In this Blog post, let’s focus on where/how we can review Failover Cluster Logs on Windows Server 2008 and above. As most of us know on Windows Server 2003 Cluster, we used to have “cluster.log” file on each node participating in cluster, which contains debug information. FYI, One can locate these files in “%systemroot% \ cluster” Folder. But how about cluster log files in Windows Server 2008/2008R2?? Uhuhh…It’s not something which you can review directly by navigating to systemroot folder. Below is the screenshot of that folder in my cluster.
You can see a folder called “REPORTS” in the above screenshot where all the cluster Validation Reports will be stored by default. attaching below Screenshot Just to prove, that cluster.log file can’t be located in the “reports” folder as well 🙂
Starting Windows Server 2008, cluster logs are managed by something called as “Windows Event Tracing“. Just an FYI, If you are interested, You can pull all the current running traces by opening “perfmon” and navigating to Data Collector Sets. (Shown Below in the Screenshot)
So, as any other logs, cluster logs are stored in “C:\Windows\System32\winevt\Logs” folder with “etl” extension as you can see below.
Well, so How to read those .ETL files??
For that, we have to use “cluster.exe” command with “/gen” switch. Basically this will generate a human readable text file in your “Reports” folder.
Syntax: Cluster log /gen
As you can see in the above Screenshot, it will communicate with all the nodes in your cluster. In my scenario, Node2 is offline(Powered down). BTW, even though Node2 is down, it will create “Cluster.txt” file in your Reports Folder with related information.
So, how to generate Logs related to a specific Node?
You have to use “/NODE” switch with your cluster log syntax. Please see below Screenshot.
As you can see, this time, we had no RPC Errors.
So, there is lot to explore/learn in 2008 Failover Clustering, if you are using 2003 since long time, things got changed drastically. There are lot of other options/switches available with cluster.exe. Even you can limit the size if you are interested. BTW, everything which I’ve shown here can be achieved via Powershell Cmdlets as well!
Hope this is informative….