Follow me and learn Windows Server 2012 – Cluster Aware Updating

Day seven on my quest! Bruce here! With the release Windows Server 2012 we all have to start learning the new features of the product. This night I am studying Cluster Aware Updating. Below are some resources to bring you to speed at the same time.

This feature is way cool, if you have ever had to patch a cluster before, you will want to learn about this. Just imagine patching a 16 node cluster by simply having to press a button. Each node one at a time will drain it’s resources and fail them over, Patch themselves, reboot if need be and fail the resources back. WOW!

Cluster-Aware Updating Overview

Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) is an automated feature that allows you to update clustered servers with little or no loss in availability during the update process. During an Updating Run, CAU transparently performs the following tasks:

  • Puts each node of the cluster into node maintenance mode
  • Moves the clustered roles off the node
  • Installs the updates and any dependent updates
  • Performs a restart if necessary
  • Brings the node out of maintenance mode
  • Restores the clustered roles on the node
  • Moves to update the next node

For many clustered roles (formerly called clustered applications and services) in the cluster, the automatic update process triggers a planned failover, and it can cause a transient service interruption for connected clients. However, in the case of continuously available workloads in Windows Server 2012, such as Hyper-V with live migration or file server with SMB Transparent Failover, CAU can coordinate cluster updates with no impact to the service availability.

Cluster-Aware Updating: Frequently Asked Questions

Cluster-Aware Updating Plug-in Reference

Update Management in Windows Server 2012: Revealing Cluster-Aware Updating and the New Generation of WSUS