Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service describes the types of clusters you can implement using virtual machines with Microsoft Cluster Service for Windows Server 2003 and Failover Clustering for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and above releases. You get step-by-step instructions for each type of cluster and a checklist of clustering requirements and recommendations.

Unless stated otherwise, the term Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) applies to Microsoft Cluster Service with Windows Server 2003 and Failover Clustering with Windows Server 2008 and above releases.

Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service covers ESXi and VMware® vCenter® Server.

Intended Audience

This information is for system administrators who are familiar with VMware technology and Microsoft Cluster Service.

Note: This is not a guide to using Microsoft Cluster Service or Failover Clustering. Use your Microsoft documentation for information about installation and configuration of Microsoft Cluster Service or Failover Clustering.

All instances of "MSCS" in this document and elsewhere is intended to refer to all Windows OS and Microsoft application clustering configurations which utilize one or more shared disks among the clustered nodes, namely:

  • The Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS)
  • The Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC)
  • The SQL AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instance (FCI)

vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client

Instructions in this guide reflect the vSphere Client (an HTML5-based GUI). You can also use the instructions to perform the tasks by using the vSphere Web Client (a Flex-based GUI).

Tasks for which the workflow differs significantly between the vSphere Client and the vSphere Web Client have duplicate procedures that provide steps according to the respective client interface. The procedures that relate to the vSphere Web Client, contain vSphere Web Client in the title.

Note: In vSphere 6.7 Update 1, almost all of the vSphere Web Client functionality is implemented in the vSphere Client. For an up-to-date list of any remaining unsupported functionality, see Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client.