Re: Basic SQL Cluster Questions

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Re: Basic SQL Cluster Questions
Posted by:  Geoff N. Hiten (SQLCraftsm…
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007

Comments Inline
"EMagidson" <EMagids…> wrote in message
> Ok my job is done. I have built a fully tested Windows and SQL
> active/passive
> cluster.  Not the software guys take over but as an inquiring IT guy I
> can't
> call it done withoout some more education.
> Please feel free to answer these questions or send me to more information
> please.
> 1.  I understand that the virtual clusters "CompanyCluster IP address
> x.x.x.x and SqlCluster IP Address x.x.x.x" are used to map databases and
> point to as the reference for websites, databases and apps. Do you perform
> any tasks on these virtual machines llike servicee packs or database
> installs
> and maintenance?

OS service packs are applied to physical machines.  SQL Service packs and
hotfixes are applied to individual instances.  The installer is
cluster-aware and updates all nodes at once.  From the point of view of a
client connection, there is no difference between a clustered installation
and a non-clustered system.

> 1a.  If you do not use the Virtual machines then I assume you use the
> active
> node.  Would that install the database to the other node automatically?
Nodes are the physical layer.  Instances are the virtual abstraction.  They
are independent entities.  An instance can move from one node to another in
order to stay online.  An instance can exist on only a single node at a

> 2. Where are the Virtual machines stored and should you back them up or
> are
> they just basically cached on the active node?

SQL Data is stored on the cluster disks.  The cluster configuration is
stored in teh cluster registry, an abstraction that is managed by the
cluster service on each node.

> 3. How about backup software any recomendations.  We currently use Acronis
> and is seems to work on all of our non-clustered servers.
Personally, I backup the SQL servers just as I would a stand-alone system.
I do a compressed backup to disk and archive that to tape.  I don't really
worry about backups.  I worry about restores.  Nobody got fired or rewarded
for a backup.  Many folks have had that happen because they either could or
could not restore the system.  One final note on restores.  Test them.  An
untested recoery plan is merely a recovery hope.

> I have not built a cluster since Server 2000 and I can tell you that this
> time out with Server 2003 R2 and Sql 2005 it was much better.
Yes, it is.  That is one of the things the Server and SQL teams got right.

> Regards, emagidson

Good luck,

Geoff N. Hiten
Senior Database Administrator
Microsoft SQL Server MVP



In response to

Basic SQL Cluster Questions posted by EMagidson on Thu, 28 Jun 2007