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Installing Clustering Service Without a Domain

Posted on 2008-06-19
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I have to configure a Windows Cluster (for a SQL Server DB) before a site-to-site tunnel has been configured between a new data center and our existing data center.  I am not sure though if its possible to configure clustering services without access to our domain controller.  My question is (1) if it's possible to install clustering services without a domain (2) if that is possible how to do it.  I could potentially install a temporary cluster on a VM and then migrate the cluster to the true domain controller when it's ready, but I'm not sure how to migrate the cluster to the new domain once it is accessible, so my last question is (3) how to migrate a cluster from one domain controller to another.  

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Question by:superfly18
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 21823202
A cluster outside of a domain is not supported.
And it's technically possible to move a clustered SQL server to another domain, but it's not that easy:

How to move a Windows Cluster Server from one domain to another
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=269196

How to change domains for a SQL Server 2000 failover cluster
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=319016

Best practices that you can use to set up domain groups and solutions to problems that may occur when you set up a domain group when you install a SQL Server 2005 failover cluster
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=915846
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by:superfly18
ID: 21823278
Do you know if it is possible to set one of my cluster nodes up as the domain controller?
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by:oBdA
ID: 21823408
Installing cluster services on a DC is not recommended, either; I'd especially wouldn't do it if you're planning to move the cluster to another domain.
If you really need this, install a DC on a virtual machine or on some temporary hardware.
I'm actually not sure that you'll save a lot of time installing the cluster in a temporary domain and then migrating it to the final domain, as compared to just waiting for network access to the final domain and then setting the cluster up.
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Author Comment

by:superfly18
ID: 21823475
actually, not planning on moving the cluster to another domain, just planning on switching the domain server from one to another (e.g. I will configure things the same on the temporary DS as they are on the permanant one.  Is there instructions somewhere how to just change the domain server from one to another, if both domains are configured the same?
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by:oBdA
ID: 21823586
You can't "configure two domains the same". Two AD domains "domain.local" will always be different; the domain is tied to a unique SID generated during dcpromo.
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by:superfly18
ID: 21823710
I guess what I want to do is sort of like changing the domain server from one to another (e.g. just swapping the controller)
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Accepted Solution

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oBdA earned 2000 total points
ID: 21825677
Basically the only way to do that would be to install a DC in the main location, take it out to the new one, install the cluster in the new one, and hope that the network connection will be established before the tombstone lifetime expires (theoretically 180 days in W2k3 SP1, but can remain at 60 days under some circumstances), so that the new DC can replicate the changes back.
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Author Closing Comment

by:superfly18
ID: 31468754
Thank you very much for all your assistnance with this issue.  
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