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  #1  
Old 08-03-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Upgrade Windows 2003 Clustering?

Hi
I have taken over Windows support of a remote office which had a 2-node Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition File & Print Server Cluster. Before I took over support 1 of the nodes died because of hardware failure and it took a year before anyone did anything to get the hardware fixed. These Windows boxes also has Veritas Volume Manager installed which uses Veritas Disk Administrator to do fancy things with the Disk Subsystem i.e. add extra storage on the fly etc. etc. Unfortunately this Volume Manager software is out of support and no one knows too much about it (only the basics), to get this software back in support and upgrade the versions to supported levels will cost about ? 10K.

I don't think the powers at be want to shell out this money because the hardware which these clustering services sit on are Compaq DL580's (yes I hear you say, old crap). Anyway, my question(s) are: -

1) Is Clustering still the best way forward?
2) If so, what is the best way to proceed, seeing that only 1 node is actually functioning and in 'Live'
3) If we ditch this Veritas Volume Manager/Veritas Disk Administrator software, can windows add storage on-the-fly, without re-scanning disks (SAN) or rebooting?

4) If we decide to ditch Clustering, how the hell would we go about it. People who has set this up seems to have created a 'Virtual Server' for every Business department in the company (there are about 8 Virtual Servers) with their own shares etc. They have also set-up a Virtual Server as a 'Print Server' too. Which hosts about 50 networked printers.
We probably need to replace the Compaq DL 580's as they are very old.
There are probably lots of other things to consider too like logon scripts pointing to all these Virtual Servers (on the Cluster) and any other Servers / Applications that reference these Virtual Servers.

This has been giving me lots of sleepless nights thinking about it.
We currently have a TDA who is going to try and come up with a solution, but he doesn't know the whole story as to what this Clustered box is used for and to what extent the risk would be if this box failed in it's current state.
He's about to find out.....

Any suggestions or relative real life experiences regarding this topic and scenarios would be greatly appreciated....PS did I say I know jack-all about Clustering

Ken
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2011
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Join Date: May 2008
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Re: Upgrade Windows 2003 Clustering?

I would like to tell you that there are other technologies available, other than clustering, that provides you the high availability but that is totally depends on what you are trying to achieve and what kind of failures you need to protect against, how high a level of accessibility you are trying to accomplish and what your significant applications are.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Re: Upgrade Windows 2003 Clustering?

Hi
It depends on cost. Basically this Cluster Box (currently one node) is the company's main data area. All storage is SAN attached.
It would be high visibility / high risk if something happened to this Server.

It makes any upgrade / migration difficult (in my eyes) because of Clustering, Old Hardware, Veritas software, plus other things like it's their Print Server too, and they have all these bloody Virtual Servers (which Clustering gives them), which other servers in their Infrastructure references.

Ken
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