Node in a Failover Cluster

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

A failover cluster node is a server that is a member of a failover cluster. When a node is online, it is an active member of the cluster and can own and run clustered services and applications, honor cluster database updates, contribute votes to the quorum algorithm, and maintain heartbeats.

Managed Entities

The following is a list of the managed entities that are included in this managed entity:

Name Description

Network Interface on a Clustered Node

In a failover cluster, the network adapter or adapters (also know as network interface cards or NICs) on each node must function correctly, as must other related network devices. Network connectivity is needed for the nodes to maintain communication with each other and with clients.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Backup and Restore Functionality in a Cluster

Successful backup and restore requires certain preconditions. The failover cluster must be running and must have quorum. Software used for backup and restore must be compatible with the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and with the VSS Writer used by failover clusters. For complete success in a restore, all nodes must be running throughout the time when the restore is performed. Also, the account used by the person performing the backup or restore must be an administrative account.

Cluster Service Startup

The Cluster service is the essential software component that controls all aspects of failover cluster operation and manages the cluster configuration database. If the Cluster service fails to start on a failover cluster node, the node cannot function as part of the cluster.

Node Cleanup Success

When a failover cluster is destroyed by running the Destroy Cluster command, the Cluster service requires access to disks in storage and other resources for complete removal of the cluster configuration. If this access is unavailable, you might need to take specific actions such as running a command to complete the removal of the configuration.

Node Membership in Cluster

Failover cluster nodes must have the ability to start the Cluster service, form a cluster (when a given node starts but no other nodes are up) and join a cluster (when a given node starts and discovers that one or more nodes are already up). This requires that certain conditions be met, for example, failover cluster nodes must run compatible versions of the operating system.

Responsiveness of User-Mode Processes on Node

The Cluster service monitors the node to ensure that it does not remain in a state where essential processes are running (the kernel is running) but the node is unresponsive (user-mode processes cannot run). Unless the node is functioning both at the kernel level and the user-mode level, it cannot respond to client requests.

Failover Clustering