Failover Cluster APIs


For failover clusters, Microsoft provides two APIs: the Failover Cluster API and the Cluster Automation Server. These Failover Cluster APIs let programmers develop management tools and high-availability resources for failover clusters.

Where applicable

The Failover Cluster APIs encompass three general development paths.

  • Creating new types of cluster resources. By creating resource DLLs and extension DLLs, developers can define new cluster resource types to manage any kind of resource, from a legacy application to a device.
  • Creating cluster-aware applications that interact with the failover cluster environment to accomplish cluster-wide tasks (such as a cluster-aware setup application) or to maximize availability.
  • Creating cluster management applications that allow administrators to monitor and control failover clusters. The Cluster Automation Server extends this functionality to scripting languages, allowing web-based cluster management tools and interfaces.

Developer audience

The Failover Cluster APIs are best suited to developers familiar with network administration and client/server programming. Familiarity with the general concept of clustering and the Cluster Administrator user interface is also recommended. Additional prerequisites depend on the type of programming that will be performed:

  • The Failover Cluster API offers a rich set of C/C++ libraries and headers for developing all kinds of cluster-aware applications, resource DLLs, and cluster administrator extension DLLs. To use the C/C++ libraries and headers requires familiarity with Unicode, RPC, COM and COM-based interface extensions, the registry, and writing DLLs.
  • The Cluster Automation Server provides a set of scriptable objects that can be used to monitor and administer failover clusters. Using the Cluster Automation Server requires familiarity with COM and Automation, scripting, and proficiency in a scripting language such as Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) or JScript.

Run-time requirements

Failover clustering is available on the following platforms:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

To develop code using the Failover Cluster APIs, the following software must be installed:

  • Microsoft Visual C++ version 6.0 or later with the Unicode MFC libraries.
  • The MIDL compiler version 3.00.44 or later.
  • The Active Template Library (ATL) version 2.0 or later.
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 or later is required to use VBScript or Visual Basic with the Cluster Automation Server.

In this section

Topic Description

Finding What You Need

Guide to the documentation.

Quick Start

Direct links to task-specific topics.

What's New

Summary of changes to the API.

About Failover Clusters

Descriptions of the software components, objects, and properties that implement and provide interfaces for failover clusters.

Using the Failover Cluster API

Programmer's guide to the API.

Using Cluster Automation Server

Programmer's guide to the Cluster Automation Server.

Index of Examples

List of and jumps to example programs.

Failover Cluster API Reference

Descriptions of the C/C++ functions and other programming interfaces exposed in the Failover Cluster API.

Cluster Automation Server Reference

Descriptions of the Cluster Automation Server objects, properties, and methods.

The Cluster Configuration Interfaces

Interfaces for implementing customized setup, upgrade, and uninstall procedures for your cluster-aware applications.

The Failover Cluster WMI Provider

WMI classes you can use to access cluster objects, properties, and events.






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Build date: 10/15/2013