In a failover cluster, you can create configure a virtual machine for high availability by running a wizard that creates the appropriate settings.

To work with virtual machines, you might want to view Help content for the Hyper-V Manager snap-in. To view this content, install the Hyper-V role (through Server Manager and the Add Roles Wizard), open Hyper-V Manager (through Server Manager or in a separate snap-in console), and press F1. You can also view information about Hyper-V on the Web, for example, information about creating a virtual machine (

Membership in the local Administrators group on each clustered server, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Also, the account you use must be a domain account. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at

To configure a virtual machine for high availability
  1. Be sure that you have installed the Hyper-V role and have reviewed the steps in Checklist: Create a Clustered Virtual Machine. This procedure is a step in that checklist.

  2. In the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, if the cluster that you want to configure is not displayed, in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage a Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster that you want.

  3. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster that you want to configure.

  4. Click Services and Applications.

  5. If you have already created the virtual machine, skip to step 6. Otherwise, use the New Virtual Machine Wizard to create a virtual machine and configure it for high availability:

    1. In the Action pane, click Virtual machines, point to Virtual machine, and then click a node.

      The virtual machine will initially be created on that node, and then be clustered so that it can move to another node or nodes as needed.

    2. If the Before You Begin page of the New Virtual Machine Wizard appears, click Next.

    3. Specify a name for the virtual machine, and then select Store the virtual machine in a different location and specify a disk in shared storage or, if Cluster Shared Volumes is enabled, a Cluster Shared Volume (a volume that appears to be on the system drive of the node, under the \ClusterStorage folder).

    4. Follow the instructions in the wizard. You can specify details (such as the amount of memory, the network, and the virtual hard disk file) now, and you can also add or change configuration details later.

    5. When you click Finish, the wizard creates the virtual machine and also configures it for high availability. Skip the remaining step in this procedure.

  6. If you have already created the virtual machine and only want to configure it for high availability, first make sure that the virtual machine is not running. Then, use the High Availability Wizard to configure the virtual machine for high availability:

    1. In the Action pane, click Configure a Service or Application.

    2. If the Before You Begin page of the High Availability Wizard appears, click Next.

    3. On the Select Service or Application page, click Virtual Machine and then click Next.

    4. Select the virtual machine that you want to configure for high availability, and complete the wizard.

    5. After the High Availability wizard runs and the Summary page appears, if you want to view a report of the tasks that the wizard performed, click View Report.

Additional considerations

  • To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.

  • If you decide to change the settings of a clustered virtual machine, be sure to see Modify the Virtual Machine Settings for a Clustered Virtual Machine.

  • For each clustered virtual machine, you can also specify the action that the cluster performs before taking the virtual machine offline. Taking the virtual machine offline is necessary when moving the virtual machine (but not necessary for live migration or quick migration). To specify the setting, make sure that after selecting the clustered virtual machine in the console tree (on the left), you right-click the virtual machine resource displayed in the center pane (not on the left), and then click Properties. Click the Settings tab and select an option. The actions are described in Understanding Hyper-V and Virtual Machines in the Context of a Cluster in the section called "Live migration, quick migration, and moving of virtual machines," in the description about the moving of virtual machines.

  • If this is the first virtual machine that you are configuring for high availability, it might be appropriate to review your cluster network settings now. If the clustered servers are connected to a network that is not to be used for network communication in the cluster (for example, a network that is intended only for iSCSI or only for backup), then under Networks, right-click that network, click Properties, and then select Do not allow the cluster to use this network.

Additional references