MSDTC Resource and Confusing KB 301600

by Bharat Suneja on June 24, 2004

Microsoft KB 301600 talks about how to install the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) resource on a Windows Server 2003 cluster.

STEP 8: In Dependencies, press and hold the CTRL key on the keyboard, select both the Physical Disk and Network Name that you created in step 2, and then click the Add button

But STEP 2 has nothing to do with creating a Network Name and Physical Disk resource!! Instead, it talks about the procedure for starting Cluster Administrator!!! :

2. Start Cluster Administrator. To do so:
a. Click Start, and then point to All Programs
b. In Administrative Tools, click Cluster Administrator.

What needs to be done

Assuming you’ve already created the Cluster Group resources (IP, Network Name and Physical Disk for quorum), you already know how to create new Groups and Resources…
1. Create a separate cluster group for MSDTC – let’s call it “MSDTC Group
2. Create an IP Address resource for MSDTC, assign a unique static IP address, no dependencies
3. Create a Network Name resouce for MSDTC – let’s call it “MSDTC“. Choose the IP Address as dependency
4. Make sure MSDTC is enabled for network (KB817064) by going to Add/Remove Programs | Windows Components | Application Server | check Enable Network DTC Access

Enabling network access for MSDTC

At the time of writing, KBA 301600 included a reference to KBA 817064 to enable network access for MSDTC. However, it’s a security best practice to not enable network access, as noted in updated Exchange Server 2003 doc: How to Install the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator in a Windows Server 2003 Server Cluster.

5. Create a new resource of type: Distributed Transaction Coordinator, select Network Name & Physical Disk as dependencies
6. When done, right-click on the MSDTC Group and select Bring Online

You can install Exchange Server 2003 Ent only after configuring the MSDTC resource.

(Note: Since this item was posted, KB 301600 has undergone many revisions & editions. As of Oct 1, 2007, the KBA is on version 23.0. – Bharat)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ashish Vazirani November 22, 2006 at 6:19 pm

I read your post on changing Ip address on the cluster. However I was looking to find out if anyone had worked on a GeoCluster.

I have been testing one but haven’t been able to get it to work. Although the cluster is setup correctly only the nodes on the local network can be added, I have setup a VLan to another network subnet but the cluster wizard while adding a node gives a peculiar error in relation to the public and private NICcard.

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