Configure a Virtual Machine for High Availability

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

In a failover cluster, you can configure a virtual machine for high availability by running a wizard that creates the appropriate settings.


Before you configure a virtual machine for high availability, we strongly recommend installing the hotfix described in the Knowledge Base article at With the hotfix, the configuration and management of virtual machines in a failover cluster are simplified. For additional requirements and recommendations for failover clusters in which all nodes run Hyper-V, see

To understand the procedures to perform before and after performing this procedure, see Checklist: Setting Up a Failover Cluster in Which All Nodes Run Hyper-V.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. In addition, if your account is not a Domain Admins account, either the account or the group that the account is a member of must be delegated the Create Computer Objects permission in the domain. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To configure a virtual machine for high availability

  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. Click Services and Applications and then, under Actions (on the right), click Configure a Service or Application.

  4. If the Before You Begin page of the wizard appears, click Next.

  5. On the Select Service or Application page, click Virtual Machine and then click Next.

  6. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the virtual machine that you want to configure for high availability and to complete the wizard.

  7. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, if you want to view a report of the tasks that the wizard performed, click View Report.

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.

  • If this is the first service or application that you are configuring for high availability, it might be appropriate to review your cluster network settings now. If the clustered servers are connected to a network that is not to be used for network communication in the cluster (for example, a network that is intended only for iSCSI or only for backup), then under Networks, right-click that network, click Properties, and then select Do not allow the cluster to use this network.

Additional references