Step 2: Set Up Shared Storage for Servers for the Head Node

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

Use the following instructions to connect the networks and storage for the two servers that will be placed in a failover cluster that supports head node services. Also use the instructions if you are installing a SQL Server failover cluster (rather than a standalone SQL Server).

For a failover cluster network, avoid having single points of failure. To accomplish this with Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, use one of the network topologies that is not public-only, that is, choose from Topology 1 through 4 (not Topology 5). These topologies connect your head node by multiple, distinct networks. If you use a network for iSCSI, create this network in addition to the other networks. For more information, see “Network infrastructure requirements” in Requirements for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 in Failover Clusters.

For each failover cluster, when you connect the servers for the head node to the failover cluster storage, expose at least two volumes (LUNs). You can expose additional volumes as needed for thorough testing of your configuration.


Expose each volume (LUN) only to a set of servers that will be in a single failover cluster.

To connect servers to networks and storage

  1. Review the details about networks in the Hardware requirements section in Requirements for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 in Failover Clusters.

  2. Connect and configure the networks that connect the two servers that will run head node services.

  3. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for physically connecting the servers to the storage.

  4. Ensure that the disks (LUNs) that you want to use in this failover cluster are exposed to the two servers that will be in this failover cluster (and only those servers). You can use any of the following interfaces to expose disks or LUNs:

    • The interface that is provided by the manufacturer of the storage

    • If you are using iSCSI, an appropriate iSCSI interface

    • Microsoft Storage Manager for SANs (part of the operating system in Windows Server 2008 R2). To use this interface, you need to contact the manufacturer of your storage for a Virtual Disk Service (VDS) provider package that is designed for your storage.

  5. If you have purchased software that controls the format or function of the disk, follow instructions from the vendor about how to use that software with Windows Server 2008 R2. Host bus adapters and multipath I/O software can be very version sensitive. If you are implementing a multipath solution for your cluster, you should work closely with your hardware vendor to choose the correct adapters, firmware, and software for Windows Server 2008 R2.

  6. On a server that you want to include in this failover cluster, click Start, click Administrative Tools, click Computer Management, and then click Disk Management. (If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.) In Disk Management, confirm that the cluster disks are visible.

  7. If you want to have a storage volume larger than 2 terabytes, and you are using the Windows interface to control the format of the disk, convert that disk to the partition style called GUID partition table (GPT). To do this, back up any data on the disk and delete all volumes on the disk. Then in Disk Management, right-click the disk (not a partition), and click Convert to GPT Disk.

  8. Format the volumes that the failover cluster will use, and select NTFS. (The disk witness supports only the NTFS file system.)

  9. If you will be installing a SQL Server failover cluster (rather than a standalone SQL Server), repeat this entire procedure for the servers in the SQL Server cluster.

Additional references

Step 3: Set Up Failover Clustering and File Services for Servers that Will Run the Head Node