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Mac Clients and Microsoft Cluster Services

Special Report

Last updated Oct 24, 2005


If you'd like to share your experiences with Macs and MS Cluster Services, let us know.

On this page:

Microsoft links:


General information

Microsoft Clustering Services links Windows Servers together. If one server fails, others can take over for it.

Microsoft Servers do not support Services for Macintosh in Windows when it is installed on a shared cluster array. Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q243839 describes why. For Windows NT:

In Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, this is because of architectural restraints imposed by AppleTalk.

For Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003:

SFM is not supported because SFM maintains state information in memory. Specifically, the Macintosh volume index is located in paged pool memory. Using SFM in clustered mode is not supported and may result in data loss.

There are two third-party AFP servers for Windows servers do support Mac file sharing and printer sharing on Microsoft Cluster Servers. These are Cyan Software's MacServerIP and Group Logic's ExtremeZ-IP File Server and Print Server.

MS Cluster Support in MacServerIP

Cyan's MacServerIP has supported Microsoft Cluster Servers since before 1999. The company now offers the MacServerIP Cluster Edition, which it calls a "special optimized version for Windows NT Cluster; Windows 2000 Datacenter/Advanced and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter/Enterprise."

In a cluster failover, volumes are immediately available. The company also makes this claim:

MacServerIP is currently the only AFP/IP server which allows to use only the Virtual IP number of the cluster software; this feature is required for a cluster fail-over solution.

If you've had recent experience with MacServerIP and MS Cluster Servers

Cluster Support in ExtremeZ-IP

ExtremeZ-IP is two products, the ExtremeZ-IP File Server and the ExtremeZ-IP Print Server. Version 4.0 and later support Micorosoft clustering. (Older versions do not.)

ExtremeZ-IP File Server

The clustering features of the File Server include:

For more information, see Group Logic's web page called Clustering in ExtremeZ-IP File Server.

ExtremeZ-IP Print Server

The clustering features of the Print Server include:

For more information, see Group Logic's web page called Clustering in ExtremeZ-IP Print Server.

If you've had recent experience with ExtremeZ-IP file or printer servers and Microsoft Cluster Services


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