Use the following procedure to add a failover cluster created in any of the following versions of the Windows Server 2008 operating system to VMM as a host cluster: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, or Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition. VMM 2008 supports creating and managing highly available virtual machines, also known as HAVMs, on host clusters.

VMM 2008 also can manage highly available virtual machines on clustered VMware ESX Server hosts. The host cluster must be created in VMware VirtualCenter. To add a VMware host cluster to VMM, you add the VirtualCenter server that is managing the cluster to VMM. For more information, see Managing a VMware Infrastructure in VMM (
Before you begin
  1. Create the failover cluster by using the Failover Cluster Management snap-in of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Before you create the cluster, you must run validation wizard using Failover Cluster Manager to ensure that the configuration of your servers, networks, and storage meets a set of specific requirements for failover clusters. For more information, see Hyper-V Step-by-Step Guide: Testing Hyper-V and Failover Clustering (

  2. Ensure that the host cluster is in a domain that is trusted by the domain of the VMM server.

    Unlike stand-alone hosts in VMM, host clusters must be in an Active Directory domain that has a two-way trust relationship with the domain that contains the VMM server. VMM does not support managing a host cluster in an Active Directory domain that is not trusted or managing a host cluster on a perimeter network. The failover cluster can be in a disjointed namespace.

For detailed information about host cluster requirements in VMM, see Configuring a Host Cluster in VMM to Support Highly Available Virtual Machines (

After completing the prerequisites, you can add the host cluster to VMM as you would any stand-alone host, by using the Add Hosts Wizard. When you specify either the name of the cluster or the name of any node in the cluster, VMM discovers all nodes of the failover cluster, enables the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 if needed, and adds the host cluster to VMM.

When you add a virtual machine host or library server, VMM remotely installs a VMM agent on the managed computer. The VMM agent deployment process uses both the Server Message Block (SMB) ports and the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) port (TCP 135) and the DCOM port range. You can use either SMB packet signing or IPSec to help secure the agent deployment process. You can also install VMM agents locally on hosts, discover them in the VMM Administrator Console, and then control the host by using only the WinRM port (default port 80) and BITS port (default port 443).
To add a host cluster to VMM
  1. In any view in the VMM Administrator Console, in the Actions pane, click Add hosts to open the Add Hosts Wizard.

  2. On the Select Host Location page, click Windows Server-based host on an Active Directory domain and type the credentials for a domain account with administrative rights on all of the cluster nodes. Ensure that the Host is in a trusted domain check box is selected. Then click Next.

  3. On the Select Host Servers page, in the Computer name box, type either the name of the cluster or the name of any node in the cluster, and then click Add.

    If you specify a node of the cluster, the name of the host should be the NetBIOS name, not the IP address.

    Do not skip Active Directory name verification. If you do, the wizard will add the host as a stand-alone host instead of discovering the cluster nodes.

    When you specify the name of a Windows Server 2008 failover cluster or a node in a Windows Server 2008 failover cluster, the Add Hosts Wizard discovers all nodes in the cluster and adds them to VMM.

    If any nodes of the failover cluster do not have Hyper-V enabled, VMM will enable Hyper-V on those nodes and then will re-start those nodes.
  4. On the Configuration Settings page, do the following:

    1. In the Host group box, specify the host group that will contain the host cluster.

      In VMM, host groups are used for delegating administration, for managing virtual machine self-service, and for setting the scope for host-level actions that are performed in Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO). The host group determines the default host reserves. In VMM 2008 R2, the host group also determines whether non-encrypted file transfers are allowed on the hosts. For more information, see About Host Groups.

    2. If any of the cluster nodes is a host or a library server that is currently being managed by another VMM server, select the Reassociate host with this Virtual Machine Manager server check box to associate those hosts with the current VMM server.

  5. On the Host Properties page, enter specifications for remote connections in the Remote connection area. By default, the Enable remote connections to virtual machines on these hosts check box is selected and set to use the global default port setting.

    1. To disable remote connections, clear the Enable remote connections to virtual machines on these hosts check box.

    2. To use a different port for remote connections, enter a value from 1–65,535 in the Remote connection port box.

      If you specify a setting other than the default port setting, you will need to enter a firewall exception for the port on each cluster node.
      To change the global default port setting, see How to Configure Remote Access to Virtual Machines.
    For an ESX Server host cluster, you cannot enable security for remote connections by using the Add Hosts Wizard. To enable security, you must modify the host properties in the VMM Administrator Console after you add the cluster. For more information about enabling security for remote connections, see How to Change Remote Connections to Virtual Machines on a Host.
    When you add a host cluster, you do not specify default virtual machine paths, as you would for a stand-alone host. For a host cluster, VMM automatically manages the paths that are available for virtual machines based on the shared storage that is available in storage groups.
  6. On the Summary page, click Add Hosts.

Additional Resources

For the most up-to-date Help information, go to the Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Help Online. To find additional Virtual Machine Manager 2008 documentation, go to the Virtual Machine Manager 2008 TechCenter Library.