How to Cluster Windows Server 2003

By : Brad McGehee Mar 07, 2007 Printer friendly

Before you can install SQL Server 2005 clustering, you must first install Windows Server 2003 clustering services. Once it is successfully installed and tested, then you can install SQL Server 2005 clustering. In this article, we take a step-by-step approach to installing and configuring Windows 2003 clustering. In a later article, we will learn how to install SQL Server 2005 clustering.

Before Installing Windows 2003 Clustering
Before you install Windows 2003 clustering, we need to perform a series of important preparation steps. This is especially important if you didn't build the cluster nodes, as you want to ensure everything is working correctly before you begin the actual cluster installation. Once they are complete, then you can install Windows 2003 clustering. Here are the steps you must take:

Double check to ensure that all the nodes are working properly and are configured

identically (hardware, software, drivers, etc.).

Check to see that each node can see the data and Quorum drives on the shared array

or SAN. Remember, only one node can be on at a time until Windows 2003 clustering is installed.

• • • •

Verify that none of the nodes has been configured as a Domain Controller. Check to verify that all drives are NTFS and are not compressed. Ensure that the public and private networks are properly installed and configured. Ping each node in the public and private networks to ensure that you have good

network connections. Also ping the Domain Controller and DNS server to verify that they are available.

• • •

Verify that you have disabled NetBIOS for all private network cards. Verify that there are no network shares on any of the shared drives. If you intend to use SQL Server encryption, install the server certificate with the fully

qualified DNS name of the virtual server on all nodes in the cluster.

Check all of the error logs to ensure there are no nasty surprises. If there are, resolve

them before proceeding with the cluster installation.

Add the SQL Server and Clustering service accounts to the Local Administrators group

of all the nodes in the cluster.

Check to verify that no antivirus software has been installed on the nodes. Antivirus

software can reduce the availability of clusters and must not be installed on them. If you want to check for possible viruses on a cluster, you can always install the software on a nonnode and then run scans on the cluster nodes remotely.

Check to verify that the Windows Cryptographic Service Provider is enabled on each of

the nodes.

Check to verify that the Windows Task Scheduler service is running on each of the


If you intend to run SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, you must then install IIS 6.0

and ASP .NET 2.0 on each node of the cluster. These are a lot of things you must check, but each of these is important. If skipped, any one of these steps could prevent your cluster from installing or working properly.

How to Install Windows Server 2003 Clustering
Now that all of your physical nodes and shared array or SAN is ready, you are now ready to install Windows 2003 clustering. In this section, we take a look at the process, from beginning to end. To begin, you must start the Microsoft Windows 2003 Clustering Wizard from one of the nodes. While it doesn't make any difference to the software which physical node is used to begin the installation, I generally select one of the physical nodes to be my primary (active) node, and start working there. This way, I won't potentially get confused when installing the software. If you are using a SCSI shared array, and for many SAN shared arrays, you will want to make sure that the second physical node of your cluster is turned off when you install cluster services on the first physical node. This is because Windows 2003 doesn't know how to deal with a shared disk until cluster services is installed. Once you have installed cluster services on the first physical node, you can turn

. From the Action drop-down box. select Create New Cluster and click OK. Installing the First Cluster Node To begin your installation of SQL Server 2003 Clustering. This brings up the New Server Cluster Wizard. open Cluster Administrator. and then proceed with installing cluster services on the second node.on the second physical node. If this is the first cluster. boot it. then you will be presented with the following window. as show below.

Click Next to begin the wizard. .

it is important that you carefully think through each of your responses. click Next to proceed. The second choice is the name you will assign the virtual cluster. Because of this. Ideally. they can have negative consequences down the line. If you have a single domain. but if you choose the wrong options. If you have more than one domain. you will already have made these choices during your planning stage. . this is an easy choice. not the name of the virtual SQL Server. SQL Server 2005 clients will not connect to the cluster using this virtual name. Once you enter the information. select the domain that all of your cluster nodes reside in.The next steps seem easy because of the nature of the wizard. About the only time you will use this name is when you connect to the cluster with Cluster Administrator. The first choice you must make is the domain the cluster will be in. This is the name of the virtual cluster.

