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How to Create Failback Policies

In this article, we show you how to set up Failback policies so that each node in the Cluster has a group “assigned” to it, referred to as an Active/Active configuration. This is beneficial in the case of a File and Print Cluster (or Cluster with two print spoolers). The reason for this is so that you can manually distribute the load out across multiple nodes in the cluster to take better advantage of available resources.

Failover Clustering has the ability to define a specific node in the cluster as the preferred node that is to own a particular group. If for any reason this node fails or goes offline, you can set the Cluster service to automatically move these groups back to the node that you want to. This is useful in statically load-balancing the nodes in your cluster. This is referred to as Failover and Failback policies.

The first thing to differentiate is between what a “possible” owner and a “preferred” owner is. Possible Owner defines whether a resource is ever able to failover to a specific node. Use extreme caution in defining Possible Owners because defining a possible owner for a single resource will affect the failover for the entire group. This is defined under the properties of the individual resources. If you bring up the properties of a group, you will see a Preferred Owners box. As a default, this is left blank.

When you configure a group to automatically failback to the preferred node, you specify whether you want the group to failback as soon as the preferred node is available or to failback only during specific hours that you define. This option is useful if you want the failback to occur after peak business hours, or if you want to make sure the preferred node is able to support the group when it does come back online. The “Preferred Owner” of a group must be specified for failback to occur.


The preferred owner is the node that one configures to (under normal operating circumstances) to host the group. Furthermore, on a resource level, the resource must be configured to have both nodes as "Possible Owners" for the resource to failover.


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