New features of Win Server 2022 Failover Clustering

Failover Cluster feature being one of the top ones on Windows Servers. So Microsoft keeps adding new enchancements. Lets discuss on these.

Cluster Affinity with Azure Stack HCI

Affinity is a rule you would set up that establishes a relationship between two or more roles (i,e, virtual machines, resource groups, and so on) to keep them together. AntiAffinity is the same but is used to try to keep the specified roles apart from each other. AntiAffinity was only available upto 2019. So basically this provides “Streched Cluster” capabilities. Hopefully across different geo locations. read more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure-stack/hci/manage/vm-affinity

AutoSites

AutoSites is another feature brought over from Azure Stack HCI. AutoSites is basically what is says. When you configure Failover Clustering, it will first look into Active Directory to see if Sites are configured. If they are and the nodes are included in a site, we will automatically create site fault domains and put the nodes in the fault domain they are a member of.

Granular Repair

When a node goes down for maintenance, crashes, or whatever the case may be, once it comes back up, there is a “repair” job run where data is moved around and onto the drives, if necessary, of the node that came back. A repair is basically a resync of the data between all the nodes. Depending on the amount of time the node was down, the longer it could take for the repair to complete. read more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure-stack/hci/manage/storage-repair-speed

Cluster Shared Volumes and Bitlocker

Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) enable multiple nodes in a Windows Server Failover Cluster or Azure Stack HCI to simultaneously have read-write access to the same LUN (disk) that is provisioned as an NTFS volume. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.

BitLocker on volumes within a cluster are managed based on how the cluster service “views” the volume to be protected. BitLocker will unlock protected volumes without user intervention.

SMB Encryption

Windows Server 2022 SMB Direct now supports encryption. Previously, enabling SMB encryption disabled direct data placement, making RDMA performance as slow as TCP. Now data is encrypted before placement, leading to relatively minor performance degradation while adding AES-128 and AES-256 protected packet privacy. Furthermore, Windows Server Failover Clusters now support granular control of encrypting intra-node storage communications for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and the storage bus layer (SBL). This means that when using Storage Spaces Direct and SMB Direct, you can decide to encrypt the east-west communications within the cluster itself for higher security.

[source: Microsoft]

How to run a DHCP server on your Windows desktop

There are instances, where we need to run a DHCP server on our workstation. Specially when we happen to work in either isolated networks and internet restricted networks. In order to achieve this there is a cool utility and this is portable, so no need to install the application on the workstation.

You can get the utility from here

Then, you can simply run the configuration wizard – so that you can assign the IP addresses and utilize the relevant NIC (if the system is having multiple NICs). Once you are done with the configuration wizard, simply you can run the DHCP server. If you need the step by step guide, you may follow the vendor documentation

NOTE: always use the Run as administrator, when working with the executable