Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Setting up SQL Server 2012 Clustering with vSphere 5.5: Part 2

In the first part of this tutorial we configured both of our VMs, identified the storage requirements and installed our operating system. In this part we will focus on setting up the Windows Failover Cluster and the SQL Cluster.

We shall now install the Failover Clustering feature on both servers:

** Tips to remember before running the cluster validation wizard **
- Ensure hardware such as shared NICs and shared drives have the same name.
- Ensure networks on shared NICs are classified with the "Domain" profile.

Server Manager >> Add New Roles and Features >> Failover Clustering >> Validate a Failover Cluster (and include the two nodes)

If all goes well we can proceed by creating the cluster. Upon completion we should go to: Failover Cluster Manager >> Storage >> and ensure that the quorum is assigned to the correct shared drive.

We should also ensure that

We will now ensure that only one of our NIC's is dedicated for cluster communication (e.g. heartbeats) by going to: Failover Cluster Manager >> Expand the Networks tree >> Right-hand click on the relevent cluster network and select "Properties" >> Untick "Allow clients to connect through his network" to ensure it will only be used by the nodes in the cluster.

We will now pre-create the SQL server computer object and assign the relevent rights to it:

ADUC >> New Computer Object e.g. "SQLCLUSTER01" >> Ensure the WFC Computer Object has full permissions on it.

We will now create the relevent services accounts for our SQL cluster (one of each instance of SQL server):

ADUC >> New User >> Create a service account for the database engine, one for the SQL Server analysis services and another for the sql agent. (Ensure password is set too "Never Expire" - unless you have any regulatory requirements that prohibit this!)

Now on the first node we will install SQL Server 2012 - insert / mount the disc, run the installer and select "Installation" >> "New SQL Server failover cluster installation" from the menu.

Go through the wizards selecting the features, installation paths and so on until we come to the "Cluster Resource Group" - do not worry if there are no qualified cluster resource groups - this is normal with our setup - click next >> Select your cluster disk >> Setup the cluster TCP/IP information and finish the installation.

We shall now install SQL Server on the other nodes that will be installed within the cluster as follows:

SQL Server Installation Server >> "Add note to a SQL server failover cluster" >> Complete the wizard, specifying the service accounts, network settings etc.

Upon completion of the installation we should configure the Windows Firewall accordingly, so we add the following rules on both nodes:

Allow TCP Inbound on Port 1433 (Domain Only)
Allow UDP Inbound on Port 1434 (Domain Only)

** Now ensure that TCP/IP is turned on and properly bound to the relevent interface within SQL Server Configuration Manager **

Then restart the server and go to Failover Cluster Manager >> Services and Applications >> SQL Server and verify your cluster configruation.

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