Troubleshooting a Windows Server Cluster

Microsoft BizTalk Server supports the use of Windows Server cluster for host cluster support, to provide high availability for the Enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO) Master Secret, and to provide high availability for the BizTalk Server databases. This topic provides some general guidelines for using BizTalk Server in a Windows Server cluster environment and discusses some known issues that may occur when using BizTalk Server in a Windows Server cluster environment.

General Guidelines

Follow these general guidelines to maximize productivity with Windows Server cluster and to troubleshoot Windows Server cluster problems that may affect BizTalk Server.

  1. Complete BizTalk Server proof of concept work with a Windows Server cluster in a virtualized server environment.

    The Hyper-V role available with Windows Server 2008 can be used to create a virtualized server environment.

    • For more information about Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, see “Virtualization and Consolidation” at

    • For more in depth information about the benefits of leveraging virtualization technology provided with Hyper-V, see the whitepaper "Advanced Virtualization Benefits of Windows Server 2008 Editions for the Enterprise" available for download at

    • Steps for using Hyper-V to create a Windows Server 2008 cluster are available at

      Doing BizTalk Server proof of concept work with a Windows Server cluster in a virtualized server environment offers great flexibility and uses considerably fewer hardware resources than required for a Windows Server cluster. If this approach is used, allocate at least 512 MB of memory for each virtual machine that is concurrently running on the host computer and an additional 512 MB of memory for the host operating system. For example, for a BizTalk Server solution with a Windows Server cluster that uses five virtual machines (two BizTalk Server cluster nodes, two Microsoft SQL Server cluster nodes, and one domain controller), you would plan to have 3 GB of memory installed on the host computer. If the BizTalk Server proof of concept environment requires more than 2 GB of memory, consider installing a 64-bit version of Windows on the host computer (required for the Hyper-V role) to ensure that all installed memory is accessible by the host operating system.

Troubleshooting Resources

Resources for troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 failover clustering

Known Issues

Any attempt to bring a clustered MSDTC resource online fails which causes dependent BizTalk Server services to fail


A clustered Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) resource cannot be brought online through the Bring Online option in Cluster Administrator, which causes BizTalk Server run-time operations that are dependent upon MSDTC transaction support to fail.


Clustered MSDTC resource failure can occur for a number of reasons including the following:

  • The clustered MSDTC resource is not configured with the correct Disk and Network Name resource dependencies or the resource dependencies are failing.

  • Permissions problems are preventing the clustered MSDTC resource from being activated.


Complete the following steps on a Windows Server 2008 cluster:

See Also

Using Windows Server Cluster to Provide High Availability for BizTalk Server Hosts2 Clustering the BizTalk Server Databases Sample BizTalk Server High Availability Scenarios High-Availability SSO Installation Options