In this part 2 of this series about Shared Virtual Hard Disk in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster , I’ll cover setting up the virtual machines that will make up the nodes in your Failover Cluster.

If you've set up virtual machine guests in a Hyper-V Failover Cluster before, this process will be fairly easy for you. If not, the process is still quite simple. In the Failover Cluster Manager for your Hyper-V cluster, click on Roles, Virtual Machines, and then New Virtual Machine.

Failover Cluster Manager - Create virtual machine

Failover Cluster Manager - Create virtual machine

Select the Hyper-V server where you'll be creating the VM and click OK.

Select the target cluster node for Virtual Machine creation

Select the target cluster node for Virtual Machine creation

Name your virtual machine and ensure that it is stored on your shared storage. In my case, I’m using a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) and I've selected C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1\. If you were using a Scale-Out Fileserver, you would have a UNC path here.

Specify Name and Location

Specify Name and Location

In the rest of the setup, the options are really up to you:

  • For generation, both Generation 1 and 2 are supported for using shared virtual hard disks.
  • Memory: Once again, this setting is really up to you and what this cluster will be running.
  • Networking: Connect the VM to the virtual switch that it will need to access to provide whatever service it will be running. Be sure to note this as the other nodes in the cluster will need to be configured with the same switch.
  • Connect Virtual Hard Disk: Ensure that the virtual hard disk is stored in the correct location and update the size if necessary. Connect an ISO if necessary for loading an OS.

Now, do it all over again to create a second node for the failover cluster.

Set Up the cluster network adapters (optional)

In the Failover Cluster Manager, highlight the VM and click Settings.

Failover Cluster Manager - Settings

Failover Cluster Manager - Settings

Create a new network adapter by clicking Add Hardware, Network Adapter, Add.

Add network adapter

Add network adapter

Specify the external virtual switch, check the Enable virtual LAN identification and enter the VLAN ID you were supposed to get in Part 1. Click OK.

VLAN identifier

VLAN identifier

Inside the virtual machines

After creating the virtual machines, you'll need to deploy your operating system (either Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2) to both VM's. Remember, if you're using Server 2012, you'll need to update the Integration Components. You can do this by connecting to the VM in the Failover Cluster Manager and clicking Action, Insert Integration Services Setup Disk. After inserting the disk, run the installer on the disk and reboot.

Insert Integration Services Setup Disk

Insert Integration Services Setup Disk

Once both servers and up and running with an OS, configure networking on both, and add both to Active Directory. If you added the optional network adapter for the cluster network, ensure that both VM’s have unique IP addresses for that network that are on different IP ranges than the primary network adapters. Also make sure that you don't give those adapters gateways as that will cause routing problems down the road.

For both VM's, we have to enable Failover Clustering. This can be done in the Add Roles and Features wizard in the Server Manager by advancing to the Features section and checking Failover Clustering.

Add Failover Clustering feature

Add Failover Clustering feature

You can do the same thing (much quicker) by running the following PowerShell command:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering -IncludeAllSubfeature -IncludeManagementTools

Install Failover Clustering feature with PowerShell

Install Failover Clustering feature with PowerShell

At this point, you should have all of the prerequisites ready to create the shared virtual hard disk and create your Failover Cluster which we’ll cover in Part 3.

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