September 12, 2013

Hyper-V High Availability with NO Hardware NAS

By Geekphreek

As promised, here is the guide for using just 2 x Windows machines to build a High Availability cluster using the Starwind Software Native SAN for Hyper-V.

Ask questions and I will answer them.  This is running within my company now and includes Exchange, 2 DCs, a File and Print server and an SQL server.  No issues in testing and live and you can literally pull out the plug on one and it gracefully fails over to the other node with no issues.

Here is the guide:

Raid configuration of hardware:

  • Mirrored Raid 1 for 1st two drives
  • Raid 5 for remaining disks

Install Windows 2012 to first drive, reboot.

Disk Management – Disk 1 – Simple Volume – Full Size – Label SAN


Name each Node:  {company}NODEA & {company}NODEB

Attach 1Gb 1st Port to the network

NodeA: gw dns
NodeB: gw dns

Disable firewall on both servers, enable remote desktop, and join to domain.

Identify and rename all ports as follows:

10Gb Port 1:

10Gb Port 2:

1Gb Port 1:

1Gb Port 2:

1Gb Port 3:

1Gb Port 4:



Install Hyper-V Role & Cluster Role to both nodes via PowerShell:

                Install-WindowsFeature –Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools

Install-WindowsFeature -name hyper-v -IncludeManagementTools

Install-WindowsFeature Multipath-IO

Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V-Tools

Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V-PowerSHell



                New-VMSwitch “ArgononNetwork01” –NetAdapterName “1Gb Port 1” –AllowManagementOS:$True

                New-VMSwitch “ArgononNetwork02” –NetAdapterName “1Gb Port 2” –AllowManagementOS:$True

                New-VMSwitch “ArgononNetwork03” –NetAdapterName “1Gb Port 3” –AllowManagementOS:$True

Install Starwind Native SAN for Hyper-V – Use defaults

Edit C:\Program Files\StarWind Software\StarWind\StarWind.cfg

Find the string “<!–<iScsiDiscoveryListInterfaces value=”1″/> –>” and uncomment it (<iScsiDiscoveryListInterfaces value=”1″/>)


Open StarWind Console, Create High Availablity Disk, Add Nodes, select My Computer\D\<servername>.img

Do the same for secondary image.

Repeat for 2Gb HA image for a Witness share.

On both nodes do:

Administrative Tools\iSCSI Initiator, select YES to load

Discovery Tab, Discover Portal Button, enter IP Addresses: or

On the targets tab, select each iSCSI taget and click connect.  Select the Multi-Path check box.

Per node, open the MPIO application.  On Discover Multi-Paths tab, check the “Add support for iSCSI devices” check box and click ADD (not OK!!).

REBOOT as requested after clicking ADD.

Login to NODEA

Disk management

Bring Disk 2 online, initialise and format to NTFS.

Load Cluster Manager

Click “Validate Configuration” and run all tests – stop here if this fails and recheck everything

Click Create Cluster

Add both nodes, use the 10.1.5.x range and give it a static IP (

Once it has finished, you should have your 50Gb drive (Disk 1) with a Witness share (Disk 2)

In Failover Cluster Manager

Right click on Roles / Virtual Machine / Add Virtual Machine

Follow through Hyper V.