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SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Build (Step by Step) – Part 1: Installing SQL 2012

SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Build (Step by Step) – Part 1: Installing SQL 2012

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Introduction

Recently, my engagements were related to SQL and 2 of which were to build SQL failover clusters on based on Windows 2008R2/SQL 2008R2 SP1 and Windows 2012/SQL 2012 SP1. In this post, I will share with you my SQL Server 2012 Failover clustering experience.

Part 2: Adding a New Node to Cluster

Part 3: Adding a New Instance to Cluster

Context

As displayed in the figure below,

  • The demo cluster has 2-nodes and uses File Server (FS) (Windows 2012) as storage and
  • Each node has at least 2 NIC - one for internal (LAN) and for private (heartbeat) network
  • FS provide 4 disks that are
    • Q: used for Quorum or witness disk (1GB)
    • E: used for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC ) (2GB)
    • I: used for SharePoint 2013 Content databases (30GB), yes, it is low, but I can afford only this muchSmile in my local.
    • H: used for Custom .NET application's databases (30GB)

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Figure1: Windows Server 2012 failover cluster used in the demo

Please note that this is for demo purposes and built in my local environment (Windows 2012, Hyper 2012). My assumptions are:

  • SQL database instances will need database engine feature only and no BLOB type of record expected.
  • The pre-requisites for Windows and SQL failover clustering (storages, network configurations, user accounts, etc.) are already conducted.
  • You logged in Node 1 with cluster admin account.

 

How-to Build SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Steps

Step #

Screen capture

1- Start your SQL 2012 Server installation media and Click 'Installation'

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2. Click 'New SQL Server failover cluster installation'

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3. OK

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4. Provide product key for your media. Then Next

sql 2012 PK

5. Accept License Agreement (and the other check if you would like). Then Next

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6. Click Next (No worry, my VM not connected to Internet. Or you could uncheck 'include SQL Server prod… checkbox )

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7. Setup Support Rules

Wait for Rules check. Once done make sure no failed task. Evaluate warnings for your environment (remember the VM is not connected to Internet). Then click Next

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8. Next

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9. Select Features then Next

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10. Make sure feature Rule check complete with no Failed status. Then Next

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11. Provide Network and Instance names. The SQL cluster name is CSQLP and my database instance name is WSSDB. MS recommends use of named instances. Then Next

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12. Next

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13. Next

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14. Select Disk needed for the resource group (RG). Then Next

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15. Enable IP4 and provide IP address for this RG. Then Next

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16. MS recommends to use unique service accounts per each data services. Provide Service Accounts (and Collation if different than default - SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_Cl_AS). Then Next

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17. Click on 'Add Current User' button. Then click on Data Directories tab menu item. I use 'I' labeled clustered disk for WSSDB content. Please consider having different disks for data, log and temp data. Then Next

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18. Check the sharing error reports with MS if you would like. Then Next

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19. Make sure no clusters rules failed. Then Next

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20. Confirm the selection (last chance to edit before installation). Then Install

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21. Enjoy your waiting with a coffee. Success!

Click Close to complete the process.

You should see it is reflected on Cluster roles.

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Conclusion

In this post, as part of post series of building SQL 2012 Server failover cluster on top of Windows 2012 Server, I have demonstrated installing SQL 2012 Server failover cluster on node 1. In my next posts, I will demonstrate how to add a second node and how to install a new named database instance to the SQL cluster. Hope you like it and stay tuned!

Comments
  • sorry to many screen shots not enough discussion:

    the ip addresse for the sql cluster or instance - is this the cluster ip address already assigned or a new sql cluster address

    the sql shared disk cluster resources - looks like these have to be added after the mscs creation - i.e you cannot use a disk already added to the mscs cluster as a resoure?

  • Can I use same disk for both MSDTC and SharePoint content database? Or they must be on separate disks because SQL Server won't allow it?

  • where can i find the link to install another node in a cluster

  • @Jr, please refer to Part 2, listed at top

  • @Ponka, technically speaking you can use same physical disk (but different logical one -LUN) for MSDTC and content databases, but not recommended at all for production environment. Use of MSDTC is required for specific case (required only when transactional data occurs cross machines).

  • @Rod 955i, sorry that I am responding to your query late and followed LIFO:). Yes, the cluster and instances need different IP addresses. In fact, you need separate IPs per cluster, node (2 IPs - one internal and one external), instance (database instance), MSDTC (if needed). Most of the clustering efforts takes place before building phase, you should have specify/prepare LUNs, IPs, user and service accounts, FWs stuff ahead of build time. Hope that answers you question.

  • Does SQL Server Cluster support "Standard" version of Windows Server host OS ?

  • @Michal, Specific to Standard edition, Windows 2008 R2 or prior versions do not support clustering, but later versions (2012 and 2012R2). Please note this is stated for std. edition.

  • Michal - Yes, Windows Server 2012.

    And there is no requirement for a secondary NIC, also called heartbeat NIC.

    That was the good old days.

  • @Raadee, correct. Thanks for addition.

  • Thanks for blog, lots of valuable information step by step.

  • Thanks for the blog, its helpful.. I need a help. We have a Standalone SQL 2005 server. Now our current pla is to migrate and upgrade. We have 2 new physical boxes ( SQL Cluster) with Windows Server 2008 R2. So our plan is to restore the database from Standalone to this new box and upgrade it to SQL 2012and SQL cluster needs to be setup. Please advise what would be the right path

  • @Sawan, this is beyond of this post. That depends on variety things(edition, size, DR plan, etc.); yet I can say these: check/align with version upgrade requirements (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143393.aspx), create your SQL failover cluster and then move your existing databases. You may consider SQL 2012 HA AG feature as well (see here for more details - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms190202.aspx).

  • Hi there,

    Quick question,

    Can I build the same SQL 2 node cluster on Windows Server 2008 R2 enterprise?. Just wondering, if there are any change in steps, if the OS is Windows server 2008 R2 and the SQL is SQL2012 standard edition.


    Thanks.

  • can i install SQL 2012 Instance on windows 2008R2 OS where i already have multiple SQL 2008 Cluster Instances installed?

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