Now. you can. then the computer name you see in the above screen will be the name of the physical node you are installing on. . but it just gets confusing if you do. but want to install clustering on a different node. you will see the following. we have to tell the wizard the physical name of the node we want to install clustering on. It is much easier to install on the same node. Notice the Advanced button in the screen shot above. If you click on it. Assuming that you are running the Cluster Wizard on the primary node of your cluster. If you are installing from one node.

So click Cancel to return to the wizard. if need be. . The Advanced configuration option is only needed for complex SAN configurations. and click Next. and that is the option we use during this example. and is beyond the scope of this article. the Typical configuration will work fine.Advanced Configuration Options allow you to choose from between a Typical and an Advanced configuration. enter the correct physical node. In almost all cases.

and if you did all of your preparation correctly. But in most cases. Read each warning very carefully. but still see a green bar at the bottom. it can be ignored. As you can see above. you will want to see results similar to the figure above. you may see yellow or red icons next to one or more of the many tested steps. you can drill down into them and see exactly what the warning is. the yellow warnings need to be addressed. If you see any yellow warning icons. with a green bar and no yellow icons next to the test steps. and a green or red bar under Tasks completed. While the green bar does indicate that you can proceed. the wizard goes through many steps. and you will be ready to proceed. This may mean . you will see a green bar under Tasks completed. What the Cluster Wizard does is to verify that everything is in place before it begins the actual installation of the cluster service on the node. you may see yellow warning icons next to one or more of the test steps. it does not mean the cluster will be completed successfully or will be configured like you want it to be completed. If the warning is something unimportant to you. In some cases. when the testing is done.This next step is very important. Ideally. But if you have not done all the preliminary steps properly.

The next step is to enter the IP address of our virtual cluster. you will have to abort the installation. Drill down to see the message and act accordingly. which means that you have a major problem that needs to be corrected before you can proceed. . Most likely. This is the IP address for the cluster. Assuming that the installation is green and you are ready to proceed. and then try installation again. click Next. Click Next. not the virtual SQL Server. fix the issue. If you get any red warning icons next to any of the test steps. then you will also get a red bar at the will have to abort the cluster service installation at this time to fix the problem. Then you can try to install it again. The IP address must be on the same subnet as all of the nodes in the cluster.

This account should have already been created in your domain and added to all of the cluster nodes in the Local Administrators Group.Next you enter the name of the domain account you want to use as the cluster service account. . You will also enter the account's password and the name of the domain where the account was created. Click Next.

click OK to accept the Quorum drive. In this case Drive Q has been chosen. At this time. and then click Finish to complete the installation of SQL Server 2003 clustering on the first node. click Next. which is correct. but not always. again looking for any potential problems. Installing the Second Node of Your Cluster . Because I named my Quorum drive "Q." Assuming everything is OK. This is why it is important to check to see if the correct drive was chosen. the Cluster Wizard will reanalyze the cluster. If none is found. But before you click Next. That is why I earlier suggested that you name the Quorum drive "Q. be sure to click on the Quorum button and check which drive the Cluster Wizard has selected for the Quorum. Most of the time." it is very easy for me to determine that the correct drive was chosen by the Cluster Administrator. the Cluster Wizard will select the correct drive for the Quorum. and then click Next.The next Cluster Wizard step is the Proposed Cluster Configuration.

