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Creating A SQL Server 2008\2008 R2 Failover Cluster Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:21 AM
Old Hand

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What about patching? If you have to patch to install and you have a cluster, you can failover to one node and patch the other, then fail back and patch ther other node. The benefit is there's no loss of availability--while you're patching. I mention this as it might a reason to cluster usnig VMware. I suppose it depends on your requirements in terms of availability.

Any thoughts?
Post #1050245
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:21 AM
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Would it be possible to get the complete tutorial for the VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install?
Post #1050247
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:29 AM
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we have 3 clusters and it's always downtime in patching the SQL service packs. with windows patches you can do the inactive nodes at any time you want

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Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:33 AM


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alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)
and one other point, adding new drives to a cluster is another pain in the *****. you have to take the entire instance down to add a new drive

certainly not with Windows 2008 clusters and i can't say i ever have with Windows 2003 clusters either


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Post #1050260
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:35 AM
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we run sql 2005 and windows 2003

to add a new drive letter to an instance you have to take the instance down. i believe it's because you had to add it as a dependency to the SQL service.

on a stand alone SQL server you just add a letter


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Post #1050262
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:41 AM
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alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)
we run sql 2005 and windows 2003

to add a new drive letter to an instance you have to take the instance down. i believe it's because you had to add it as a dependency to the SQL service.

on a stand alone SQL server you just add a letter


Thanks Alen. All of these are really good useability benefits of using SQL on VMWare... the main drawback seems to be a relatively small decrease in the availabilty as you will lose the ability to control the SQL instance independently from the OS. If you're going for 99.99% availability I don't think you can do it, but if you can tolerate a regular full outage for a maintenance window then the benefits are enormous.
Post #1050268
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:47 AM
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we don't run SQL on vmware but if you were going to do it you would have to watch the I/O. even SQLCAT's testing showed that all the I/O goes through the hypervisor software and it can become a problem on busy databases.

there is also cost. by the time you buy the vmware licenses for everything it's a lot of money. compare it to clustering and you'll have to decide if it's right for you.

vmware originally had a killer ROI on solutions where someone would ask for a 1U server to run an app and it would take 10%CPU at most and a little RAM. Buying a few machines to run vmware was a lot cheaper than server creep since you have to buy a lot of accessories for servers. $3000 racks that do nothing but sit there and power. with SQL and new servers you can consolidate a lot of databases to very few servers. vmware/clustering is just for availability since there is no reason to run a server with only one or two small databases unless you have to for security/customer or some other reason. if your main concern is having current data at a DR location check out some of the disk backup software where it ships your backups to another unit

clustering will give you a better return on investment since you can run on both nodes at the same time. with vmware you have to have a server bought and paid for sit around and do nothing.

it's like backing up to disk vs tape and dedupe. every solution has costs, issues, problems and advantages and you have to decide if it's right for your environment


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Post #1050274
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:44 PM


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alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)
i believe it's because you had to add it as a dependency to the SQL service.

yes, i'm with you now that's quite correct you add the disk as a dependency but you have to offline the service resource first. Shoould only take seconds and would normally be done in your maintenance window. For the protection clusters offer you will encounter the odd downside


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Post #1050313
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 6:15 PM
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Perry

Does your tutorial cover setting up the cluster on VMware workstation 6.5? if it does please can I take a peek please.

Thanks

Gethyn


Gethyn Ellis

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Post #1050451
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:53 PM
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This concludes the article, as always I would urge you test and sanitise this process in an offline environment. This can be easily accomplished via the use of VMWare Server 2.0.x or if you have it available, VMWare ESX Server. A complete tutorial for the VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install is available on request (too large to post online).


Hi can you share this one VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install tutorial.
Post #1050478
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