To create highly available file shares on a cluster, you
should create them using either Cluster Administrator (CluAdmin.exe) or the
cluster API set. When the share is placed in a group with other related
resources (IP Address, Network Name, and a storage device), the share is
available from whichever node in the cluster owns the group of resources. This
article lists basic steps for creating a basic File Share resource.
To create a file share on a server cluster, follow these
The information in this article is also valid for the Windows 2000 Cluster service.
- Open Windows Explorer and create a folder on a shared disk
that you want to share out for users.
- Assign the appropriate NTFS file level permissions on the
folder. Make sure that the account used to start the Cluster Service has at
least READ rights to the folder.
Note Do not share the folder in Windows Explorer as you normally
would for a file share. If you do not grant the Cluster account the appropriate
permissions or share the folder through Windows Explorer, it may cause the
cluster file share to fail. This also includes any administrative shares that
already exist, you do not want to create shares for the root of the drive (Q$)
- Start Cluster Administrator (CluAdmin.exe).
- Select a group that has an existing IP Address and Network
Name resources. If you do not have these resources created, you will need to
complete this before continuing. For additional
information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Using Microsoft Cluster Server to create a virtual server
- Right-click, and select New, then Resource.
- Fill in an administrative name and description for the
resource. From the Resource Type pull down, select "File Share", click Next.
Note This is the name that will be displayed in Cluster Administrator
and is only used for administrative purposes. This is not the share name that
users will connect to, give the resource a name that will be easy to identify
- Select the nodes that you want to be possible owners of
the resource. Click Next to leave all nodes as possible owners.
Note Possible Owners defines whether a resource is ever able to
failover to a specific node. Use extreme caution in defining Possible Owners
because defining a possible owner for a single resource will effect the
failover for the entire group.
- Select a Network Name and Physical Disk resource that the
file share will be dependent on.
Note Dependencies serve two functions.
a. They define the bindings for a resource. You want the file share to be dependent on the Network Name resource that clients are going to use when connecting to the file share. The IP Address resource that the Network Name resource is dependent upon is the IP Address that will be used when connecting to this share. You never want a file share resource to be dependent on the "Cluster Name" resource.
b. They define the start order for a resource. You want to make sure that the network name that the share is going to be created under and the physical disk where the folder resides that is going to be shared are online and available before attempting to bring the File Share online.
When creating a dependency 'Tree' it is best to keep it as simple as possible. A file share resource should always be dependent on a Network Name that the clients will use to connect to this share and Physical disk resource where the folder is located. The Physical Disk resource should never be dependent on anything. The Network Name resource should be dependent on a IP Address resource which the virtual server will be associated with. The IP Address resource should not be dependent on anything. See the following article for additional information:
Creating dependencies in Microsoft Cluster Server
- On the File Share Parameters screen fill in the following
information and click Finish:
a. The "Share Name" is the name of the share that will
be created for the UNC when clients connect. This needs to be a valid NetBIOS
name, and is recommended to be a valid URL name as well.
"Path" is the full path on the local node to the shared disk where the folder
is located. For example: T:\Users.
c. The "Comment" is the
information about the share that will appear when a client browses the
- By default, when resources are created, they are in an offline state. The following steps are a best practice. Follow them to isolate the effect of the resource failure on other production resources. This will help until the resource is ready to be brought into production for users.
- Right-click the resource, and then click Properties.
- Click the Advanced tab, click to select the Do not restart button, and then click OK.
- Bring the resource online. Make sure that it functions correctly.
- After you confirm that the resource functions correctly, and you are ready to bring it into production, take the resource offline. Then, click to select the Restart button.
- Bring the resource online.
- The 'User Limit' dialog can be used to limit the number of
- Click the "Permissions" button to set share level
permissions. Only domain level groups should be used in defining share level
permissions because local groups and user accounts do not reside on the other
node, and the permissions will not take effect when the file share is failed
over. The only exception to this is if all nodes in the cluster are domain
controllers. It is recommended to use NTFS permissions instead of share level
permissions on a server cluster.
- The 'Advanced' dialog can be used to create a Dynamic file
share or a DFS Root. The Advanced button was a feature that was added in Windows NT 4.0
Service Pack 4. If you are running Windows NT 4.0, but you do not see the Advanced button,
reapply Windows NT 4.0
Service Pack 4 or higher. For additional information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:
Implementing home folders on a server cluster
configure Dfs root on a Windows 2000 server cluster
When browsing the file share, file shares for other virtual
servers on the same cluster may be visible. Reference the following article for
An update to configure client-side caching on a Windows 2000 server cluster is available
If you are going to create a large number of file
share resources, it may be easier to script the creation using Cluster.exe. See
the following article for additional information:
Cluster shares appear in Browse list under other names
Article ID: 224967 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 5.3
- Microsoft Cluster Server 1.1, when used with:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
- Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
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