Upgrading and what is new in Windows Server 2019 Clustering #winserv #RunWS2019 #WindowsServer2019

This blog post is the first of a series on Windows Server 2019. #MSIgnite is coming and there will be a lot of new features coming. So in preparation I’ll show you what is changed and how to build things in Windows Server 2019. In this there is a upgrade and some new functions to the Cluster.

  1. Hybrid: Windows Server 2019 and Windows Admin Center will make it easier for our customers to connect existing on-premises environments to Azure. With Windows Admin Center it also easier for customers on Windows Server 2019 to use Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and more services will be added over time.
  2. Security: Security continues to be a top priority for our customers and we are committed to helping our customers elevate their security posture. Windows Server 2016 started on this journey and Windows Server 2019 builds on that strong foundation, along with some shared security features with Windows 10, such as Defender ATP for server and Defender Exploit Guard.
  3. Application Platform: Containers are becoming popular as developers and operations teams realize the benefits of running in this new model. In addition to the work we did in Windows Server 2016, we have been busy with the Semi-Annual Channel releases and all that work culminates in Windows Server 2019. Examples of these include Linux containers on Windows, the work on the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and the smaller container images.
  4. Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI): If you are thinking about evolving your physical or host server infrastructure, you should consider HCI. This new deployment model allows you to consolidate compute, storage, and networking into the same nodes allowing you to reduce the infrastructure cost while still getting better performance, scalability, and reliability.


Installing the Windows Server 2019 is not different than 2016. There is an extra disk space warning menu.


As an upgrade I want to keep my files.


If you need to free up more disk space then there is a little warning. It may happen that the screen needs to refresh before you see the confirm option.


The upgrade is starting depending on the server speed it will take some time.image image

After the upgrade is done and the first logon the Server manager is starting and there is a popup of would you like to install Windows Admin Center.



Now that the upgrade is done we can take a look at the Cluster Changes. First if we check the Cluster Functional Level with PowerShell.

Get-Cluster | Select ClusterFunctionalLevel


This is now Version 10

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 functional level value of 8
  • Windows Server 2016 functional level value of 9
  • Windows Server 2019 functional level value of 10


Windows Server 2019 USB file Witness

The other big change is the placement of your witness files. this can now be on a USB device.


One of the quorum models for Failover Clustering is the ability to use a file share as a witness resource.  As a recap, the File Share Witness is designated a vote in the Cluster when needed and can act as a tie breaker in case there is ever a split between nodes (mainly seen in multi-site scenarios). See also my other blog posts https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/category/clustering/ 

This means NO kerberos, NO domain controller, NO certificates, and NO Cluster Name Object needed, and NO account needed on the nodes.

Simply plug your USB drive into the port in the router and get into your router’s interface.  In there, you can set up your share name, username, and password for access.  Use the PowerShell command above pointing it to the router and share, and you are good to go.  To answer your next question, this works with SMB 2.0 and above.  SMB 3.0 is not required for the witness type.


Setting up the share on my network device

Next is setting the Witness, this can only be done with PowerShell.

Set-ClusterQuorum -FileShareWitness \\SERVER\SHARE -Credential $(Get-Credential)


A credential popup, and type your account and password.


After this check your cluster and you can see the Witness is set.



Other Cluster Changes are there but not direct visible in the Gui PowerShell is needed/

When comparing the Storage space section there are some other options and more. Not all options are new some have a different value.


Windows Server 2019                                                                                                          Windows Server 2016


One of these changes is S2DBusTypes in Windows Server 2016 it has a value of 0 but it could be changed if you had different storage. (not supported)

I created a blog post about this to add USB storage to build a SOFS with clustered storage spaces. So enabling the options I start Building My Scaleout File Server with My USB thumbdrive Storage.


With a little help of this STORAGE_BUS_TYPE enumeration on MSDN we could do Fun things with some old disks.



In server 2019 it has a value of 396288 which is the the number of the supported disk types for Storage spaces direct.

S2DBusTypes                           : 396288

Changing these values is not best practice and could brake your cluster. Or bring unstable situations. 


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Author: Robert Smit [MVP]

Robert Smit is Senior Technical Evangelist and is a current Microsoft MVP in Clustering as of 2009. Robert has over 20 years experience in IT with experience in the educational, health-care and finance industries. Robert’s past IT experience in the trenches of IT gives him the knowledge and insight that allows him to communicate effectively with IT professionals who are trying to address real concerns around business continuity, disaster recovery and regulatory compliance issues. Robert holds the following certifications: MCT - Microsoft Certified Trainer, MCTS - Windows Server Virtualization, MCSE, MCSA and MCPS. He is an active participant in the Microsoft newsgroup community and is currently focused on Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, SQL Server, Azure and all things related to Cloud Computing and Infrastructure Optimalization. Follow Robert on Twitter @ClusterMVP Or follow his blog https://robertsmit.wordpress.com Linkedin Profile Http://nl.linkedin.com/in/robertsmit Robert is also capable of transferring his knowledge to others which is a rare feature in the field of IT. He makes a point of not only solving issues but also of giving on the job training of his colleagues. A customer says " Robert has been a big influence on our technical staff and I have to come to know him as a brilliant specialist concerning Microsoft Products. He was Capable with his in-depth knowledge of Microsoft products to troubleshoot problems and develop our infrastructure to a higher level. I would certainly hire him again in the future. " Details of the Recommendation: "I have been coordinating with Robert implementing a very complex system. Although he was primarily a Microsoft infrastructure specialist; he was able to understand and debug .Net based complext Windows applications and websites. His input to improve performance of applications proved very helpful for the success of our project

2 thoughts on “Upgrading and what is new in Windows Server 2019 Clustering #winserv #RunWS2019 #WindowsServer2019”

  1. Would you be able to expand on this “With a little help of this STORAGE_BUS_TYPE enumeration on MSDN” as the MSDN articke just lists the storage bus types. How do you change that type on the specific drives or interfaces so that the USB drives become eligible for S2D?

  2. As this is not supported and it was just for showing what you can do. Running S2D with USB is nice to show in a demo but not for production or any workload, the USB bus is way to slow so don’t use this.

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