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Active/Active Failover Cluster

Starting with the update VZU400011, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers allows you to create active/active failover clusters where all Hardware Nodes are acting as active nodes. The concept of active/active clusters is based on the ability to simultaneously run more than one group with Virtuozzo resources (i.e. with Virtuozzo-related services and Containers) on one and the same Hardware Node. In such clusters, each node is capable of taking on the additional workload - the failed over services and Containers - from a problem node along with running their own version of Parallels Virtuozzo and hosting their own Containers.

Notes: 1. You can check the number of the latest Parallels Virtuozzo update installed on your Node by opening Control Panel, double-clicking Add or Remove Programs, and navigating to the latest Virtuozzo Containers update in the Currently installed programs table. If you have update 11 installed, it will be shown as Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 update 400011. If you do not have this update installed, please refer to the Keeping Your Virtuozzo Containers System Up-to-Date chapter of the Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 User's Guide to learn how you can do it.

2. For detailed information on resource groups, refer to the Installing Virtuozzo Containers Software on Servers Participating in MSCS Cluster section.

The following picture shows you an example of an active/active cluster configuration:

Deploying Active/Active Failover Cluster

This clustering configuration is almost similar to that described in the previous section for an active/passive cluster. The cluster comprises three nodes: Active Node #1, Active Node #2, Active Node #3. All nodes are running one and the same version of the Windows Server 2003 operating system and the Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 software, located in the same AD domain, and connected via Fibre Channel optical cables to a shared SCSI storage device.

However, as distinct from the active/passive configuration, all nodes in this cluster are active, i.e. they host a number of running Containers. If one Hardware Node in the cluster fails or is taken offline as part of planned maintenance, the Virtuozzo-related services and Containers from the problem node are automatically failed over to one of the two remaining active nodes. If, say, Active Node #1 hosting Container 101, 102, and 103 fails, all these Containers will be moved to and started on either Active Node #2 or Active Node #3. The decision on where to move the resources from the problem node is made by the MSCS clustering software.

Setting Active/Active Failover Cluster to Work

The process of deploying an active/active Virtuozzo failover cluster slightly differs depending on whether you are creating your failover cluster from scratch or transforming any of your existing active/passive clusters:

Active/Active Failover Cluster Restrictions

Before starting to deploy an active/active Virtuozzo failover cluster, you should have a clear understanding of all limitations imposed on your virtual infrastructure by this kind of cluster:

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