except it has fewer options. As before. Personally. it is a good idea to view the nodes from Cluster Administrator. you are then asked to enter the password for the cluster service account (to prove that you have permission to add a node to the cluster) and the node is added to the cluster. I do it from the second node so that I don't get confused. Verifying the Nodes With Cluster Administrator Once you have successfully installed the two nodes of your cluster. you may have to tell it to Open a Connection to Cluster. after which a series of tests will be automatically run to verify that the node is ready to be clustered. Once you have done this. the second node is installed from Cluster Administrator. Once all problems have been corrected. To install the second node. the next time you open Cluster Administrator it will automatically open this cluster for you by default.Once you have installed the first node of your cluster. and type in the name of the virtual cluster you just created. it is time to install the second node. Because the cluster already exists. You will get the same window as you saw when you installed the first node. what you see will be very similar to the figure below. . if you run into any problems—yellow or red warnings—you should correct them first before continuing. This brings up the Add Nodes Wizard. After opening up Cluster Administrator. select Add Nodes to Cluster. As the wizard proceeds. turn it on (it should have been off while you installed the first node) and bring up Cluster Administrator. From here. When you bring up Cluster Administrator for the first time after creating a cluster. which is very similar to the previous New Server Cluster Wizard we just ran. Like the first node. we are just adding the second node to the currently existing cluster. You can install the second node from either the first node or the second node. you will enter the name of the physical node to add to the current cluster.

All the resources in a resource group will always have the same owner. These were all automatically created for you by the Cluster Wizard. the owner is the physical node where the cluster resources are currently running. the State for each resource should be Online. When you look next to each cluster resource. In the example above. In some cases. then your cluster may have a problem that needs to be fixed. But if this does not work.Notice that two resource groups have been created for you: Cluster Group and Group 0. Also. We will talk more about Group 0 a little later. right-click on the resource and choose Bring Online. The Cluster Group includes three cluster resources: the Cluster IP Address. then you need to begin troubleshooting your cluster. the physical node they are running on is . As a quick troubleshooting technique. the Cluster Name. Essentially. next to each resource is listed the Owner of the resource. If not. if any of the resources are not Online. this will bring the resource online and you will not experience any more problems. and the Quorum drive.

which is the first node in my two-node cluster. there is one small step you need to perform. If a failover occurs. and it most likely includes the shared resource for your SQL Server databases to use. then all of the resources in the resource group will change to the other node in your cluster. as above. when you created the cluster. you will see a resource group named Group 0. Most likely. and that is to prepare a resource group for the SQL Server resources that will be created when SQL Server is installed. See below. .SQL2005A. How to Configure Windows Server 2003 for Clustering Before you install SQL Server clustering. This resource group was created when the cluster was created.

your next step is to move any disk resources from the Cluster Group (except the Quorum drive) to the SQL Server Group. For the Name of the group. Now. The new SQL Server Group resource group has now been created.In my example. Here's how. In some cases. Test. and Test Again . Click Next. enter "SQL Server Group. This starts the New Group Wizard. I suggest that you rename Group 0 to SQL Server Group. This is a simple matter of dragging and dropping the disk resources from the Cluster Group to the SQL Server Group. This of course will be all of your nodes. and the SQL Server Group resource group is now online and ready for use. is in Group 0. • From Cluster Administrator. it must be brought online. the shared array for SQL Server. right-click on the SQL Server resource group (it will have a red dot next to it) and select Bring Online. you can leave the resource group with this name. Here's how you create a new resource group using Cluster Administrator: • • • Start Cluster Administrator. • Now. CTRL-click each of the nodes on the left and then select Add. The nodes are listed on the left side of the wizard. Once you have done this. the Cluster Wizard may put the SQL Server shared disk array in the Cluster Group resource group and not create a Group 0. you are ready for the next step. You can do this by right-clicking on Group 0 and selecting Rename. This will move the selected nodes from the left side of the wizard to the right side. but it is not very informative. • The red dot next to the resource group name goes away. Disk F. If this is the case. you can also enter a description of this group. select New." Optionally. then select Group. then you will need to create a new resource group and then move the SQL Server shared disk array from the Cluster Group to the newly created SQL Server resource group. Click Finish. Test. Now that the group has been created. you must select which nodes of your cluster will be running SQL Server. If you like. From the File menu.

verify if you get the expected results (a successful failover). Use Cluster Administrator to watch the failover and failback. Move Groups Between Nodes The easiest test to perform is to use Cluster Administrator to manually move the Cluster Group and SQL Server resource groups from the active node to a passive node. Because the cluster service always tries to recover up to three times from a failure. so you might as well identify any potential problems and resolve them now.Once you have installed Windows 2003 clustering on your nodes. To do this. Preparing for the Tests Before you begin testing. resolve it before proceeding to the next test. right-click on it. Also be sure to check the Windows event log files for any possible problems. If you don't. you may have to remove SQL Server 2005 clustering to fix it. and problems arise later with Windows 2003 clustering. and then back again. if it can. identify a workstation that has Cluster Administrator on it. If you find a problem during one test. The moves should be fairly quick and uneventful. You will get a better test using a remote copy of Cluster Administrator than trying to use a copy running on one of the cluster nodes. Once the group has been successfully moved from the active node to a passive node. and use this copy of Cluster Administrator for interacting with your cluster during testing. then use the same procedure above to move the group back to the original node. Manually Initiate a Failover in Cluster Administrator This test is also performed from Cluster Administrator. and select Initiate Failure. After you perform each test. Select any of the resources found in the Cluster Group resource group (not the cluster group itself). Below are a series of tests you can perform to verify that your Windows 2003 cluster is working properly. you have a problem that needs to be identified and corrected. If not. After moving the groups. right-click on the Cluster Group and then select Move Group. you will . Once you have performed all of these tests successfully. all of the resources in each group should be in the online state. and check the Event Logs for possible problems. then you are ready to continue with the cluster installation. you need to thoroughly test the installation before beginning the SQL Server 2005 cluster install.

then failback using the same procedure as described above. This will cause a failover to a passive node. Check the Event Logs for possible problems. again watching the activity from Cluster Administrator. Once the failover occurs. Now reconnect the broken connection. If not. Check the Event Logs for possible problems. When done. If not. remove the shared array connection. Watch the failover from Cluster Administrator. you have a problem that needs to be identified and corrected. Manually Failover Nodes by Breaking the Shared Array Connection This test is always exciting as it is the test that is most apt to identify potential problems. both nodes being tested should be on. all of the resources in each group should be in the online state. remove the shared array connection. Once this happens. watch the failover in Cluster Administrator. Watch the failover in Cluster Administrator. First. we will see what happens if network connectivity fails. After this test. which you can watch in Cluster Administrator. you have a problem that needs to be identified and corrected. bring the off node back on. turn the former active node on and wait until it fully boots. After the failover occurs. plug the network connection back into the server. unplug the public network connection from the now active node.have to select this option four times before a test failover is initiated. Manually Failover Nodes by Turning Them Off This time. This will cause a failover to the current passive node. from the active node. If not. After this test. Check the Event Logs for possible problems. First. And again. unplug the public network connection from the active node. all of the resources in each group should be in the online state. Second. watch the failover in Cluster Administrator. After the failover. Manually Failover Nodes by Breaking the Public Network Connections In this test. Third. plug the public network connection back into the server. Once the testing is complete. from the now active node. Then turn off the now current active node by turning it off hard. not to initiate it. Second. we will only use Cluster Administrator to watch the failover activity. First. which you can watch in Cluster Administrator. . Fourth. After this test. all of the resources in each group should be in the online state. turn off the active node by turning it off hard. This will cause a failover that you can watch in Cluster Administrator. you have a problem that needs to be identified and corrected.

After this test. which would be "MSDTC Resource. Now that you have completed the Windows 2003 cluster installation and have tested it. you have a problem that needs to be identified and corrected. This is because this procedure automatically configures MS DTC on all of the cluster nodes at the same time. then Resource. including running distributed queries. • • Start Cluster Administrator. This starts the new Resource Wizard. Take your time to ensure that you do it right the first time. Once you have resolved any problems. you are ready to install and configure the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator. it is recommended that you install the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) on each of the cluster nodes before installing SQL Server 2005 clustering. if any particular test produces unexpected problems. This is because SQL Server 2005 requires this service in order to perform some functions. but before installing SQL Server 2005 clustering. Installing MS DTC Using Cluster Administrator While MS DTC can be set up for clustering from the command line. and some aspects of replication. you can also enter an optional description of . such as failover not working or errors are found in the Event Logs. select New.reconnect the broken connection. As I mentioned before. all of the resources in each group should be in the online state. Check the Event Logs for possible problems. it is much easier to use Cluster Administrator. as described below. enter the name of the resource you are creating. • In the first screen of the Resource Wizard. Configuring the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator While not required. Right-click on the Cluster Group resource group. be sure to repeat the test that originally indicated the problem in order to verify that it has been fixed. MS DTC must be installed after installing Windows 2003 clustering. two-phase commit transactions. If not. identify and resolve them now before proceeding with the next test." If you like.

