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Apr
21
A Microsoft Cluster Troubleshooting Guide
Posted by Philip Elder on 21 April 2014 01:02 PM

Original Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: A Microsoft Cluster Troubleshooting Guide

Here are some of the tools we can use when troubleshooting a cluster, Scale-Out File Server, Hyper-V, and other cluster issues:

Failover Cluster Manager 

The FCM gives us the ability to dig into the various Windows Logs and delimit them by time, node, and log type.

  • FCM –> Cluster Name –> Cluster Events –> Query

image

We set up a few different queries out of the box. One with everything Cluster, Failover Clustering, and Hyper-V related. We then create a subset of queries. The various queries get saved to a local folder on the management DC/RSAT system.

Get-ClusterLog

The Get-ClusterLog PowerShell commandlet allows us to pull the full log set from one or all nodes. Note that the default output folder is NODEC$WindowsClusterCluster.LOG (C:WindowsClusterCluster.LOG) unless specified in the command.

This log can be very busy and a bit of a challenge to work through. If one has a good idea of what to look for then the log can be quite informative.

  • Get-ClusterLog -Destination .
    • Places the log in the local directory (we create C:Temp on all nodes for this kind of thing)
  • (get-cluster).ClusterLogLevel=5
    • There are five levels with 5 being the most verbose. Default level is 3 and best left there unless absolutely needed. Level 5 file can be large.

EDIT: The Default cluster log location is C:WindowsClusterReportsCluster.log

Microsoft Message Analyzer

This is an in-depth tool. There is no way around it. Thus, a learning curve is required.

However, there is an amazing amount of information that we can then have at our fingertips and not only that colour coded!

image

image

One can use a series of filters under the log file settings to delimit by time period among others.

image

We can set up our columns:

image

Once we have our Cluster column, for example when looking for a problematic cluster component, we can set up a filter:

image

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. One will need to spend some time with this tool to really get into its abilities such as colour coding source node, information levels, and so much more!

Please check the Message Analyzer Blog for more information.

Note that an absence of System Centre and its components is deliberate. We find, at least at this time, that Failover Cluster Manager provides a far superior cluster management experience.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Apr
11
Cluster-Aware Update Runs: How Long?
Posted by Philip Elder on 11 April 2014 10:08 AM

Original Posted Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Cluster-Aware Update Runs: How Long?

When one needs to provision a new Windows Server 2012 RTM/R2 cluster one of the time factors to keep in mind is the Cluster-Aware Update runs that will happen once the cluster has been brought up.

image

The above is a new Windows Server 2012 R2 four node cluster that we finished configuring last night.

The first CAU run started around 2300Hrs. As can be seen each node took about an hour to run through the process.

Even though we are not too far into the product release cycle for R2 one needs to keep in mind the update maintenance process if one is not using an up-to-date image for deployment. This would be especially true if deploying 2012 RTM or 2008 R2 clusters.

Cluster node configuration:

  • Intel Server System SR1695GPRX2AC with RMM
    • Intel Xeon Processor X3470, 32GB ECC, 120GB Intel SSD RAID 1, Dual Intel SAS HBAs

Some important Cluster update tracking links:

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Mar
31
Scale-Out File Server Cluster: Where Is the Witness Disk?
Posted by Philip Elder on 31 March 2014 11:04 AM

Original posted here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Scale-Out File Server Cluster: Where Is the Witness Disk?

We were in a bit of a quandary as far as the how/what/where for a Witness Disk (quorum disk) for Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) cluster.

Our setup:

  • (2) Intel Server Systems R2208GZ4GC
    • Dual SAS HBAs, Dual Intel X540T2 10GbE
    • Scale-Out File Server Nodes
  • (2) Intel Storage Systems JBOD2224S2DP JBOD
    • Mix of 10K SAS, 15K SAS, and SSD SAS drives mirrored in each JBOD
  • (2) Intel Server Systems R2208GZ4GC
    • Dual Intel X540T2 10GbE
    • Hyper-V Nodes

In the case where we had a Hyper-V Failover Cluster using Direct Attached Storage via Promise VTrak E610sD dual SAS, Dell MD3220 dual SAS, or HP P2000 dual SAS we would set up a 1.5GB shared LUN for the quorum disk.

Well, in this case we don’t have the logic in the storage to do that.

So, where do we put our Witness Disk for a SOFS based Storage Spaces cluster?

The only real clue we had was in Jose Barreto’s blog post:

Specifically this line in the Storage Spaces setup:

New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName Space1 -StoragePoolFriendlyName Pool1 -ResiliencySettingName Mirror –Size 1GB

An e-mail to Jose asking about that command, and also an e-mail to my fellow Cluster MVPs, came back with Jose confirming that the 1GB Virtual Disk (Storage Space) would be used for the Witness Disk.

We have two options when it comes to configuring the disk. Either we set it up as per Jose’s blog post and verify in Failover Cluster Management (FCM) that the Witness Disk is the allocated 1GB or we stand up the cluster, configure the 1GB Storage Space, and then designate the Witness Disk in FCM.

Further reading:

Thanks to Jose Barreto and my fellow Cluster MVPs that answered the N00b questions! :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Mar
28
Flash Multiple Intel or LSI RAID and SAS HBAs Together
Posted by Philip Elder on 28 March 2014 07:08 PM

Original Posted Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Flash Multiple Intel or LSI RAID and SAS HBAs Together

We ran into a bit of a question mark around updating the SAS HBAs (Host Bus Adapters) in our Scale-Out File Server nodes. The question being how do we update all of the SAS HBAs in the server without having to take things a part physically.

When looking at the HBA.NSH file that comes with the firmware update for EFI Shell we see the default command line in the batch:

  • sas2flash -f Intel\gb.fw -b mptsas2.rom -b x64sas2.rom

A quick search on the SAS2Flash utility and we found the LSI manual here:

In the guide we find what we need:

  • sas2flash -fwall Intel\gb.fw -b mptsas2.rom -b x64sas2.rom

Once we power cycled through POST and CTRL+C into the HBA BIOS we saw:

image

Happiness is not having to pull apart the server systems to update things one at a time!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »




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