“Single node cluster” oxymoron or reality?

You might be asking yourself, what? how? why? To be honest I asked myself the very same questions. I don’t purport to have all the answers to these important questions, but I have found a few resources, and I wrote a little step-by-step to show answer the how.

What is a “single node” cluster? Well, it’s technically not a cluster at all, but it provides the same sets of services an actual cluster would. It’s a way to have different views of the same server, Microsoft refers to these as “virtual servers”. To simply, a virtual server in this sense is simply a hostname associated with a specific IP address on your cluster.

Why would I want a “single node” cluster?  That is a really good question, why would you want a cluster that provided none of the wonderful things that clusters provide; failover, redundancy, fault-tolerance, high-availability. These are really all saying the same thing, the single most important thing a cluster provides is failover. When one node fails, those services roll over to the next available node. On a “single node”, there isn’t another available node to fail over to.

So really, what is the point? Well, the example I found on the TechNet site was very simple. You have a single server in your office, but for administrative reasons, you want each department to access their “own server”. So you create Resource groups for each that contain at a minimum an IP Address resource and a Network Name resource.

Now you might be asking yourself, why did he decide to write an article about this? Well, it turns out that we are in the middle of testing an IPAM solution. We needed to be able to test how our existing cluster would behave, so we created a vm, installed Windows and setup a cluster, that we could use to duplicate our current infrastructure, without having to setup anything crazy.

How do I setup a “single node” Windows Server 2003 cluster? (Based on this TechNet article)




Configuring a Windows Server 2008 “Single node” cluster.



If you have a third party DNS Server, you may see this after your cluster is done.



I wrote an article a while ago about how to resolve this issue. But there is also a good article available on the Technet Wiki.

Original Article

What to do when you receive a truly horrible request

I’m fairly certain this happens more often than not. A user fashion’s an email, than in their mind makes perfect and complete sense. They blithely send this email off to you, without care to the damage that could be wrecked upon your psyche. Today, a good friend of mine received just such a letter, and it took a considerable amount of time to fashion a politically correct response. So I decided that there should be a canned response to these types of request’s and I would like to submit mine today.


Dear User,

I would like to respond to the email that you sent earlier, but I noticed that shortly after reading it, I was bleeding out of both eyes. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that both my pen and pencil were jammed into each. So if you will pardon me I am currently unable to help you with your particular request, as I am headed to the emergency room.



Feel free to copy and paste this wherever you feel the need!