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Getting the most out of your SQL Server 2008 Cluster Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:07 AM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Getting the most out of your SQL Server 2008 Cluster
Post #1115194
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:14 AM


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Just a couple of points

Firstly there is no such thing as an
Active\active\active\passive cluster.
A cluster is either active\active or active\passive.

Secondly for dev and uat clusters, virtual is the way to go. I have used virtualisation (VMWare server and ESX server) for creating clusters using MSCS and more recently Veritas Cluster Server. Although with the current version of VCS it is somewhat tricky and troublesome, MSCS responds well in a virtual environment. Also, many people on this forum find my "Creating a virtual SQL Server cluster" guide very useful


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Post #1115207
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:22 AM
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Was the active an genuine UAT environment for end users? I've always been led to believe that UAT required normal license and developer could only be used for actual developer types.
Post #1115235
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 6:52 AM
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I would agree that Virtualization is the answer and is cost effective for both the hardware and licensing perspective. If you licence the by ESX host instead of the VM's, it is cheaper. We have a (3) node cluster composed of (3) VM servers. Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit Enterprise with SQL Server 2008 R2 64 bit Enterprise. It runs perfectly and we use it for UAT Testing. Virtualization also offers an added HA layer as well as having SAN snapshots taken of each volume. We are very happy with the Clustered Virutal Machines we have.
Post #1115421
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 6:54 AM
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In addition we also installed (3) SQL Server Instances one on each node so the servers do not get wasted. We plan for capacity to make sure that if a failover is to occur that one node can handle the load by itself.
Post #1115425
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:30 AM


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Perry Whittle (5/26/2011)
Firstly there is no such thing as an
Active\active\active\passive cluster.
A cluster is either active\active or active\passive.


I'm not sure why you'd say there is no such thing as an Active/Active/Active/Passive cluster. I've built a few of them in the last year. Standard Edition has a limitation of 2 nodes in a cluster, but Enterprise and Datacenter editions support as many cluster nodes as the OS allows.

Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2008 R2

You can have 4 cluster nodes, and 3 instances of SQL installed on them, with three nodes owning a different SQL instance and your failover node in standby.


Jonathan Kehayias | Principal Consultant | MCM: SQL Server 2008
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Post #1115615
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:37 AM


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as i said, a cluster is either active\active or active\passive irrespective of the number of nodes.

The following article states

Microsoft Technet
Server clusters can take two forms: active/passive clusters and active/active clusters.In active/passive clustering, the cluster includes active nodes and passive nodes. The passive nodes are only used if an active node fails. In active/active clusters, all nodes are active. In the event of a failover, the remaining active node takes on the additional processing operations, which causes a reduction in the overall performance of the cluster. Active/passive cluster configurations are generally recommended over active/active configurations because they often increase performance, availability, and scalability.


The configuration mentioned in the posts above would normally be referred to as an N+1 which essentially is an Active\Passive cluster anyway


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Post #1115623
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:31 AM


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And the following article refers to it as an Active/Active/Passive cluster:

Reviewing and Testing SQL Server Cluster Configuration for Failover Scenarios

You are trying to split hairs over symantics here that can confuse people that don't know enough about clustering. Multinode clusters, or N+1 clusters are commonly referred to by the setup as Active/Active/Passive, Active/Active/Active/Passive, etc by most people in the community. Your article is from 2003, mine is from a more recent version of the Books Online. It is possible that the terminology has changed slightly in the last 8 years to make it easier for people to understand the setup better.


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Post #1115659
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:40 AM


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Correct me if I am wrong, but I see a combination of Enterprise Edition and Developer Edition binaries in Node 4. It seems that they can coexist with no problems. Is that accurate?

I do have MSDN licenses and might use them instead of Developer Edition Licenses. Wondering if the DLLs can coexist.



Post #1115668
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:43 AM


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I would agree that describing a cluster as active/active/active/passive can be more descriptive than saying N-1, where N=4 - depending on the audience. Both terms are in use and neither is incorrect. Depends on what you're describing.

Quick poll of the system engineers at the client I'm onsite at today gives a mixture of answers. It also depends on how large N is. If N=8, no-one's going to say active/active/active/active/active/active/active/passive....

Just one more example of duplicate nomenclatures with people preferring one over another that serves to confues those who aren't experts.



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