Failover Clustering in Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Azure Stack HCI, versions 21H2 and 20H2

A failover cluster is a group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability and scalability of clustered roles (formerly called clustered applications and services). The clustered servers (called nodes) are connected by physical cables and by software. If one or more of the cluster nodes fail, other nodes begin to provide service (a process known as failover). In addition, the clustered roles are proactively monitored to verify that they are working properly. If they are not working, they are restarted or moved to another node.

Failover clusters also provide Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) functionality that provides a consistent, distributed namespace that clustered roles can use to access shared storage from all nodes. With the Failover Clustering feature, users experience a minimum of disruptions in service.

Failover Clustering has many practical applications, including:

  • Highly available or continuously available file share storage for applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Hyper-V virtual machines
  • Highly available clustered roles that run on physical servers or on virtual machines that are installed on servers running Hyper-V

To learn more about failover clustering in Azure Stack HCI, see Understanding cluster and pool quorum.

Understand Planning Deployment
What's new in Failover Clustering Planning Failover Clustering Hardware Requirements and Storage Options Creating a Failover Cluster
Scale-Out File Server for application data Use Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) Deploy a two-node file server
Cluster and pool quorum Using guest virtual machine clusters with Storage Spaces Direct Prestage cluster computer objects in Active Directory Domain Services
Fault domain awareness Configuring cluster accounts in Active Directory
Simplified SMB Multichannel and multi-NIC cluster networks Manage the quorum and witnesses
VM load balancing Deploy a cloud witness
Cluster sets Deploy a file share witness
Cluster affinity Cluster operating system rolling upgrades
Upgrading a failover cluster on the same hardware
Deploy an Active Directory Detached Cluster
Manage Tools and settings Community resources
Cluster-Aware Updating Failover Clustering PowerShell Cmdlets High Availability (Clustering) Forum
Health Service Cluster Aware Updating PowerShell Cmdlets Failover Clustering and Network Load Balancing Team Blog
Cluster-domain migration
Troubleshooting using Windows Error Reporting