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Typical Failover Cluster Operation
Cluster members monitor each others health by heartbeating over multiple communication channels (network, serial, proprietary).
Start cluster services when the other member is down.
The hard part -- knowing when the other member is down. A credible commercial cluster offering must address:
- True system failure - system died, crashed, lost power
- Planned maintenance, clean shutdown
- Communications partition (ie, network outage)
- System hangs (with subsequent resurrection)