerpted from Chapter 8 of the book "How to Cheat at Configuring Exchange Server 2007: Including Outlook Web, Mobile, and Voice Access," by Henrik Walther, copyright 2007, published by Syngress, a division of Elsevier.
As those of you with cluster experience are aware, a Windows cluster requires a quorum cluster disk. This quorum disk is used to store cluster configuration database checkpoints and log files that help manage the cluster as well as maintain consistency. Since we're dealing with a virtual environment, we need to create this disk in the Virtual Server 2005 R2 Web console. This is done by following these steps:

  1. 1. Open the Virtual Server Manager>Create -> Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk under Virtual Disks, as shown in Figure 8.78.
  2. Creating a Fixed-Size Virtual Hard Disk
    Figure 8.78 Creating a Fixed-Size Virtual Hard Disk. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  3. Place the virtual hard disk file (.VHD) in the folder containing your two virtual Windows 2003 Servers, then set the size to 500MB (or less if you're low on disk space). Then click Create (see Figure 8.79).
  4. Specifying the Virtual Hard Disk Filename and Size
    Figure 8.79 Specifying the Virtual Hard Disk Filename and Size. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  5. We now need to add the virtual quorum disk to each of the two virtual Windows 2003 Servers. Let's add it to EDFS09 first. We do this by clicking Master Status -> EDFS09 -> Edit Configuration. Since this disk needs to be shared between the nodes, we need to click SCSI Adapters, then Add SCSI Adapter (see Figure 8.80). Under the new SCSI adapter, check Share SCSI Bus for Clustering, then set the SCSI adapter ID to 6 (or whatever SCSI adapter ID is unused in your environment). Click OK.
  6. Adding an Additional Shared SCSI Adapter
    Figure 8.80 Adding an Additional Shared SCSI Adapter. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  7. We now need to make the new disk visible on each node, so click Hard disks -> Add disk, then select SCSI 1 ID 0 in the Attachment drop-down menu. Finally, specify the path to the virtual Quorum disk, which in this example is E:E2K7SCCShared DisksQuorum.vhd, as shown in Figure 8.81. Click OK.
  8. Adding a Virtual Hard Disk
    Figure 8.81 Adding a Virtual Hard Disk. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

    Some Independent Advice: If you're installing the SCC in a Virtual Server 2005 R2 environment like I do in this example, you need to create a virtual SCSI adapter for each disk you want to share between the nodes. Since you should place the databases and log files on share disks as well, I recommend you create two additional virtual fixed sized disks more, one called Logs.vhd and one called Databases.vhd. When these have been created you need to add two additional virtual SCSI adapters on each virtual guest, and since the two disks should be shared between the nodes this should have Share SCSI bus for clustering enabled and configured with SCSI adapter ID 6 like the adapter for the quorum disk we already created. When you have done so, you will be able to add the two disks under Virtual Hard Disk Properties on each node respectively.

  9. We now need to partition the Quorum disk in the Disk Management console on EDFS09, so start the virtual machine, log on using a domain admin account, click Start -> Run, and type Compmgmt.msc. Under Storage, click Disk Management (see Figure 8.82). Click Next three times in the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard that appears, then click Finish.
  10. The detected disk now needs to be partitioned. To do so, right-click the unallocated space then select New partition.
  11. Click Next three times and select the drive letter Q (for quorum), then click Next again. Use NTFS as the file system type and type Quorum in the Volume label field. To speed up the formatting process, it's a good idea to tick Perform a quick format.
  12. Partitioning the Shared Disks and Assigning Drive Letters
    Figure 8.82 Partitioning the Shared Disks and Assigning Drive Letters. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  13. Now turn off EDFS09, then turn on EDFS10 and log on to the server with a domain admin account. Again, click Start -> Run and type Compmgmt.msc. Under Storage, click Disk Management Mark the Quorum disk (disk 1) active and assign it the drive letter Q (see Figure 8.83).
  14. Allocating Drive Letters to the New Partitions on the Second Node
    Figure 8.83 Allocating Drive Letters to the New Partitions on the Second Node. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

    Now verify that you can access the Q: drive from Windows Explorer. Also try to create a test file on each server and make sure you can see it both ways.


Managing an Exchange 2007 Single Copy Cluster-based setup

 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: A basic Single Copy Cluster setup in Exchange 2007
 Part 2: Configuring Single Copy Cluster (SCC) nodes and shared cluster disks
 Part 3: Creating a Windows Server 2003 cluster for an Exchange SCC setup
 Part 4: Installing Exchange Server 2007 clustered mailbox roles on SCC nodes
 Part 5: Verify Exchange 2007 clustered mailbox server functionality
 Part 6: Exchange 2007 Single Copy Cluster-based setup review

 How to cheat at configuring Exchange Server 2007 This chapter excerpt from How to Cheat at Configuring Exchange Server 2007: Including Outlook Web, Mobile, and Voice Access, by Henrik Walther, is printed with permission from Syngress, a division of Elsevier, Copyright 2007.

Click here for the chapter download.

This was first published in March 2008

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