The operation failed because either the specified cluster node is not the owner of the group, or the node is not a possible owner of the group

So, you have a clustered SQL Server instance (FCI), you try to move (fail over) the entire role to another node of the cluster and you get the below error message:

Error Code: 0x80071398
The operation failed because either the specified cluster node is not the owner of the group, or the node is not a possible owner of the group

This error message is quite self-explanatory but hey, if you are under pressure at the time you get this error, you might need some help. This short, straight to the point post is here to help you.

So, if we are talking about a SQL Server Failover Clustered Instance (FCI) on a Windows Cluster, then there are 2 things that you should definitely check.


Check 1

You need to make sure that you have indeed added SQL Server as a node to the cluster via SQL Server’s Installation Center – “Add node to SQL Server failover cluster”


Check 2

In Failover Cluster Manager, go to the SQL Server role that does not fail over to the other node(s), then to the “Resources” tab (see the bottom of the screen on the left), enter the Properties (right click – properties) for every single resouce (i.e. disks, network name, IP, SQL Server service, SQL Server Agent service, etc.) and by navigating to the “Advanced Policies” tab make sure that the node onto which you are trying to move the SQL Server role is checked as a Possible Owner.


Well, that’s it! I don’t think that there is anything else to check for the specific error message, rather the above two things.

Good luck!

P.S. Drop me a line if you found this tip useful!

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Artemakis Artemiou
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server Architect, Author, and a 9 Times Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub and Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA).