Configure Failover and Failback Settings for a Clustered Service or Application

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can adjust the failover, failback, preferred owner, and possible owner settings to control the way the cluster responds when a particular application or service fails.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To configure failover and failback settings for a clustered service or application

  1. In the Failover Cluster Management snap-in, if the cluster you want to configure is not displayed, in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Management, click Manage a Cluster, and select or specify the cluster you want.

  2. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster that you want to configure.

  3. Expand Services and Applications.

  4. Right-click the service or application that you want to configure failover and failback settings for, and then click Properties.

  5. To configure failback, on the General tab, change the settings for preferred owners, then click the Failover tab and choose an appropriate option under Failback.

    You must configure a preferred owner if you want failback to occur (that is, if you want a particular service or application to fail back to a particular node when possible).

  6. To configure the number of times that the cluster service should attempt to restart or fail over a service or application in a given time period, click the Failover tab and specify values under Failover.

  7. Click OK to close the Properties sheet for the clustered service or application.

  8. In the center pane, right-click an individual resource that is in the clustered service or application, click Properties, click the Advanced Policies tab, and confirm that the correct nodes are selected under Possible owners.


Before removing nodes from the Possible owners list, carefully review your design for this cluster. The clustered service or application that contains this resource can fail over only to the nodes on the Possible owners list.

Additional considerations

  • To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Management. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  • As an example of failback settings, if you had a clustered file server called "FileServer1" and you wanted it to run on "Node1" most of the time, on the General tab, you would configure Node1 as the preferred owner, and on the Failover tab, you would configure the failback setting as Allow failback (Immediately).

  • These settings are very important for multi-site clusters where you want the clustered services and applications to run on the main site whenever possible, and fail over to the secondary site only when necessary. To configure this:

    • In the properties for the clustered service or application itself, on the General tab, make sure that only the nodes at the main site are listed as preferred owners. On the Failover tab, make sure that failback is allowed.

    • In the properties for a resource in the clustered service or application, in the Possible owners list, make sure that all nodes (including nodes at the secondary site) are listed.

Additional references