Deploy Microsoft failover cluster on Nutanix


NOTE: THIS PROCEDURE IS APPLICABLE FOR AOS (Nutanix Acropolis Software) VERSION 4.1 OR OLDER. If you have never AOS version, use Nutanix Volume Groups and present it as iSCSI storage to GuestOS. 

Microsoft Failover Cluster  is supported on Nutanix. I will use fileshare witness as quorum. Therefore, first step is create container on Nutanix and add Microsoft failover cluster nodes to container whitelist.

  • Prepare ShareFile Witness on Nutanix – create container and make sure you have added cluster nodes IP to container filesytem whitelists
container whilelist

container whitelist

  • Deploy two virtual machines with Windows 2012 R2
  • Each VM should have 2 vNIC,
    • mgmt traffic
    • HB traffic
  • Install Microsoft Failover Clustering feature on both servers
Microsoft Failover Clustering feature

Microsoft Failover Clustering feature

  • Verify if you can browse SMB share on Nutanix from both servers.
  • Start Failover Cluster utility and create failover cluster
  • Select servers

    Select cluster nodes

    Select cluster nodes

  • Keep validation warning default – do not change it
  • On Test validation, mark Run all Tests
  • Provide cluster name and cluster IP address

    MSFC cluster name and IP address

    MSFC cluster name and IP address

  • Verify information on Confirmation page, if all good – go on and click Next
  • After few second summary page will pop up with all cluster information

    Failover cluster created

    Failover cluster created

Next step is to configure cluster quorum. As mentioned before, we will use file share witness, which is Nutanix SMB share we have created at the beginning of this tutorial.

  • Connect to failover cluster
  • Right click on cluster –> More ACtions –> Configure Cluster Quorum Settings

    Configure cluster quorum

    Configure cluster quorum

  • Choose Select quorum Witness
  • On next screen – Configure a file share witness


    Configure file share witness

  • Provide path to SMB share on Nutanix you have configured before. In my example it is
  • Verify provided information and click finish.

Done, you have now Microsoft failover cluster on Nutanix. When you click on Microsoft failover cluster you can see all info about, including fileshere witness.

Microsoft failover cluster on Nutanix - information

Microsoft failover cluster on Nutanix – information

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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Roman Nemec

Hi Artur. Thank you for great article. I wanted to test it but I believe that this is only possible in Hyper-v installation. What about vSphere or AHV?


HI Artur, i have Nutanix hardware with VMware hypervisor on it and needs to configure 2 node windows failover cluster, however i am facing difficulty to have shared volumes which will be highly available on both nodes, could you please help me with the configuration.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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