Creating a Hyper-V Failover Cluster on Domain where you have Limited Rights (NetID)


We are using Windows Server 2012.

Question: “Datacenter or Standard?”

It’s a licensing question.  To my knowledge (I’m sure this can change at any time) Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2012 are the same software, with the same features.  The difference is that Datacenter (which costs more) will let you install an unlimited number of virtual machines, all running Windows Server, without requiring you to purchase windows licenses for any of those Virtual Machines.  Standard Edition allows you to create two Windows Server virtual machines without any additional cost. Virtualizing server you already have the license for, or linux computers, doesn’t count against your two.

My understanding is that there also a free version of Windows Server, which contains neither any kind of graphical user interface, nor any Windows licenses for Virtual Machines.  This could be well suited for Linux Virtualization, if you don’t need the GUI.


– To create a Hyper-V Failover Cluster, all hosts are running Windows Server 2012.

– They need to be joined to a domain.  I used, where I have a designated OU which I can join computers to already.

– They need proper, resolvable DNS names.

– Special Admin Access:

By my IT Department, and possibly in your own limited/restricted access domain setup, I am instructed to use a special Domain Admin user to run the Active Directory Users and Computers program (by using right-click, Run as a Different User) and pre-creating the computer in the domain, in my down designated OU.  Running the Create Cluster Wizard actually adds a Failover Cluster “computer” to the domain—you can’t pre-create this “computer” in the domain like I’m instructed to do normally.  The solution is to right-click, Run as a Different User the Create Cluster Wizard, but that Domain Admin user also needs to be Administrator on the machine for this to work.  We’ll go over how to do this in the instructions.

Join the Servers to the Domain

Follow the instructions in this post to join your computers to the NetID Domain:

Add a Computer to the Netid Domain using a Designated OU from UW-IT

Add SADM_ netid to the administrators group.

Right-click Start, click Computer Management

Click Local Users and Groups

Click Groups

Right-click Administrators

Click Properties

Click Add…

Put your special domain joiner user here.  For style points, I chose to use a special UW Group that UW-IT created called netid\u_windowsinfrastructure_fmdata_ouadmins (fmdata is my designed OU)

Click Check Names to make sure you spelled it right, then Click OK, OK

Install the Hyper-V and Failover Software/Roles

In the Server Manager, click Manage->Add Roles and Features

Click Next

Select Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next

Make sure the server is highlighted and click next.

Check Hyper-V if this cluster is going to run Virtual Machines.  If we’re just creating a clustered storage device, leave this unchecked.

Click Next

Check Failover Clustering

Click Add Features

Click Next

Click Install

Create the Failover Cluster

Remember, we can’t just click Server Manager -> Tools -> Failover Cluster Manager because we need to run as our special user that can edit the Domain/Designated OU which we got from UW-IT (sadm_yournetid).  SO:

Click Start

Start Typing “Failover Cluster Manager” when you see that windows finds it, right-click and click Run As a Different User (if this doesn’t appear, try holding left-shift while you right right).

Username: netid\sadm_yournetid

Password: your special sadm password

Click OK

In the Failover Cluster Manager click Validate Configuration…

Click Next

Enter the name of the first computer and press enter.  For example: fmdata-vmnas1.  Windows populates the box below with the complete dns name.  Run an nslookup on this name, if it doesn’t work, you may as well abort the cluster creation now and get that sorted out, because the cluster manager WILL fail.

Enter the name of the second computer you want in the Cluster and press enter (do another nslookup, add more hosts, etc,etc)

Click Next

Select Run all tests (Recommended) and click Next

Click Next, be prepared to wait a while – coffee run is advised.

Click View Report and review this.

Make sure that Create the cluster now using the validated nodes… is checked k4cjqhe.

Click Finish (Create Cluster Wizard Opens)

Create Cluster Wizard

Click Next

The INTERESTING PART!  You might be tempted to simply enter a computer name here and hit next.  Nope!  Enter something like this:


CN= is the computer name that will be added to the domain.  All of ours start with our designed OU name- (eg fmdata-)

OU= is here twice, notice.  The first is the name of our designated OU, the second one… just says Delegated and should be there for some reason.

DC= is here three times!  Our Domain Controller is, for some reason instead of periods you need to separate each URL part with another ,DC= if your domain controller was simple, I think you would simply have two DC=’s, as in: DC=mydc, DC=com.  Exciting stuff, right?

Click Next, click Next

Click Finish

Click the Arrow to expand the item which is the dns name of your new cluster.

Click Nodes

Whoa, there are your two computers, each having the status “Up” …Great job!


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