This would create a quandary because installing the driver would mean that the cluster solution was technically unsupported by Microsoft (because it was not listed in its entirety on the Windows Server Catalog Web site).
After the vendor verified the solution, it would be listed on the Windows Server Catalog Web site.
For a proposed solution to qualify, it had to appear in its entirety on the Windows Server Catalog Web site ( Before a proposed solution could appear on this Web site, the vendor was required to run a series of tests (provided by Microsoft) on the hardware and then upload the results to Microsoft.
For more information about this method for qualifying clusters, see Knowledge Base article 309395, "The Microsoft support policy for server clusters, the Hardware Compatibility List, and the Windows Server Catalog" on the Microsoft Web site at:
Link Id=112287 This method for qualifying clusters introduced several challenges for hardware partners.
In Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the way that clusters are qualified is changing significantly with the introduction of the cluster validation wizard.
The cluster validation wizard is a feature that is integrated into failover clustering in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
With the cluster validation wizard, you can run a set of focused tests on a collection of servers that you intend to use as nodes in a cluster.
This cluster validation process tests the underlying hardware and software directly, and individually, to obtain an accurate assessment of how well failover clustering can be supported on a given configuration.
Since the entire end-to-end solution had to be qualified, including every component down to the driver and firmware level, if just one component changed after the certification process, the entire solution had to be retested and submitted, because it was then considered to be a different solution.
One common scenario was for a customer to check the Windows Server Catalog Web site, purchase a listed solution and then after a few months, find that the manufacturer had released a host bus adapter (HBA) driver that was recommended for installation.
For a failover cluster in Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to be considered an officially supported solution by Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS), the solution must meet the following criteria.
The Microsoft support policy is also described in Knowledge Base article 943984, "The Microsoft Support Policy for Windows Server 2008 Failover Clusters" on the Microsoft Web site at: