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Jun 22

Microsoft SQL Failover Cluster – Part 1

If you’ve been reading the blog then you will have seen the videos I posted on setting up a Microsoft Hyper-V failover cluster. The next step in our plan was to create a Microsoft SQL failover cluster within the Hyper-V cluster. Sounds strange, well setting it up took some working out and reconfiguration of the SAN so I thought I would put down the steps in writing.

Before I continue I have to thank Chris McKinley at Twynham School for listeing to me and answering quite a lot of questions. Follow him on twitter @crmckinley

SAN Configuration

The videos I published in the other posts showed a simple SAN configuration with a quorum disk and a data disk. For a normal run of the mill Hyper-V cluster this is fine but as I found you really should give some thought to how you intend to use your cluster. Because I plan on having  a SQL cluster within the Hyper-V cluster I need to configure the SAN accordingly. Also one of the prerequisites for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to work in a clustered environment is that MSDTC is also clustered as a separate highly available service. So the diagrams below show how I now have my SAN disks setup.

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The data disk set capacity is all used up so if we need more space then it will require more disks, I have left some spare capacity on the disk set dedicated to the Quorum for any more clusters I decide to setup.

Install the OS

This is fairly straightforward, create a new highly available virtual machine and install the OS as you would for a physical server, you need a minimum of 2 servers for the failover cluster

Create iSCSI connections

In this post I showed you our cluster design and mentioned that on 2 servers the iSCSI NIC’s were available to the Hyper-V system.

To do this navigate to the Hyper-V manager and select Virtual Network Manager

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Click on Add and create 2 new virtual networks based on the iSCSI physical network cards

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You will then need to assign the correct IP addresses to the networks on the virtual machine

Install Failover Feature

Once the OS is installed and you have assigned IP’s to the relevant NICS then you need to install the failover cluster feature as you would for any physical server and the same way I showed you in the video on this post

In Windows Server 2008 R2 failover clustering is a feature, so from server manager add the feature to the 2 servers. No reboot is required

Cluster Validation

You will then need to validate the servers for your cluster. To do this run the failover cluster manager and select validate cluster (the video above shows you how to do this) Once validation is passed we can then move onto installing SQL which will be in part 2.

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