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Creating a Failover Cluster (64-bit)

SQL Server 2000

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

To create a Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 failover cluster, you must create and configure a virtual server. Running SQL Server Setup does this. This topic explains the elements of a virtual server, as well as important information about naming a virtual server. It also lists basic steps for creating a failover cluster.

Elements of a Virtual Server

A virtual server contains:

  • A combination of one or more disks in a Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) cluster group.

    Each MSCS cluster group can contain at most one virtual SQL Server.

  • A network name for each virtual server. This network name is the virtual server name.

  • One or more IP addresses that are used to connect to each virtual server.

  • One instance of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), including a SQL Server resource, a SQL Server Agent resource, and a full-text resource.

    If an administrator uninstalls the instance of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), the virtual server, including all IP addresses and the network name, is also removed from the MSCS SQL Server cluster group.

A failover cluster can run across one or more actual computers that are participating nodes of the cluster and that are using the 64-bit versions of the Windows® Server 2003 family operating system. However, a SQL Server virtual server always appears on the network as a single computer.

Naming a Virtual Server

SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) depends on distinct registry keys and service names within the failover cluster so that operations will continue correctly after a failover. Therefore, the name you provide for the instance of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), including the default instance, must be unique across all nodes in the failover cluster, as well as across all virtual servers within the failover cluster. For example, if all instances failed over to a single server, their service names and registry keys should each be distinct from one another.

Additionally, you must use the virtual server name to connect to a SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) virtual server. You cannot use the node name of the computer it happens to be running on at the time. This ensures that you will always be able to connect to the virtual server using the same name. SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) does not listen on the IP address of the local servers. SQL Server listens only on the clustered IP addresses created during the setup of a virtual server for SQL Server 2000 (64-bit).

Usage Considerations

Before you create a failover cluster, consider the following:

  • In a failover cluster configuration, the network name and IP address of your SQL Server virtual server should not be used for any other purposes, such as file sharing. If you want to create a file share resource, you should use a different network name and IP address.

    Important  SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) supports both Named Pipes and TCP/IP Sockets over TCP/IP within a failover cluster. However, it is strongly recommended that you use TCP/IP Sockets in a clustered configuration.

  • If you need high-availability servers in replication, use an MSCS cluster file share as your snapshot folder when configuring a Distributor on a failover cluster. In the case of server failure, the distribution database will be available and replication will continue to be configured at the Distributor.

Also, when creating publications, specify the MSCS cluster file share for the additional storage of snapshot files or as the location from which Subscribers apply the snapshot. This way, the snapshot files are available to all nodes of the cluster and to all Subscribers that must access it. For more information, see the "Alternate Snapshot Locations" and "Publishers, Distributors, and Subscribers" topics in the SQL Server 2000 32-bit Books Online.

  • To use encryption with a failover cluster, install the server certificate with the fully qualified DNS name of the virtual server on all nodes in the failover cluster. For example, if you have a two-node cluster, with nodes named "test1.redmond.corp.microsoft.com" and "test2.redmond.corp.microsoft.com" and a virtual SQL Server "Virtsql", you need to get a certificate for "virtsql.redmond.corp.microsoft.com" and install the certificate on both nodes. You can then check the Force protocol encryption check box on the Server Network Utility to configure your failover cluster for encryption. Do not enable the Force protocol encryption check box until you have certificates installed on all participating nodes in your virtual server.

  • The cluster service must check whether the virtual SQL Server is running by using the IsAlive thread. This requires connecting to the server using a trusted connection. You should ensure that the account the cluster services is configured to run as is an administrator on all nodes in the cluster, and that the BUILTIN\Administrators group has permission to log into SQL Server. These permissions are set by default, so this only applies if you change permissions on the cluster nodes.
Creating a Failover Cluster

To create a failover cluster, you must be a local administrator with permission to log on as a service and to act as part of the operating system on all computers in the failover cluster.

Here are the basic steps for creating a failover cluster using the Setup program:

  1. Identify the information you need to create your virtual server (for example, cluster disk resource, IP addresses, and network name) and the nodes available for failover.

    This configuration must take place before you run the Setup program. You configure this through Cluster Administrator in the 64-bit versions of the Windows Server 2003 family. You need one MSCS group for each virtual server you want to set up.

  2. Start the Setup program to begin your installation. After you enter all necessary information, the Setup program installs a new instance of SQL Server binaries on the local disk of each computer in the virtual server and installs the system databases on the specified cluster disk. The binaries are installed in exactly the same path on each cluster node, so you must ensure that each node has a local drive letter in common with all the other nodes in the cluster.

    If any resource (including SQL Server) fails for any reason, the resources will either be re-started on the same node or the group will move to an available failover cluster node (depending on the failover cluster threshold configuration). The available failover cluster node will be one of the nodes defined as available nodes for the virtual server during SLQ Server setup.

  3. Install one instance of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), creating a new virtual server and all resources.

How to create a new failover cluster

SQL Setup

How to install a one-node failover cluster

SQL Setup

You can also create a failover cluster using the .ini file provided with SQL Server Setup. For more information about installing using the .ini file, see SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) Setup Command.

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