I have Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 running in both nodes of my cluster. In my case everything is working fine without witness. I need Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) for availability group which I'm using as DR solution.

When both nodes are running, I'm shutting down one node (which has primary database of my AG) and do failover of Availability group from another and vice-versa. Can someone please explain why we need a witness in two node failover cluster or how can I recreate that scenario in which we'll need a witness.


1 Answer 1


Straight from the docs, with a two-node cluster without a witness:

One node's vote is zeroed, so the majority vote is determined out of a total of 1 vote. If the non-voting node goes down unexpectedly, the survivor has 1/1 and the cluster survives. If the voting node goes down unexpectedly, the survivor has 0/1 and the cluster goes down. If the voting node is gracefully powered down, the vote is transferred to the other node, and the cluster survives. This is why it's critical to configure a witness.

Understanding cluster and pool quorum

And you can simply use Cloud Witness, so you don't need a shared disk, third node, or file share.

  • I have already gone through the docs but still I'm confused. Whenever I'm shutting down one of the nodes, cluster isn't failing.The other node which is running is simply gets a vote and I'm able to force-manual failover of the database of AG from the one I shutdown(which has primary database) to the other which is running(my secondary database).I don't see any reason to use witness.
    – hg1735
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 4:33
  • 1
    dba.stackexchange.com/questions/193076/… In this article, It's written then when one of the server crashes, qourum doesn't have time to transfer vote so can I recreate that scenario.
    – hg1735
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 4:36
  • In WSFC (Windows server 2019 onpremise) node, where can I check whether or not dynamic quorum and dynamic witness is enabled on WSFC?
    – variable
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 7:24

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