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Failover Cluster Troubleshooting (64-bit)

SQL Server 2000

  This topic applies only to SQL Server 2000 (64-bit).

This topic provides information about:

  • Resolving the most common Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 (64-bit) failover clustering usage issues.

  • Optimizing failover cluster performance.

  • Using failover clustering with extended stored procedures that use COM objects.
Resolving Common Usage Issues

The following list describes common usage issues and explains how to resolve them:

  • SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) cannot log on to the network after it migrates to another node.

    SQL Server service account passwords must be identical on all nodes, or else the node cannot restart a SQL Server service that has migrated from a failed node.

    It is recommended that you change the SQL Server service account passwords using SQL Server Enterprise Manager (administered remotely from a 32-bit computer). If you do not, and you change the SQL Server service account passwords on one node, you must also change the passwords on all other nodes. SQL Server Enterprise Manager does this automatically.

  • SQL Server cannot access the cluster disks.

    A node cannot recover cluster disks that have migrated from a failed node if the shared cluster disks use a different letter drive. The disk drive letters for the cluster disks must be the same on both servers. If they are not, review your original installation of the operating system and Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS). For more information, see the 64-bit versions of the Windows® Server 2003 family.

  • Failover is caused by the failure of one particular service, such as full-text search or SQL Server Agent.

    To prevent the failure of specific services from causing the SQL Server group to fail over, configure those services using Cluster Administrator in the 64-bit versions of the Windows Server 2003 family. For example, to prevent the failure of the full-text search service from causing a failover of SQL Server, clear the Affect the Group check box on the Advanced tab of the Full Text Properties dialog box. However, if SQL Server causes a failover, the full-text search service will restart.

  • SQL Server will not start automatically.

    You cannot start a failover cluster automatically using SQL Server. You must use Cluster Administrator in MSCS to automatically start a failover cluster.

  • If the Network Name is offline and you cannot connect using TCP/IP, you must use Named Pipes.

    To connect using Named Pipes, create an alias using the Client Network Utility to connect to the appropriate computer. For example, if you have a cluster with two nodes (Node A and Node B), and a virtual server (Virtsql) with a default instance, you can connect to the server that has the Network Name resource offline by doing the following:

    1. Determine on which node the group containing the instance of SQL Server is running by using the Cluster Administrator. For this example, it will be Node A.

    2. Start the SQL Server service on that computer using net start. For more information about using net start, see Starting SQL Server Manually.

    3. Start the SQL Server Network Utility on Node A. View the pipe name on which the server is listening. It should be similar to \\.\$$\VIRTSQL\pipe\sql\query.

    4. On the client computer, start the Client Network Utility.

    5. Create an alias SQLTEST1 to connect through Named Pipes to this pipe name. To do this, enter Node A as the server name and edit the pipe name to be \\.\pipe\$$\VIRTSQL\sql\query. Connect to this instance using the alias SQLTEST1 as the server name.

      For more information, see Client Net-Libraries and Network Protocols.

Optimizing Failover Clustering Performance

To optimize performance when using failover clustering, consider the following:

  • If your disk controller is not external to your clustered computer, you must turn off write-caching within the controller to prevent data loss during a failover.

  • Write-back caching cannot be used on host controllers in a cluster without hindering performance. However, if you use external controllers, you continue to provide performance benefits. External disk arrays are not affected by failover clustering and can sync the cache correctly, even across a SCSI bus.

  • It is recommended that you do not use the cluster drive for file shares. Using these drives impacts recovery times and can cause a failover of the cluster group due to resource failures.

  • Determine and set your maximum memory size (MAX Memory). MAX Memory is equal to the total memory available, less memory for the operating system, and less memory for other cluster resources. Divide the remaining memory between the SQL Servers installed to find your MAX memory for SQL Server.
Using Extended Stored Procedures and COM Objects

When you use extended stored procedures with a failover clustering configuration, all extended stored procedures need to be installed on the shared cluster disk. This is to ensure that when a node fails over, the extended stored procedures can still be used.

If the extended stored procedures use COM components, the administrator needs to register the COM components on each node of the cluster. The information for loading and executing COM components must be in the registry of the active node in order for the components to be created. Otherwise, the information will remain in the registry of the computer on which the COM components were first registered. For more information, see the "Extended Stored Procedure Architecture" topic in the SQL Server 2000 32-bit Books Online.

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