When the Cluster service initially starts, it attempts to join an existing cluster. For this to occur, the Cluster service must be able to contact an existing cluster node. If the join procedure does not succeed, the cluster continues to the form stage; the main requirement of this stage is the ability to mount the quorum device.
These are the steps in the startup process in order:
• Authenticate the Service account.
• Load the local copy of the cluster database.
• Use information in the local database to try to contact other nodes to begin the join procedure. If a node is contacted and authentication is successful, the join procedure is successful.
• If no other node is available, the Cluster service uses the information in the local database to mount the quorum device and updates the local copy of the database by loading the latest checkpoint file and replaying the quorum log.