SQL 2005 setup on 2k3EE R2 cluster

Here are a few notes from my initial setup of SQL Server 2005, Standard Edition on our new IBM LS20 blades.

Our blades are equiped with 2x dual core AMD Opteron processors, two Qlogic FC HBAs, two Broadcom 57xx Ethernet ports, and 8Gb of RAM. We thusly are using Server 2003 64-bit edition for the install.

Server install and setup:

  • Installed OS from the BladeCenter Management Module, mounting Server 2003 ISO file from a neighboring blade’s web browser. It is slow and ugly, but works.
  • On first boot, we have no functioning network or FC HBA. I downloaded the latest Broadcom application ISO from IBM, mounted via managment module, and ran the installer. Also ran the “Broadcom Advanced Services” installer, then configured an Active/Active NIC team with VLANs for public networking (720) and the cluster heartbeat (4000).
  • On the heartbeat network, we disable File and Print services, as well as Client for Microsoft Networks. Be sure to disable NetBIOS over TCP as well. LAN speed duplex does not appear to be configurable with this driver, but the switch ports have been set to negotiate for 1Gbps speed only, and PortFast is on to reduce port blocking time on initial NIC connect.
  • Once networking is functional, I am able to transfer Qlogic HBA drivers to the server, and install them in the Device Manager control panel.
  • We also transfer the DS4000 Storage Manager for Windows installer to the server (obtained from IBM.com), and then perform a client install of the software (this installs the RDAC multi-path I/O driver onto the server).
  • Configure LUNs on the DS4800 storage server, configure LUN masking, and configure Zoning on the Brocade switches. SAN volumes are now available on the server.

Cluster Configuration:

  • Setup Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator as a cluster resource as well. Strictly follow instructions in MS KB301600. Created 1Gb lun for this task – drive letter “T”
  • Setup a cluster group for MSSQL server, add physical disk resources for MDF and LDF files (database and transaction logs) (Drives M: and L:)

SQL Setup:

  • Ensure that you are logged on to only one node of the cluster – setup will fail if there are active RDP sessions on both cluster nodes.
  • From http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=916760, create “Servers” and “Tools” directories for CD1 and CD2 contents, respectively.
  • Run SQL Setup from the primary node in the cluster, source files extracted to our primary file server using the base path \softwaresql2005server.
  • Start with an installation of Workstation Components only… need to run this install on each node separately
  • Run SP1 patch on both nodes to update SQL Setup Support files.
  • Install all remaining SQL components (Database, Analysis services, Reporting, Notification, Integration). Select option to create failover cluster for Database and Analysis services, select drive M: as the destination for data files.
  • Configure service accounts for every service
  • Set server to “mixed” authentication mode for support of some of our apps
  • Keep default collation settings (this uses SQL Collations for the Database service and Windows Collations (Latin_CS_AS) for Analysis Services).
  • NOTE:Reporting Services will have to be configured after SQL install
  • enabled automatic error reporting but NOT usage statistics.

Next Steps:

  • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms171338.aspx – Review use of clustering with Notification Services
  • Review Reporting Services deployment options:
    • Separate Reporting Services Instance for each application that uses it?
    • Central Reporting Services web cluster? (Would require 2x additional Windows 2003 EE installs!)