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  1. Backup • A backup of the cluster includes the system state, the node, and the cluster disk.

  2. Backing up the cluster is no different from backing up Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server. It is recommended that you perform regular backups by using the Windows 2000 Backup program (NTBackup), or other compatible backup programs. Additional backup agents are still necessary to back up applications running on the cluster, such as Microsoft SQL Server™ and Microsoft Exchange. • Note: A cluster-aware backup program will be able to perform the same backup operations as NTBackup, especially with regard to backing up the System State and the cluster configuration database.

  3. Backing Up the System State • The configuration information for the cluster is located on the registry on each node (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Cluster). The Backup tool that is included with Windows 2000 backs up the cluster database when you back up each node’s system state. • NTBackup backs up the system state on each node. The system state includes: • The quorum log. • The local registry. • The Cluster registry hive.

  4. Backing Up the Local Disk • Follow standard computer backup procedures to back up the operating system and the data on the local drives. You must also back up key cluster files on the local disks. • On each node, back up the cluster database files: • %systemroot%\cluster\CLUSDB • %systemroot%\cluster\CLSUDB.LOG • On each node, back up the clustering service: • %systemroot%\cluster\*.* • Note: Backup is essential, but regular testing to make sure that backups and restores actually work as expected is also necessary. A good practice is to schedule test backup and restore operations frequently.

  5. Backing Up the Cluster Disks • It is critical to back up cluster files on the quorum disk and data on the cluster disks, because Cluster service will write information to files in the \mscsdirectory on the quorum disk and cluster-aware applications will likely be placing data on the cluster disk. Because either node of the cluster could own the cluster disk resource at any time, it is possible for each node to back up the data on the drive. However, having each node back up data would require you to install backup hardware and software on each cluster node, which is not the best solution.

  6. One possibility is to identify a nonclustered server running Windows 2000 Server and schedule it to back up data remotely through a network connection to the Cluster disk’s administrative share or a hidden share that you create. For example, you might create FBackup$, GBackup$, HBackup$, and WBackup$ file share resources on the virtual server for the root of drives F, G, H, and W. F, G, and H would be cluster disks with data, and W would be the drive letter for the quorum disk. Hidden shares would not appear in a browse list and you could configure them to allow access only to members of the Backup Operators group.