1) What are the Hardware requirements for SQL Server Cluster?

  • 1 IP Address for MSDTC service
  • 1 IP Address for SQL Server Active\Passive Instance or 2 IP address for SQL Server Active\Active Instance
  • 1 IP Address for SQL Server Analysis services (if needed)

2) How many IP Addresses we require for setting up Active\Passive SQL Server cluster?

  • 2 Windows nodes – Public
  • 2 Private IP Addresses – Private
  • 1 Windows Virtual Cluster Name
  • 1 MSDTC
  • 1 SQL Server Virtual Network Name

3) How many IP Addresses we require for setting up Active\Active SQL Server cluster with Analysis services?

  • 2 Windows nodes – Public
  • 2 Private IP Addresses – Private
  • 1 Windows Virtual Cluster Name
  • 1 MSDTC
  • 1 SQL Server Virtual Network Name
  • 1 SQL Server Analysis Services

4) How do you open a Cluster Administrator?

Start Menu > Run >  Cluadmin.msc

5) What is SQL Server Network Name (Virtual Name)?

This is the SQL Server Instance name that all client applications will use to connect to the SQL Server.

6) Different types of SQL Server Cluster?

  • Active\Passive
  • Active\Active

7) What is the difference between Active\Passive and Active\Active cluster?

An Active – Passive cluster is a failover cluster configured in a way that only one cluster node is active at any given time. The other node, called as Passive node is always online but in an idle condition, waiting for a failure of the Active Node, upon which the Passive Node takes over the SQL Server Services and this becomes the Active Node, the previous Active Node now being a Passive Node.

An Active – Active cluster is a failover cluster configured in a way that both the cluster nodes are active at any given point of time. That is, one Instance of SQL Server is running on each of the nodes always; when one of the nodes has a failure, both the Instances run on the only one node until the failed node is brought up (after fixing the issue that caused the node failure). The instance is then failed over back to its designated node.

8) Difference between SQLSERVER 2005 and SQLSERVER 2008 Cluster Installation?

In sql2005 we have the option of installing SQL in remaining nodes from the primary node, But in sql2008 we need to go separately (Login to the both nodes) for installing SQL cluster

9) Can we change the Quorum settings after installing the windows cluster?

Yes, we can change the Quorum setting after the Windows Cluster installation.

10) Is it mandatory to configure MSDTC in Windows 2008 cluster before installing SQL Server cluster?

No it’s not mandatory to configure MSDTC service to install SQL Server in Windows 2008 cluster. Installation will give you a warning but will not stop the installation.

11) What are the Benefits of SQL Server Cluster?

  • Reduces downtime to a bare minimum.
  • Permits an automatic response to a failed server or software. No human intervention is required.
  • It allows you to perform upgrades without forcing users off the system for extended periods of time.
  • It allows you to reduce downtime due to routine server, network, or database maintenance.
  • Clustering doesn’t require any servers to be renamed. So when failover occurs, it is relatively transparent to end-users.
  • Failing back is quick, and can be done whenever the primary is fixed and put back on-line.

12) What are the Drawbacks of SQL Server Cluster?

  • More expensive than other failover alternatives, such as log shipping or stand-by servers.
  • Requires more set up time than other alternatives.
  • Requires more on-going maintenance than other alternatives.
  • Requires more experienced DBAs and network administrators.
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