Failover clustering a key feature of the windows

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availability into the mix. Failover Clustering, a key feature of the Windows Server platform, is designed to do just that by providing high availability and scalability to many types of server workloads including Hyper-V hosts, file servers, and different server applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange Server that can run on both physical servers and virtual machines. Whereas Windows Server 2012 included a number of important enhancements to the Failover Clustering feature, Windows Server 2012 R2 adds even more. This chapter continues the discussion of what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 by describing several of the key improvements to Failover Clustering functionality in the new platform. But first let’s start by reviewing the Failover Clustering enhancements that were previously introduced in Windows Server 2012. Previous enhancements to Failover Clustering Some of the many ways that Failover Clustering was enhanced in Windows Server 2012 include: Improved scalability Compared with Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008 R2, the number of cluster nodes supported increased from 16 to 64 in Windows Server 2012. The number of clustered roles or virtual machines also increased from 1,000 to 8,000 (up to 1,024 per node) in the new platform. This increased scalability enabled new scenarios and efficiencies to help IT departments deliver more for the dollar. Cluster Shared Volumes enhancements Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) were introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 to provide common storage for clustered virtual machines. CSV was enhanced in Windows Server 2012 and enabled to provide storage for additional clustered roles such as the new Scale-out File Server (SoFS) feature, which can provide continuously available and scalable file-based (SMB 3.0) server storage for Hyper-V and applications such as SQL Server. CSV could also be integrated with the new Storage Spaces feature of Windows Server 2012 to enable scale-out access to data by virtualizing cluster storage on groups of inexpensive disks (JBODs). CSV in Windows Server 2012 was also integrated
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64 CHAPTER 4 Failover Clustering with new SMB 3.0 features like SMB Multichannel and SMB Direct, which allow CSV traffic to stream across multiple networks in the cluster and leverage network adapters that support Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). Other CSV improvements in Windows Server 2012 included support for BitLocker Drive Encryption, removal of external authentication dependencies, and improved file backup. Updating failover cluster nodes Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) was introduced in Windows Server 2012 to enable software updates to be applied automatically to the host operating system or other system components on the nodes of a failover cluster while maintaining availability during the update process. CAU reduced maintenance time by automating what was previously a very repetitive task.
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