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MSCS support enhancements in vSphere 5.5 (2052238)

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Purpose

This article outlines support enhancements for Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) clusters running in a vSphere 5.5 environment.

Resolution

ESXi 5.5 supports clustering using MSCS across virtual machines. vSphere 5.5 supports these configurations:
  • Clustering MSCS Virtual Machines on a Single Host (CIB)
  • Clustering MSCS Virtual Machines Across Physical Hosts (CAB)
  • Clustering Physical Machines with MSCS Virtual Machines (N+1

Notes
  • MSCS applies to Microsoft Cluster Service with Windows Server 2003 and Failover Clustering with Windows Server 2008 and 2012.
  • Support for Windows 2012 R2 Failover Clustering with shared storage configurations requires vSphere 5.5 Update 1 or later.
These restrictions apply to all MSCS clusters running in a vSphere environment:
  • Mixed protocols across cluster nodes are not supported. For example, FC on one cluster and FCoE or iSCSI on another node.
  • Mixed mode ESXi configurations are not supported. For example, one node running ESX 5.5 and another running ESX 5.1.
  • Rolling upgrades of cluster nodes pre-5.5 to 5.5 are not supported. The MSCS Cluster must be shut down to apply the ESXi host upgrade.
  • Mixed CIB and CAB cluster configurations are not supported.

PSP_RR support

In vSphere 5.5, round robin policy is now supported for disks engaged in MSCS clustering.
 
However, these restrictions apply:
  • Cluster in a Box (CIB) configuration is now supported, and uses Virtual Reservations.
  • RDM datastores should be in physical compatibility mode.
  • Supported on Windows 2008, Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2 server guest operating systems only. 
  • Supported on Cluster Across Boxes (CAB) and N+1 configurations.
  • Shared disk (Quorum OR Data) must be provisioned to guest in pass-through RDM mode only.
  • Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2 cluster validation may fail with "resource busy" error while using PSP_RR. This error can be ignored.

Note: Cluster nodes having PSPs configured in mixed mode are supported. For example, in a 4-node cluster, one node can be configured with PSP_FIXED and the other three nodes can be configured to use PSP_RR.

iSCSI support

In vSphere 5.5, native iSCSI support is introduced.

  • All the cluster configurations CAB, CIB and N+1 are supported with iSCSI.
  • iSCSI Storage Adapter support:

    • Software iSCSI
    • QLogic, Emulex and Broadcom hardware iSCSI adapters

  • Mixed mode iSCSI initiator (cluster having hardware and software iSCSI initiators) is supported.
  • Up to 5 node clustering is supported for Windows 2008 SP2 and above.

However, this restriction applies:

  • Supported only on Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and above, Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2 server guest operating systems. (Windows 2012 R2 requires vSphere 5.5 Update 1 or later)

FCoE support

In vSphere 5.5, native FCoE support is introduced.

  • All the three cluster configurations CAB, CIB and N+1 are supported with FCoE.
  • FCoE Storage Adapter support:

    • FCoE Software Adapter
    • FCoE Hardware Adapters

  • Up to 5 node clustering is supported for Windows 2008 SP2 and above.

However, these restrictions apply:

  • Supported only on Windows 2008 SP1, SP2, R2, Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2 guest operating system. (Windows 2012 R2 requires vSphere 5.5 Update 1 or later).
  • Mixed mode FCoE initiator (Cluster having hardware and software FCoE initiators) is not supported. All hosts must be running same FCoE initiators.

Additional Information

See Also

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