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  • 1.  Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted Apr 28, 2022 05:42 AM
      |   view attached

    Guys, hope I can get inputs with my VMware environment. First of all I am NOT a VMware person. I am DBA; I worked with ESX 3.5 more than 10 years ago. Our VMware admin left and there is no replacement. Now we are asked to create a clustered file server with 2 VMs running Windows 2019 sharing a disk on a Nimble using WFCS. I found the white paper https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/solutions/vmw-vmdk-whitepaper-mmt.pdf but I am not confident to proceed.  Due to SLA each minute of downtime costs us quite a lot so I feel I have cold feet.

    Let's talk about our environment first. We have a 4 node cluster (ESXi 7.0) connecting to a Nimble via a 10Gb iScsi switch. The Nimble and each host has a pair of 10Gb iScsi cables connected to the switch. The Nimble has volumes presented to the cluster as datastores for VMs. We have a vCenter server with DRS enabled, HA is manual.

    With our existing environment, is it safe to follow the white paper above to create the WFC with 2 VMs on 2 hosts sharing VMDK disk on the Nimble without interrupting current operation?   Attached is how the current environment look like.

  • 2.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server
    Best Answer

    Posted Apr 28, 2022 06:57 AM


    I have a doubt that you can use the cluster vmdk with iscsi.
    By checking this link

    Microsoft Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) with shared disks on VMware vSphere 7.x: Guidelines for supported configurations (79616)

    I saw that for iscsi connections only RDM or VVOL is supported.



    I suggest using this guide:

    Setup for Windows Server Failover Clustering - VMware vSphere 7.0


  • 3.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted May 05, 2022 12:03 AM

    I was able to create a 2 node clustered file server using the guide you mentioned.  The shared storage is on a VVol datastore.  The cluster is working as I can see the shared disk and quorum disk are on node 2 after I ran Move-ClusterGroup “Cluster Group” and Move-ClusterGroup "Cluster Name".  However the file share \\file-share-name is not accessible (not pingable) until I moved “Cluster Group” and "Cluster Name" back to node 1.  There is no error in cluster events

    So I can create the cluster, set up the file share but the file share is not working after a failover and work again after I failed back.

    Still a puzzle but thanks for your help.


  • 4.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted May 05, 2022 06:42 AM


    Have you tried running the cluster validation wizard?

    is a Microsoft tool to test the functioning and validity of the cluster.
    Indeed it is almost an obligation to do so because if you have to open a support request in Microsoft (for problems on the cluster) they ask you if you have carried out the validation.

    How to Run Cluster Validation in Failover Cluster Manager : DataON Support Portal (dataonstorage.com)

  • 5.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted May 06, 2022 04:13 PM

    Yes I validated the cluster first then created the cluster from the validation.  The only warning was for networking when there was only one path from each node to the other node but that was expected.

    I have created MS cluster many times before so I am familiar with the process but it was with physical nodes.  This time the nodes are virtual so many possible causes.


  • 6.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted May 06, 2022 06:39 PM

    I found the problem.  We used a template created by a partner using adapter type E1000E to create the VMs.  I changed (actually deleted and added a new NIC) to VMXNET3 in both VMs.  This solved the problem.

    Happy Friday!

  • 7.  RE: Building a Windows Clustered File Server

    Posted May 06, 2022 07:04 PM


    Great Job! 

    Happy weekend!