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Incorrectly Configured Static Address when creating a DAG

On a recent Microsoft Exchange Installation for one of my customers, I encountered the following error message when trying to setup a Database Availability Group in Exchange 2010 SP1:

WriteError! Exception = Microsoft.Exchange.Cluster.Replay.DagTaskOperationFailedException: A server-side database availability group administrative operation failed. Error: The operation failed. CreateCluster errors may result from incorrectly configured static addresses. Error: An error occurred while attempting a cluster operation. Error: Cluster API ‘”AddClusterNode() (MaxPercentage=100) failed with 0x5b4. Error: This operation returned because the timeout period expired”‘ failed. —> Microsoft.Exchange.Cluster.Replay.AmClusterApiException: An Active Manager operation failed. Error: An error occurred while attempting a cluster operation. Error: Cluster API ‘”AddClusterNode() (MaxPercentage=100) failed with 0x5b4. Error: This operation returned because the timeout period expired”‘ failed. —> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: This operation returned because the timeout period expired.

This error seemed rather strange in that it was referencing an incorrectly configured static address. After reviewing the IP address settings on both nodes of the cluster and going over the Event Logs on each node of the cluster, I decided to start Failover Cluster Manager to try to create a Cluster manually and to run the Cluster Validation Wizard. After running the Cluster Validation Wizard I was presented with the following error messages regarding the network configuration:

After reviewing the Cluster Validation Wizard’s output further I determined that the Local Area Connection in question was the Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter as shown below:


It seemed rather odd to me at first, that both nodes of the cluster had the same MAC Address assigned to the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter. In preparation for this project and due to the fact that more Mailbox servers were going to be built, a base image with all the pre-requisites for a Mailbox server had been installed including Failover Cluster Manager. In order to resolve the issue I had to remove reinstall Failover Cluster Manager from one of the nodes at which time a different MAC Address was assigned to the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter.

There is actually a Microsoft KB article that describes a similar issue in more detail: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969256

My suggestion is to start with a base image of each server with the most up-to-date Service Pack with all recent Windows Updates applied. With Server 2008 R2 it’s rather easy and doesn’t take much time to install all the required pre-requisites from PowerShell, and with the release of Server 2008 R2 SP1 you don’t have to install all the required Hotfixes anymore as they are included.

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