Installing the Failover Cluster Feature and Tools in Windows Server 2012

First published on MSDN on Apr 06, 2012

In this blog we will discuss the changes in  2012 as well as the different options for installing the Clustering feature.  This applies to 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows .

Windows Server 2012 continues with the Roles and Features model. All clustering technologies are considered Features, as they are infrastructure that enables Roles to be made highly available.

The Cluster feature consists of the following components as shown by the Windows Server PowerShell CmdLet Get-WindowsFeature:

Display Name Name Description
Clustering Failover-Clustering This installs the core Failover Clustering feature and all fundamental requirements.  It does not include any management tools.
Failover Cluster Management Tools RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt Includes the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in and the Cluster-Aware Updating interface.
Failover Cluster Module for Windows PowerShell RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell Includes Windows Powershell cmdlets for managing failover clusters.  It also includes the Cluster-Aware Updating module for Windows PowerShell, for installing software updates on failover clusters.
Failover Cluster Server RSAT-Clustering-AutomationServer Includes the deprecated Component Object Model (COM) programmatic interface, MSClus.
Failover Cluster Command Interface RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface Includes the deprecated cluster.exe command-line tool for Failover Clustering.  This tool has been replaced by the Failover Clustering module for Windows PowerShell.

Installing Failover Clustering feature using Server Manager

The Failover Clustering feature can be installed with either Server Manager or Windows PowerShell cmdlets.  In Server Manager, the Add Roles and Features Wizard is used to add roles andor features.  The Add Roles and Features Wizard are accessed in the Server Manager Menu bar by choosing
Add Roles and Features
from the list.

This starts the Add Roles and Features Wizard.  The Installation Type is
Role-based or feature-based installation

Be sure the correct server is selected in the
Server Selection

In the Features screen, select
Failover Clustering

A pop-up screen appears listing additional requirements for the feature

If you wish to install the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in and Failover Cluster PowerShell cmdlets, management tools, then click
Add Features

Confirm the selections and click

The installation of the Failover Clustering feature does not require a reboot, checking the
Restart the destination server automatically if required
check box is not necessary.

There are optional features available for the Failover Clustering feature administration tools.

These are deprecated features (Failover Cluster Command Interface (cluster.exe) and Failover Cluster Server) in Windows Server 2012 but are made available, as there are still some applications that may need them, being one of them.  Installing it may be necessary for any legacy you have built on the old Cluster.exe command line interface.

Once the Failover cluster feature is installed, the Failover Cluster Manager interface is available in the Tools category in the Menu bar.

Failover Cluster Manager is also available by right clicking on a node in the cluster in the All Servers view.

Failover Cluster Manager
opens the snap-in.

You are now ready to fun Validate and create your cluster!

See this doc for the steps of setting up the cluster now that you have the feature installed and are ready to go:

Installing Failover Cluster feature using Windows PowerShell

It is important to note that you must run these cmdlets in a PowerShell console that is opened with elevated privileges, which means opening it with the “Run as Administrator” option.

The following cmdlet will install the Failover Clustering feature and the management tools.

Note: If you do not specify the –IncludeManagementTools switch, the Failover Cluster Administrator and PowerShell cmdlets for cluster will not be installed.

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools

You can use the –ComputerName parameter to install the features on other servers without having to log into them.  Here is an example of the cmdlet to install the failover cluster feature and tools on a specified server, in this case “Foo”:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools –ComputerName Foo

If you would like to find the list of features and the names to specify in the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet, you can use this cmdlet:


Wildcards can be helpful to narrow down the returned set of features:

Get-WindowsFeature Failover*

The Get-WindowsFeature Failover* cmdlet will return the feature, but not the tools.  To get the tools you can use the following:

Get-WindowsFeature RSAT-Cluster*


This article was originally published by Microsoft’s Failover Clustering Blog. You can find the original article here.