best practice on Cluster network

John JY 221 Reputation points

Hi all,

We built windows 2016/2019 cluster with only one NIC
on two virtual VMs. Is this best practice?
should we have two NICs (one for data, one for private

Thank you!

Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server: A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.Clustering: The grouping of multiple servers in a way that allows them to appear to be a single unit to client computers on a network. Clustering is a means of increasing network capacity, providing live backup in case one of the servers fails, and improving data security.
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  1. Leon Laude 85,701 Reputation points

    Hi @John JY ,

    I'm not sure if there are best practices for this, however there certainly are good practices.
    From experience in the field it would be better with at least two (2) NICs, but this may depend entirely on the cluster, the purpose of the cluster and cost.

    I would really recommend for you to go through John's very detailed post about Failover Clustering and networking basics/fundamentals in the post below:

    The above post should give you the essential information and some good practices.


    If the reply was helpful please don't forget to upvote and/or accept as answer, thank you!

    Best regards,

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  1. Limitless Technology 39,461 Reputation points

    Hello John,

    As reference you can read this article:

    But all in all with one NIC you are ready to go with a Cluster service. Basically you can run the Cluster with 1 network, in the case that the NIC in one node fails, heartbeat will fail, this node will be removed from the membership and all roles moved to other available node. However, in case the virtual switch fails, it will fail for all members and the cluster will be down. The main recommendation is to create a separate network for heartbeat, as it is lightweight but important and you would like to avoid at all cost any heartbeat package lost that may bring down the cluster. However, if your network bandwidth is solid and the network usage is low for the cluster, one network is still an option.

    Everything depends on the usage or purpose of the cluster itself.

    Hope this helps with your query,
    Best regards,

  2. John JY 221 Reputation points

    @Limitless Technology

    From the link and see the picture on stretch site, I did not see a dedicated heartbeat network created?



    can you explain on this? Thank you!

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  3. John JY 221 Reputation points

    Hi all,

    after reading, it seems that there is no need to set up a dedicated network for heartbeats.

    Can anyone help out whether my view of this article is right or not?

    Thank you!