lunedì 4 marzo 2013

The long and winding road (AKA Installing a Windows 2008 R2 SQL Cluster) - Part 3

Changing the binding order of NICs on cluster members

At this point you should have a domain controller up and running, the two cluster members still in the workgroup and you should have installed and configured Freenas.

As next step, you can join the cluster members to the domain you just created, I won't explain how to do it, all you need is the domain administrator password you set up previously.

There is one additional step that needs to be done before installing the cluster. Cluster members have two NICs. The public one, meaning the one on Vmnet5 in my case, needs to be the first one in the list of interfaces. To do so:

Click on Start, right-click on Network and select properties. This brings you to the Network and sharing center window

click on Change adapter settings. in this new window press the ALT key, this brings up this drop-down menu. You need to select Advanced/advanced settings

In the window that opens, you can change the order of the interfaces and put the one on Vmnet5 at the top.

NOTE: This needs to be done on both cluster members.

Connecting to the shared drives

On one of the cluster members, click start/administrative tools/iSCSI initiator, you will get this warning

go ahead and start the service, after that you will get to this window

type the ip of freenas as shown in picture and click quick connect

The windows machine connects to the Freenas server via iSCSI and shows you the two available disks.
Now connect to both one by one, the status of them changes from "inactive" to "connected", now you can click done.

Goto the volumes and devices tab and click auto-configure, here is how it will look after you do so


Clicking the Auto Configure button will make sure that at reboot the server will reconnect to the two shared drives.
Now we need to format the new two drives and give it a name, so head over to the disk management tool (start/right-click computer/manage/storage/disk management)

the disks are available although offline and not formatted. Right-click on disk1 and select online

right-click again on disk1 and select initialize disk, leave further options as default

now you can format the disk and assign a drive letter to it. I left all options as default. Repeat for disk 2. if you want you can also rename the disks here. Here is how it will look after it is done.

You will need to bring the disks offline now and repeat the steps with Iscsi initiator and disk management tool on the other cluster machine. In the case of the disk management tool, you will just need to bring the disks online and they should get a drive letter automatically and be ready to be used.

Installing and configuring the cluster

At this point your cluster members should be in the domain, share two disks installed on a nas and everything should be ready to install the clustering software (not the sql cluster, we are not there yet).

On both cluster members, click on start/right-click on computer/select manage/select features/add features and select failover clustering

click next and go on with the installation.

You will need to logoff at this point and login again on one of the cluster members because to access the failover cluster manager tool, you need to be logged in with a valid domain account. Administrator will do.

On one of the cluster members, click start/administrative tools/failover cluster manager

first thing we will need to do is validate the configuration, so click on the appropriate link, add cluster members and run all the tests.

NOTE: you might get an error stating that "open remote registry failed" when you add the two nodes. In this case, try to add the nodes one by one. I'm not sure where this error comes from, t happened to me when I tried to add both members at the same time by browsing the AD computer group.
the tests will run for a few minutes, after which if you did everything correct you will get here.

you can view the report if you want. now you can click on create a cluster. you will need to select servers as you did during validation.

you will need to assign a name to the cluster and an ip address for management. Remember that the public network is on vmnet5. After that you will just need to click next a couple of times and wait a couple of minutes.

going forward, you will be asked to click next a couple of times and get to this screen when the cluster is installed

after that, when you open the failover clustering tool and connect to the cluster you created, you will see this

here you can failover the active node (current host server) and check the status of everything. Congratulations! You are now the happy owner of a cluster.

Last steps before installing sql (almost there)

Before installing SQL, there is still two things that need to be done
  • On the domain controller, create two regular domain users that will be used to run SQL services, I called mine sqlserver and sqlagent. I won't go into details on this task, should be pretty straight forward using the appropriate administrative tool (hint, it is called active directory users and computers and it is under administrative tools)
  • On the two cluster machines, install .NET framework 3.5 SP1.
Fortunately, this last part can be done through the Add Features page, no need to hunt down installation packages.
Click on Start, right-click on Computer and choose manage. Scroll down to the features section and click on Add Features.
You don't need to install the whole package, otherwise you will be asked to install IIS too, just select the same as in the picture.

Click next a couple of times.

there, you are ready to install SQL. On to the next part

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