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SQL 2005 Enterprise/Widows 2003 Enterprise Cluster with two SANs?

Posted on 2007-04-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am curious as to how would one go about setting up full fault tolerant SQL 2005 Enterprise and Win 2003 Enterprise cluster with automatic fail-over.

I know I need multiple database servers, 2 fiber switches, 2 SANs and 2 HBA for each of the servers.

Each of the designs I've seen showed the use of one SAN where I guess they assumed that the SAN would not go down, but I would like to have second SAN in case the first one fails for whatever reason...

Can someone please provide as detailed configuration of such setup as possible?

I have multiple IBM 335 servers and I am thinking of getting two Dell PowerVault 660F SANs with 2 Dell 56F fiber switches (EBAY) unless someone can suggest better hardware configuration (cost effective).

Question by:jarekn
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Expert Comment

ID: 18885109
What type of budget do you have to create the cluster? You can use iSCSI to create the shared storage for the cluster, but you would want to use GigE if you plan to use it in a production environment?

Requirements for a cluster:
At least 2 servers (enterprise edition)
Shared storage: fibre channel, SCSI, iSCSI
2 NICs per server on separate subnets (10.x.x.x) (192.x.x.x)
SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition

You could use 2 SANs, but the odds of losing a complete SAN are very slim. Usually you are only looking at multiple switches, controllers, and HBAs. This supplies the redundancy for connectivity to the SAN. The SAN is redundant in its configuration. You have data striped over large amounts of disks, eliminating the chance of data loss due to a 1-2 or more drive loss.

Give me some more information concerning your budget and I can help you figure out the easiet way to get a cluster up and running.

Author Comment

ID: 18907205
I currently have IBM xseries 335, and tons of Sun equipment I will be letting go...

I have been looking at the Dell PowerVault 660f and hope that it will work fine with the IBMs... The 660fs are on ebay for about 2500+ so I figured that to be SAFE I should get two of them...

In regular confguration I'd have two DB servers, each hooked up to two different fiber switches each connected to the SAN.  

I am trying to figure out what would be the best way of configuring such network with two SANS.  That is would I have the two fiber switches hooked up to each of the SAN's and how would I go about making sure that the data is stored to both SANS... or maybe the Dell SANs come with ability to sync the two SANs and how to implemet fail over capability in case one of them dies so that the SQL servers could auto fail over to the second SAN...

Author Comment

ID: 18927358
Just found out that the 660F will not work with Windows 2003 unless you use SAN 5.3 softare ($$$) which contains the updated drivers... ARGH..  

Any suggestions on a entry level SAN that will work with multiple IBM servers running Windows 2003 ent and SQL 2005?
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Accepted Solution

pmarquardt earned 2000 total points
ID: 18930965
Well, I think you're on the right track with the IBM xSeries systems. However, on the SAN portion of the cluster, I am wondering why you feel the need to have more than 1 SAN tied together. I see your reasoning with redundancy, but feel you would be better served by a bigger system with greater redundancy built-in to the unit. Rather than purchase 2 small SANs, consider purchasing a single larger SAN.

SAN manufacturers build high scalability into their systems. With 84 drives in a system, you can build great redundancy into a system. You can get true scalability with greater spindles, and redundancy through additional striping on the storage arrays, plus incredible backplan speeds.

I would look at the EMC CX series, or HP EVA series of storage. You may even be able to purchase these used on eBay. Picking the correct storage solution will be the greatest challenge you face in creating this system. I would consider a system with the ability to use FC and iSCSI. This gives you the greatest flexibility and speed.

Expert Comment

ID: 18977570
Looking at different tools available for replication of data from SAN to SAN, you can use HP Business Copy on the EVA SAN systems, and MirrorView on EMC solutions. This would be the route to go if you are going to use 2 SANs and replicate data between the two. You would have to make sure you disabled zoning between the 2 SANs on the FC swtich allowing fabric between the SANs.

Expert Comment

ID: 19213043
I am comfortable with closing the case. I guess the solution to what he initially asked is to use MIrrorview from EMC to snapshot or clone (dupe) the data from one SAN to the other. Just learned of their products last week.

Thanks Rindi


Author Comment

ID: 19213105

Got EMC CX400
About to do the implementation of the MS SQL 2005 which I just found out does not support Active/Active Clustering... Stupid, stupid, stupid... I guess MS definition of Active/Active Clustering is different from that of the industry as there is known method of having multiple MS SQL servers in a cluster for load balancing... Should have gone with Oracle...

Expert Comment

ID: 19213407
That's a nice storage box. :-)
Lots of new things available with 2k5, you can log ship instead of having to failover cluster, which would probably be a better avenue for you if you are trying to go active/active.

Expert Comment

ID: 19379907
This question is closed. The asker has a solution in place that meets his needs.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 19383410
The asker hasn't closed it yet, so it's still open.

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