A. Creating a cluster in Server 2008 using the cluster.exe command follows essentially the same process as creating a cluster by using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Failover Cluster Management snap-in. The process essentially consists of telling the Create Cluster Wizard the nodes that will be in the cluster and then the network name and static IP address (if dynamic IP isn’t used on the NICs).

Before you attempt to create a Server 2008 cluster, you need to install the Server 2008 Failover Clustering feature. If you’re running Server Core, you’d use the following command to install failover clustering:

start /w ocsetup FailoverCluster-Core

On a full Server 2008 installation, you can install failover clustering by running this command:

servermanagercmd -install Failover-Clustering

(Of course, you can also use the MMC Server Manager snap-in to install features, but here we’re concentrating on the command line.) To create a Server 2008 cluster from the command line, run cluster.exe using the following format:

cluster /cluster:<netname for cluster> /create /nodes:"node1> <node2>" /ipaddress:<IP address>/<subnet mask>

Here’s a cluster.exe command example and its ouput:

C:\>cluster /cluster:savdalclusfs01 /create /nodes:"savdalclus01 savdalclus02" /ipaddress:192.168.1.105/255.255.255.0

4% Initializing Cluster savdalclusfs01.
9% Validating cluster state on node savdalclus01.
13% Searching the domain for computer object savdalclusfs01
18% Verifying computer object savdalclusfs01 in the domain
22% Configuring computer object savdalclusfs01 as cluster name object
27% Validating installation of the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter on node savdalclus01.
31% Validating installation of the Cluster Disk Driver on node savdalclus01.
36% Configuring Cluster Service on node savdalclus01.
40% Validating installation of the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter on node savdalclus02.
45% Validating installation of the Cluster Disk Driver on node savdalclus02.
50% Configuring Cluster Service on node savdalclus02.
54% Starting Cluster Service on node savdalclus01.
54% Starting Cluster Service on node savdalclus02.
59% Forming cluster savdalclusfs01.
63% Adding cluster common properties to savdalclusfs01.
68% Creating resource types on cluster savdalclusfs01.
72% Creating group 'Cluster Group'.
72% Creating group 'Available Storage'.
77% Creating IP Address resource 'Cluster IP Address'.
81% Creating Network Name resource 'savdalclusfs01'.
86% Searching the domain for computer object savdalclusfs01
90% Verifying computer object savdalclusfs01 in the domain
95% Configuring computer object savdalclusfs01 as cluster name object
100% Bringing resource group 'Cluster Group' online.

When you create a cluster at the command line, disk resources are not added automatically and Node Majority will be used as the quorum mode. I’ll discuss how to add disk resources in the next FAQ, "Q. How can I add disk resources to a Windows Server 2008 cluster from the command line?"

The screencast below takes you through using the command line to perform this and other Server 2008 cluster-configuration tasks.