Bill Baer

Senior Product Marketing Manager (SharePoint), Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint, Microsoft Corporation

Implementing SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 AlwaysOn Availability Groups with SharePoint Server 2010

Implementing SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 AlwaysOn Availability Groups with SharePoint Server 2010

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If you attended my SharePoint Conference Session on SharePoint 2010 on SQL Server Denali you’re probably ready to get started with some of the features and capabilities we discussed and demonstrated today, particularly AlwaysOn Availability Groups which provide a robust, ready to use solution supporting both local redundancy and remote disaster recovery.

NOTE

SharePoint 2010 is not currently supported on SQL Server Code Name “Denali”.

There are several prerequisites to using AlwaysOn which are documented further at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff878487(v=SQL.110).

Windows Server Failover Clustering

While SQL Server Denali does not need to be clustered from a SQL Server perspective, the nodes on which SQL Server Denali is installed should be members of the same WSFC if configuring an AlwaysOn scenario.

NOTE

The steps in this post make several assumptions about the SQL Server environment where SQL Server Codename “Denali” will be installed. The steps to install and configure SQL Server Codename “Denali” may differ as a result.

These steps will help you configure AlwaysOn in a SQL Server Code Name “Denali” environment.

Download SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3

Download SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP 3.

Download SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 at the TechNet Evaluations Center.

Create or Select a Windows Server Failover Cluster

Choose and existing or create a new Failover Cluster on which each node SQL Server Code Name “Denali” will be installed.

Install .NET Framework 3.5.1

On each Windows Server where SQL Server Code Name “Denali” will be installed install the .NET 3.5.1 Features.

  1. Open Server Manager and select the Features node.
  2. In the Feature pane select Add Features.
  3. Expand .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features and select .NET Framework 3.5.1.
  4. Click Next > to install the select Features.

Install SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3

Install SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3.  For installation instructions see also Installation for SQL Server ‘Denali’.

Enable Named Pipes and AlwaysOn High Availability Groups

Enable Named Pipes and AlwaysOn High Availability Groups.

Enable Named Pipes

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Microsoft SQL Server Denali CTP3 | Configuration Tools | SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  2. Expand SQL Server Network Configuration and then select Protocols for MSSQLSERVER.
  3. Right-click Named Pipes and select Enable from the list of available options.

NOTE

MSSQLSERVER will need to be restarted to commit the changes.

In SQL Server Code Name “Denali” you will need to include the startup option 9532 (TraceFlag 9532) to enable enabling AlwaysOn High Availability Groups.  To configure the required startup option on each Windows Server where SQL Server Code Name “Denali” is installed:

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt.
  2. Enter NET STOP MSSQLSERVER.
  3. Enter NET START MSSQLSERVER /T9532.

Enable AlwaysOn High Availability Groups

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Microsoft SQL Server Denali CTP3 | Configuration Tools | SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  2. Select SQL Server Services.
  3. In the details pane right-click SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) and select Properties from the list of the available options.
  4. Select AlwaysOn High Availability, select the checkbox labeled Enable AlwaysOn Availability Groups and click OK.

NOTE

The Windows Failover Cluster Name should appear on the AlwaysOn High Availability dialog.  MSSQLSERVER will need to be restarted to commit the changes.

Create a Seed or select an existing Database

Create a seed database.

NOTE

At least one database must exist to create a new Availability Group in Step 9 below.  This step is not required when installing SharePoint Server 2010 using DBA created databases.  For information on installing SharePoint Server 2010 using DBA created databases see Deploy by using DBA-created databases (SharePoint Server 2010).

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Microsoft SQL Server Denali CTP3 | SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Right-click the Databases node and select New Database…
  3. Enter Seed in Database name: and click OK.

Backup the Seed or an existing Database

Backup the Seed Database

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Microsoft SQL Server Denali CTP3 | SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Expand Databases.
  3. Right-click Seed and select Tasks, and then select Back Up…
  4. On the Back Up Database – Seed dialog click OK.

NOTE

Prior to adding a database to an Availability Group a FULL backup of the database must exist.

Create a Network Share

Create a Network Share

A network share must exist and must be accessible by all nodes in the AlwaysOn configuration in order to perform initial data synchronization.

Create an Availability Group

Create a new Availability Group

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to the server instance that hosts the primary availability replica, and expand the server tree.
  2. To launch the New Availability Group Wizard, expand the Management node, right-click the Availability Groups node, and click New Availability Group.
  3. On the Specify Availability Group Name page, enter the name of the new availability group in the Availability group name field. This name must be a valid SQL Server identifier that is unique on the WSFC failover cluster and in your domain as a whole.
  4. On the Select Databases page, the User databases meeting high-availability requirements grid lists local user databases that are eligible to become the availability databases for the new availability group. Select one or more of the listed databases to participate as availability databases in the availability group. These local availability databases will initially be the primary databases of the new availability group. 
  5. On the Replicas tab, the Selected instances grid initially displays only the instance of SQL Server to which you are connected. This server instance will host the initial primary replica. To specify the server instance that will host the secondary replica, click Add. Note that in CTP3, you must add a single secondary replica now.
  6. Select the desired configuration for each instance in the Selected instances grid.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Finish to create the Availability Group.
  9. Click Start Data Synchronization to initiate initial data synchronization.

NOTE

The following restrictions exist for using the New Availability Group wizard to start data synchronization:

  • If the file paths on the secondary replica location from the file paths on the primary location, click Close to exit the New Availability Group wizard now and then start data synchronization manually.
  • If any secondary database already exists, using the New Availability Group wizard to start data synchronization requires manually deleting these secondary databases before you click Start Data Synchronization. If want to use your existing secondary databases, click Close to exit the New Availability Group wizard now and then start data synchronization manually.
  • If you have clicked Start Data Synchronization the Start Data Synchronization page opens. This page requires a network share (backup share). Either browse for your backup share, or enter its fully qualified universal naming convention (UNC) path name, \\Systemname\ShareName\Path\, in the Specify a shared network location for backups field. Optionally, click Test to verify the path.

