About Me

Long time MCT, technical trainer and consultant. I freelance for clients big and small. Consulting and teaching my way round the world

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Tel: 07970012133

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A poem for programmers

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Cluster Aware Updating

Clustering in Windows Server has always had a bad reputation with high performance computing when compared to the alternative in the *nix worlds. Things though are getting better, with much simpler and reliable interfaces with server 2012 good integration with server manager and a new found role supporting the back end of Hyper-V high availability.

One thing that has always been a pain in the rear when it came to building and maintaining your cluster was keeping it up to date and happy with the masses of Windows updates that make their way to your networks every patch Tuesday. You may have had some expensive 3rd party system or a whole library of scripts to maintain these updates in your cluster without ever having downtime and they were never the easiest things to figure out. If you had a small 2-3 node cluster, taking a node out to update and dropping it back in was not all that hard. Scale it to 16 nodes and 'ain't nobody got time for that!'

With Windows 2012 and Windows 8 there is a new method to play with. Cluster Aware Updating.

The front end to this little tool will sit either on your Windows 8 workstation or a Sever 2012 box you have sitting in your environment. You can interface with it via powershell as you would expect from a Windows Server 2012 feature, yet the GUI does just what it says on the tin.

Fire the tool at your cluster and it will check for all Windows updates that need applying, download those updates to each node in the cluster and scale out the update process for you, moving around any highly available services you might have running in your cluster so if everything works as planned then you wil not have any downtime to have to manually drop nodes in and out to keep the whole cluster in line.

Check out the below video for more information and a quick demo on Cluster Aware Updating.