Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by YWNvcm » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 05:09:06


Hi all,

I am new to server clustering and SQL Server, and have a
client that needs his server to be up 24/7 (911 Dispatch center). We
have proposed a Windows/SQL Cluster, but I'm having trouble finding good
information on how to implement this.

Currently, the client has one Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller,
which also runs all their software. The new software requires msSQL
server. What we are proposing is to leave the current server as Domain
Controller, and Purchase two new servers (Windows Server 2003,
Enterprise) and a NAS unit (actually just a barebones file server with
SATA/RAID 5. My main question is this: What OS does the NAT have to run?
Does it have to be a MS Server Operating system, or can we use anything
that can do SMB sharing?

I would appreciate any help or advice you can give.

--acorn
 
 
 

Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by Geoff N. H » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 05:24:08

You cannot use a NAS to cluster SQL server. You should not use a NAS box
for back-end SQL storage, but some people do anyway. Many experience
stability and/or performacne problems. I suggest a small SAN such as the
EMC CX-300 or 500 model.

--
Geoff N. Hiten
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Senior Database Administrator
Careerbuilder.com

I support the Professional Association for SQL Server
www.sqlpass.org

 
 
 

Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by YWNvcm » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 06:16:58

Geoff,

Thanks for your reply. So, with what we have (2 Windows Server 2003,
enterprise Edition, 1 Windows Server 2003 Standard Domain Controller, one
server with SATA RAID capability, currently with no OS, and Gigabit Ethernet
infrastructure), what do you think we could do to get SQL server redundancy?
Do we need more equipment?

Thanks again,

--acorn
 
 
 

Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by Geoff N. H » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 06:29:08

You need a clustered SQL solution and lots of training. Any of the major
hardware vendors can help you build a SQL cluster. Do-it-yourself clusters
are not recommend and not supported. There is a specific Cluster Hardware
Compatibility List (HCL) and the entire solution must be cluster certified.
Otherwise, incompatibility issues will likely cause more availability issues
than clustering will buy you. You can build a SCSI-based cluster, but I
strongly discourage that for several reasons. Again, a smallish SAN is
probably your best solution. FInd either a local vendor that has a good
reputation OR go with one of the major national players. Also, look into
training. High Availability is not a hardware-only solution. People,
Procedures, and Mind-set are far more important.

--
Geoff N. Hiten
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Senior Database Administrator
Careerbuilder.com

I support the Professional Association for SQL Server
www.sqlpass.org



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Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by YWNvcm » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 07:59:03

es, I do need lots of training. However, I have been put, or put myself, in
a position where I need information NOW. The software company is going to
take care of the SQL part, they say. All I need to do is have the servers set
up, and whatever needs to happen with the cluster so they can do their part.

Unfortunately, the hardware and software HAS already been purchased, so that
is what we have. I don't beleive that it can't be done, but if you prefer not
to help with specifics, suit yourself.

Thanks, anyways, for your replies

--acorn

"Geoff N. Hiten" wrote:

 
 
 

Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by Geoff N. H » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:31:58

wasn''t trying to insult you. I was trying, at least within the
limitations of a NNTP post, to point out that High Availability is not a
magic box you can buy or some software you can load on your servers. HA
takes a specific approach to find and eliminate the barriers to
availability. Training is often forgotten in the rush to implement a
cluster.

As for your hardware, you don't have the pieces for a cluster. You might be
able to do something with a log shipped standby server. Feel free to try to
turn your stuff into a cluster, just don't expect it to be a highly
available, decently performing system.

--
Geoff N. Hiten
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Senior Database Administrator
Careerbuilder.com

I support the Professional Association for SQL Server
www.sqlpass.org

"acorn" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote in message
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in
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Setting up Server Cluster for SQL Server - 2 Servers and a NAS

Post by Andrew J. » Fri, 21 Jan 2005 13:22:07

agree 100% with Geoff. The time to ask these questions was before you
purchased the hardware. You can't fault Geoff for not being able to create
an acceptable cluster out of components that are not designed for
clustering. Clustering is one of if not the most picky and problematic
things you can do with windows and an app like SQL Server on top of it.
Trying to cluster with equipment that is not on the clustering HCL is just
asking for trouble and lots of pain and suffering on your part. It is better
to regroup now and take what ever losses you may have as they will only get
worse if you proceed with the wrong equipment.

--
Andrew J. Kelly SQL MVP


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