Create a Two-Node Windows Cluster

This article describes the steps to create a Two-Node Windows 2012r2 Cluster to be used for storage services as well as host Hyper-V VMs.


  1. Both nodes should be domain joined
  2. Prerequisite Roles and Features installed (see Windows Cluster and Storage Spaces Prerequisite Roles and Features)
  3. Multipath IO must be installed and configured (see Configuring Multipath IO on Windows Cluster Systems)
  4. The initial network configuration should be complete.   Additional networks can be added at anytime.
    1. Interconnection networks should be configured and active
    2. One network port common to all cluster members should be configured and active (see Configure network ports on Windows Clustered Systems)
    3. Mellanox network cards should be available to support RDMA (see Installing Mellanox Network Card device drivers)
  5. Storage Pools and Virtual Disks should be configured and active
    1. Create Storage Pool on Windows Storage Spaces Standard
    2. Create a Virtual Disk on Windows Storage Spaces Standard

Validate the Cluster

Log onto one of the systems using a domain administrator account. This procedure is run on only one node.

Run PowerShell command which runs the Cluster Validation: PowerShell

1Test-Cluster –Node node-1,node-2

Note:  This procedure can be run from the Cluster Failover Manager console.   If there are errors in the validation, troubleshooting from the Cluster Failover Manager console is a simpler process.

Cluster Validation Command Output

This process will typically report completion with warning messages.  We can still continue on and create the cluster.  We will come back at the end and handle outstanding warning issues.   The warnings in this case say that we have only single network connections to Node-1 and Node-2 which is not high availability.  This will be remedied as later as more networks are added   If the warnings look more severe, then this process can be run from the Cluster Manager Console which will display complete error and warning reports interactively.

Create the Cluster

Run the following command to create the cluster. PowerShell

1New-Cluster -Name MyCluster -Node node-1,node-2 -NoStorage -StaticAddress

Note: Select relevant node names, addresses and cluster names for your environment. Note: The NoStorage parameter was selected so we can include only the relevant storage resources. By default New-Cluster will move all discovered storage to the cluster as a resource and often create a disk witness on whatever disks or virtual disks it finds, which is likely not desirable. Note: This can be completed from the Failover Cluster Manager console, but be sure to NOT select the add storage checkbox.

Create Cluster Output

The screen above shows the output of the New-Cluster command.

When you bring up the Failover Cluster Manager GUI you should see a functioning cluster.

Failover Cluster Manager screenshot

The next steps will be to configure the storage and networks as cluster resources.

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