Do I have to install MSCS also after the 2nd step? If so then is there any documentation that I can use. • From Cluster Administrator. Now that the resource has been created. • In the Possible Owners dialog box. Cluster Group should already be displayed. Install windows server 2003 2. Ready to Install SQL Server 2005 Finally. and the MSDTC Resource is now online and ready for use. the MSDTC Resource is created. Click Next. cluster windows server [your article above] 3. select Distributed Transaction Coordinator. Under Resource Type. If the new resource won't come online. you are ready to install SQL Server 2005 clustering. Install SQL Server [as a virtual server or other wise].this resource. it must be brought online. then click Add. if you have written that also? . Under Group. I searched the web but failed. right-click on the MSDTC Resource (it will have a red dot next to it) and select Bring Online. press and hold the CTRL key on the Quorum disk resource and the Cluster Name. • In the Dependencies dialog box. Click Next. Install MSCS [Microsoft Clustering Server] 4. I am looking into installing SQL Server clustering. At this time. delete it and try again. Comments: Patar (01-May-2008) : Beautiful article. The other documentations suggest that I do the following: 1. And what is is the URL of your next document on this topic. This is correct and should not be changed. The red dot next to the resource name goes away. Then click finish. This topic will be covered in my next article. you will see that all of the nodes of the cluster are listed under Possible Owners. Here's how.

Lone patar (01-May-2008) : Hi. SSIS (SQL Server integration services) is NOT cluster aware. H. if you are looking into getting the clustering working under Windows 2003 with SQL 2005 this is the article for you. In that case please correct me]: 1.Install Windows server 2003 on every physical computer (node).Thank you very much for publishing this great article.Install MSCS [Microsoft Clustering Service] 6. Best regards. Best regards. many thanks for writing this fantastic article. Again. 5.Install Windows Clustering Service.Where can I find the second one? RJ (06-May-2008) : This was an a right to the point how to article.Create a New SQL Server 2005 Failover Cluster (Setup) Do I have to perform steps 4 and 5 after step 3? OR step 3 actually performs these steps? Could you point me to the hardware setup also . I was looking to see what were the differences between the SQL 2000 CLustering under Windows 2000 VS the SQL 2005 Clustering under Windows 2003 which in this article that is not covered. Me again. What you need to do: *-You will need to manually install SSIS on . Things you should make a NOTE Of: 1.Setup Hardware [Servers. [I may be wrong. plz kindly provide in the site or to my manual as soon as Sanjoy Mandal (04-May-2008) : very good article lebron (06-May-2008) : Great article. drives. network cards etc] for clustering 2. These are the following steps that I have found to be performed to setup SQL Server Clustering.Install Cluster Windows Server 2003 4. 3. H. Lone satish (04-May-2008) : hai This site is very intersting to see with good manuls but i need full fledged about iis and clustering in 2003 with out sql server.Helped me a lot. i need sharepoint software details .step no 1 above. zkindly sent a good manual and latesh knowledge about 2003 and 2008 .

The tools are installed only on Node1.both nodes. .xml' file on both nodes found under --> \Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\DTS\Binn After changing the file it should look something like the following: true MSDB SQL CLUSTER NAME GOES HERE File System E:\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL. You will need to run the client tools install manually at Node2 in order to install the tools. The SQL 2005 Client Tools do not get installed on the Second Node since the tools are NOT cluster aware.1\SSIS Packages 2.ini. *-Create a SSIS Package folder on one of the Shared disk *-edit the 'MsDtsSrvr. Any service packs will need to be re-installed on Node2. If you failover from Node1 to Node2 you wont have the Management Studio to administer the SQL 2005 server.

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