I remember when I first started using Microsoft Cluster Servers with SQL 2000 and Exchange 2003, and I had plenty of experiences (good and bad) especially once when I lost the quorum disk and I was due to go on holiday the next day! When I saw this topic on the VCAP-DCA blueprint I thought ‘oh’. Funnily enough, whilst I have had plenty of experience with physical clusters, I’ve never had to implement clustering in a vSphere environment. Due to certain complexities of MSCS you can achieve unwanted downtime (such as when I lost the quorum disk, or through mis-configuration) and can be a headache in itself. I’m not sure to what level the VCAP-DCA exam will require us to configure MSCS, but I am confident that it’s just configure the vSphere environment and not the other things you would normally have to do (SAN zoning, shared quorum disk, etc).
The first and only document I will use for this section on MSCS is Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service, and it’s only 36 pages so don’t worry you won’t be spending the next three weeks on MSCS alone! In fact, the VCAP-DCA blueprint lists each section in order on this document so it’s a safe bet!