Speeding Up Microsoft Cluster Failover Tips-n-Tricks

Speeding Up Failover Tips-n-Tricks

Failover clustering is one of the greatest high availability feature provided by Microsoft in Windows Servers to reduce any application or service downtime. And MS has always improved thie feature in every latest version and releases of windows server. In this blog we will discuss some tips and tricks to speed up the cluster failover to reduce downtime.

  1. Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP – Unless you need legacy OS compatibility, NetBIOS is doing you nothing but slow you down.  You want to disable NetBIOS in a couple different places:
    1. Every Cluster IP Address resources – Here is the syntax (again, this needs to be set on all IP Address resources).  Note: NetBIOS is disabled on all Cluster IP Addresses in Windows Server 2016 by default.
      Get-ClusterResource “Cluster IP address” | Set-ClusterParameter EnableNetBIOS 0


    1. Base Network Interfaces – In the Advanced TCP/IP Settings, go to the WINS tab, and select “Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.  This needs to be done on every network interface.


  1. Go Pure IPv6 – Going pure IPv6 will give faster failover as a result of optimizations in how Duplication Address Detection (DAD) works in the TCP/IP stack.
  1. Avoid IPSec on Servers – Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is a great security feature, especially for client scenarios. But it comes at a cost, and really should not be used on servers. Specifically enabling a single IPSec policy will reduce overall network performance by ~30% and significantly delay failover times.

A few things I’ve found you can do to speed up failover and reduce downtime.

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