Before you can configure the cluster for the first time or add a server (node) to an existing failover cluster, you need to take the following preparatory steps:

  • Install the Failover Clustering feature: You must install the Failover Clustering feature on any server that will become a server (node) in the cluster. For more information, see Install the Failover Clustering Feature.

  • Connect networks and storage: You must connect the networks and storage that the nodes will use. For details, see:

  • Validate the hardware configuration: We strongly recommend that you validate your hardware configuration (servers, network, and storage) before creating a cluster or adding a node to a cluster. To validate, you run a wizard. For more information, see Validate a New or Existing Failover Cluster.


    Microsoft supports a failover cluster solution only if the complete configuration (servers, network, and storage) can pass all tests in the Validate a Configuration Wizard. In addition, all hardware components in the solution must be marked as "Certified for Windows Server 2008 R2."

To see the preceding steps in the context of a checklist, see Checklist: Create a Failover Cluster.

The following topics describe how to create a failover cluster or add a server (node) to a failover cluster:

Additional references