Storage configuration options

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Storage configuration options

You can configure your cluster storage devices in two ways when you use the cluster management tools (Cluster Administrator or cluster.exe) to create a new cluster or add nodes by selecting either the Typical (full) Configuration or Advanced (minimum) Configuration options.

Typical Configuration

The Typical Configuration option is appropriate for most installations and results in a completely configured cluster. When you choose this configuration option, the cluster configuration wizards (Add Nodes Wizard and New Server Cluster Wizard) automatically:

  • Configure all disks on the shared bus as cluster disks to be managed by the cluster.

  • Create cluster disk resources for all identified cluster disks.


  • The storage validation heuristics used in the Typical Configuration option assumes that all nodes see the same target IDs and Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs). For some complicated storage devices, using the Typical Configuration option could result in an error during set up. For example, when you create the first node of the cluster, the Typical Configuration option could fail if some disks, which are not on the same storage bus as the system disk, cannot be remounted. The Typical Configuration option could also fail when nodes are added to the cluster if the target IDs and LUNs do not match on all the cluster nodes. For more information about target IDs and LUNs, see the documentation for your storage devices.

Advanced Configuration

If you do not want the cluster configuration wizards to automatically set up your cluster storage, select the Advanced Configuration option. This configuration option is appropriate for clusters that have complex storage configurations or for configurations in which you do not want the cluster to manage all of the storage.

Creating a new cluster

When you create a cluster and select this option, the New Server Cluster Wizard automatically:

  • Configures only one disk to be managed by the cluster.

  • Provides you with the option to create either a Local Quorum resource, a Physical Disk (or other storage-class type) resource, or a Majority Node Set resource as the quorum resource, and then create the quorum resource.


    • If you do not select a quorum resource type, the local quorum resource will be selected by default; however, you will be able to later switch to another quorum resource type. A local quorum cluster can only support a single node; additional nodes cannot be joined to a local quorum cluster. For more information on the three types of quorum resources, seeĀ Choosing a Cluster Model.

For information on using cluster.exe to create a cluster using the Advanced Configuration option, see Cluster.

Once the initial cluster is set up, you can configure additional cluster disks using Cluster Administrator or cluster.exe.

Adding nodes to a cluster

When you add nodes to a cluster and select this option, the Add Nodes Wizard does not configure the cluster storage devices. Each device on the shared bus remains as a storage device that is local to the node. You can later use Cluster Administrator or cluster.exe to configure these local storage devices as cluster storage devices.

For more information on configuring cluster storage, see Checklist: Installing a Physical Disk resource.


The following table summarizes these configuration options:

Storage scenario Configuration option Reason

SCSI or Fiber channel

Typical Configuration

Simple configuration where the storage devices have the identical identity as seen from the Device Manager MMC snap-in on each node.

Fiber channel switched fabric with multiple switches (or other complex storage configurations)

Advanced Configuration (Add Node Wizard)

One storage unit on the fabric may have a different identity (target ID, LUN) on each node in the cluster. This configuration is illustrated in the diagram below. Advanced Configuration Option

Private storage

Advanced Configuration (New Server Cluster Wizard)

One or more of the storage devices (on a different storage bus than the system disk) will not be managed by the cluster storage.

It is important that you correctly configure the storage topology (for example, SCSI, Fibre Channel, Storage Area Networks) and the storage interconnects (for example, multiple paths) used in your server cluster. Before deploying your server cluster, contact your hardware vendors to ensure that your particular cluster storage configuration is supported at the hardware level. For descriptions of supported cluster storage topologies, best practices for deploying and managing cluster storage, and a list of cluster storage-related Knowledge Base articles, see the cluster storage information at the Microsoft Web site.