For each database in the availability group, the Start Data Synchronization page displays the progress of the following operations:

  1. Creating a full database backup of the primary database on the network share.
  2. b. Creating a log backup (which will be part of the backup log chain) on the network share.
  3. c. Restoring these backups onto the secondary replica location. These restore operations both use RESTORE WITH NORECOVERY, leaving the new secondary database in the RESTORING state.
  4. d. Joining the secondary database to the availability group. This step puts the secondary database in to the ONLINE state, and starts data synchronization for this database.

Column

Description

Replica Location

Displays the name of the server instance that will host the availability replica.

Read Mode in Secondary Role

Specifies whether the availability databases on this replica location will be readable when the availability replica is serving as a secondary replica (performing the secondary role).

Select one of the following values from the drop-down list:

Value Description

Disallow ConnectionsNo direct connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica. They are not available for read access.

Allow Only Read Intent ConnectionsOnly direct read-only connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica. The secondary database(s) are all available for read access.

Allow All ConnectionsAll connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica, but only for read access. The secondary database(s) are all available for read access.

Initial Role

Indicates the role that the new replica will initially perform: Primary or Secondary.

Create a Client Access Point

An access point is a name and associated IP address information.  For additional information on Client Access Points in a Failover Cluster see also Understanding Access Points (Names and IP Addresses) in a Failover.  The Client Access Point will be used when configuring SharePoint 2010.

  1. Click Start | Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.
  2. Expand the cluster.
  3. Expand Services and Applications, and select the name of the Availability Group created in the previous steps.
  4. Note that the resource group, AG1, has the same name as the availability group.
  5. In the Actions pane click Add a resource and select 1 – Client Access Point.
  6. In the Client Access Point dialog specify a name for the network name, and then click Next.
  7. In the Confirmation dialog box, click Next.
  8. In the Summary dialog box, click Finish.
  9. In the Summary of AG1 navigation pane, right-click AG1 under Other Resources, and then click Take this resource offline.
  10. In the Please confirm action dialog box, click Take AG1 offline.
  11. Right-click AG1 and then click Properties.
  12. In the AG1 Properties dialog box, click the Dependencies tab.
  13. Click Insert, and then click the drop-down box under the Resource column.
  14. In the drop-down list, select the network name, and then click OK.
  15. In the Summary of AG1 navigation pane, right-click AG1, and then click Bring this resource online.

Configure SharePoint Server 2010

Start the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard.

Create a new server farm specifying the name of the Client Access Point as the name of the database sever.

Add Databases to the Availability Group

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to the server instance that hosts the primary replica of the availability group, and expand the server tree.
  2. Expand the Management node, the AlwaysOn High Availability node, and the Availability Groups node.
  3. Right-click the availability group to which you are adding a database, and select the Add Database command. This command launches the Add Database to Availability Group Wizard.
  4. On the Select Databases page, select one or more databases.
  5. On the Select Initial Data Synchronization page, choose how you want your new secondary databases to be created and joined to the availability group. Choose one of the following options:
  6. · Full
  7. In the Specify a shared network location accessible by all replicas: field, specify a backup share to which all of the server instance that host replicas have read-write access.
  8. On the Connect to Existing Secondary Replicas page, Information_still_to_come.
  9. The Validation page verifies whether the values you specified in this Wizard meet the requirements of the New Availability Group Wizard. If the validation changes, you can click Previous to return to an earlier wizard page to change one or more values. The click Next to return to the Validation page, and click Re-run Validation.
  10. On the Summary page, review your choices for the new availability group. To make a change, click Previous to return to the relevant page. After making the change, click Next to return to the Summary page.
  11. If you are satisfied with your selections, optionally click Script to create a script of the steps the wizard will execute. Then, to create and configure the new availability group, click Finish.
  12. The Progress page displays the progress of the steps for creating the availability group (configuring endpoints, creating the availability group, and joining the secondary replica to the group).
  13. When these steps complete, the Results page displays the result of each step. If all these steps succeed, the new availability group is completely configured. If any of the steps result in an error, you might need to manually complete the configuration. For information about the cause of a given error, click the associated "Error" link in the Result column.
  14. When the wizard completes, click Close to exit.

Once all databases have been added to one or more Availability Groups the configuration is complete.

NOTE

SharePoint 2010 is not currently supported on SQL Server Code Name “Denali”.

Comments
  • I am a bit confused, you state that SP 2010 is not supported on Denali although the 2010 SP1 whitepaper (go.microsoft.com/fwlink) states:

    Installing on SQL Server Code Name “Denali”

    SP1 provides support for running SharePoint 2010 with SQL Server Code Name “Denali” in addition to providing ongoing support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005.

    Now it would be bad to use Denali for your farm as you cannot upgrade from CTP to

    RTM but the 2 statements seem to contradict each other.

  • DJ

    In Service Pack 1 we added support for SQL Server Code Name "Denali" which included support for installing on this database server.  The changes in Service Pack 1 were designed to support some deprecated types in this version of SQL Server; however, we don't support deploying on SQL Server Code Name "Denali" in production environments at this time.  In brief, SharePoint 2010 cannot be installed on SQL Server Code Name "Denali" without having Service Pack 1 installed.  If Service Pack 1 is not installed, PSConfig will fail when attempting to create a new Configuration Database.

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