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Creating A SQL Server 2008\2008 R2 Failover Cluster


Creating A SQL Server 2008\2008 R2 Failover Cluster

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Sheila.Roscoe
Sheila.Roscoe
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how do we request a complete tutorial for the VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install ?
timscronin
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Just did one, don't make any mistakes, if you have any errors in initial install a pain to fix. Also understand the coponents, RS is not clusterable, you can put the back end db's there not the service.



stromk
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Thanks for the great article....Would it be possible to get the complete tutorial for the VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install?
chris lantz
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Hi, may I get the tutorial for the VMWare Server\SQL Server 2008 install please?

Thanks
alen teplitsky
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reuben.anderson (1/19/2011)
We're undergoing an enterprise consolidation and virtualisation project at the moment, and I currently have an external consultant proposing to replace our physical, clustered SQL Servers, with non-clustered VM's where the high availability is provided by VMWare HA.

Does anyone have a view on this? Any serious pitfalls / constraints to take into consideration?

Thanks in advance.
Reuben


plusses and minuses

the plus is that the failover is on vmware so if it does failover none of the SQL services stop. apps just won't be able to connect until it fails over to another node, but all the spid's will still be there. you can also ship the complete VM with all databases to a DR site and just mount it on another VMware node

another plus is that windows clusters are a pain in the *** and changing minor things like IP's can break them. no need for clusters on vmware

upgrading to new hardware is easier. you buy the new hardware and move the VM. no need to reinstall windows

the minus is that the I/O is still limited even if you dedicate drives to each SQL instance. if you have large databases with heavy I/O then you will have problems running them on one vmware node. all the I/O will go through the hypervisor

the db backups might also be a bit slow and you may have to switch to backing up the VM with a vmware aware backup solution like netbackup

the hardware issue can also be a minus. if you have a few SQL instances on a vmware box and you need resources that you don't have you will have to justify a purchase of an expensive server. with non-vmware sql you can buy a cheapo server and move a few databases from various servers to free up resources
Perry Whittle
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reuben.anderson (1/19/2011)
We're undergoing an enterprise consolidation and virtualisation project at the moment, and I currently have an external consultant proposing to replace our physical, clustered SQL Servers, with non-clustered VM's where the high availability is provided by VMWare HA.

Does anyone have a view on this? Any serious pitfalls / constraints to take into consideration?

Thanks in advance.
Reuben

Rueben, ensure the VMotion network is on a dedicated, fast, secure network as VM configs including memory maps are passed unencrypted.

george sibbald (1/19/2011)

I believe that would mean you only have failover at the host level, not individual virtual servers.

a cluster configured for VMWare HA will provide failover to another ESX host in the HA cluster for any VM previously located on the failed ESX host

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"Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" ;-)
Perry Whittle
Perry Whittle
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george sibbald (1/19/2011)
Perry,

maybe it is taken as read but it should be mentioned another drive would be needed to install SQL application files to (i.e. the instance root directory) and this would not be a cluster resource.

C drive could be used for this but a drive for the purpose would be usual.

thanks for putting the article together. Any plans for an article on clustering other SQL components (mainly SSIS and SSRS)

Completely agree, generally you would have a D drive for application files although is this really absolutely necessary nowadays?

On SQL Server 2008 (not R2) there is a known issue with cluster installations whereby the shared components location on nodes you add to a clustered instance is ignored and goes straight to C: drive regardless. This is fixed in a later SP\CU so if slipstreaming the approprtiate fix should be fine. R2 doesn't have the issue.

It's preference i suppose, the idea was to keep things simple here and to the point without wittering on to much about best practices that most of us are aware of.

SSIS is not truely cluster aware and MS do issue warnings about configuring it so, SSRS is not cluster aware either. I am planning an article which uses Veritas Cluster Services, this product allows any Windows service to be configured as a cluster resource.

Glad you liked the article.

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"Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" ;-)
Perry Whittle
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alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)
another plus is that windows clusters are a pain in the *** and changing minor things like IP's can break them.

changing the IP for what a clustered resource or for the Windows cluster itself?


alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)

no need for clusters on vmware

many organisations use both with great success, but i get what you're saying

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reuben.anderson
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Thanks Perry and Alex.
alen teplitsky
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Perry Whittle (1/19/2011)
alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)
another plus is that windows clusters are a pain in the *** and changing minor things like IP's can break them.

changing the IP for what a clustered resource or for the Windows cluster itself?


alen teplitsky (1/19/2011)

no need for clusters on vmware

many organisations use both with great success, but i get what you're saying


i think it was for the cluster. did it a few years ago in testing and it broke the cluster. took me hours to figure it out by searching the registry. apparently when you change it in the cluster GUI it won't take in the registry or something like that. maybe it was the NIC IP's on the hosts. don't remember all the details.

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

either way i think that SQL on vmware is OK if you run a lot of small databases with minimum I/O. but where i work we have some databases in the hundreds of GB where some queries select 5-10 GB of data. the only value with vmware in this case is to run it on a single instance/node just for the failover capability
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