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SQL Clustering with two nodes

Posted on 2009-07-08
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Hello,

I am in the very early stages of attempting to deploy SQL clustering (SQL Server 2008 standard) with Windows 2008 Enterprise over two nodes.  I made the mistake of purchasing the equipment based on my assumption of how it would work and now I'm afraid I am missing what I need.  I bought two identical HP Proliant servers with SAS harddrives and a 0/1/5 RAID controller.  They each also have two NICs.  

What I was not taking into account what the "shared storage" aspect of the configuration and I was working under the possibly incorrect assumption that I could use the storage on the actual servers and did not need to purchase additional hardware for the share.  Is this correct?

Maybe what I want to accomplish doesn't necessarily point to clustering as the solution?  Here is what I was thinking:

Two servers that would share resources (processors, memory) to run SQL Server 2008, but if one server fails (or is rebooted), the other would continue processing and no data or uptime would be lost.  Is there even a technology that exists to accomplish this?  My original thought was clustering with load balancing, but I don't know if that will even work.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Christine
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Question by:clarkincit
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by:
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3] earned 501 total points
ID: 24806867
you could implement 2 sql servers, with the database(s) in merge replication scenario (any changes on any of the "nodes" would be replicated to the other node)
in front of that, you would need some dns or application load balancing between the 2 databases.

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by:jumprooster
jumprooster earned 498 total points
ID: 24810658
i think clustering sounds like the idea you have in mind where you want to share processors and memory,

the idea is that if 1 machine (has its own processors and memory) fails .. the other machine (has its own processors and memory) takes over

this would be for high availability where the system is always available

if you were thinking of performance the processing of the processors and the memory (RAM) would only affect each machine individually

like mentioned in the above post, if you did Replication with SQL Server software you have the advantage of having better performance for users who only needed to access the replicated data on one instance of SQL Server (could be on 1 machine or the other or some accessible replicated data on both)

if you did a SQL Server cluster failover scenario, one machine would always be available if the other went down
I'm not an expert at clustering (yet :) ) the idea being that you have a mirror (identical database at all times) on both machines and have users only access 1 machine, the mirror machine would have better performance
(if you didn't also use it as a replication instance)


so to keep it to your essential question, clustering would indeed give you the continued processing and constant uptime if 1 machine failed.. this is the objective and whole concept behind clustering in fact

cheers

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by:clarkincit
ID: 24816029
Thank you for both of your responses!

I am still unclear on if the equipment I purchased will be sufficient.  It seems to me that if you set up clustering with two servers and you have a separate piece of equipment that serves as the shared storage, wouldn't that be a huge point of failure?  Why even cluster then?  Maybe I am missing a something?
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Assisted Solution

by:ora-what
ora-what earned 501 total points
ID: 24820378
the way I see it, the shared storage (or quorum) as they call it     is - useful in a clustered environment so that both machines have access to the same data

you are right though, then what's the point - or how could you do it with just 2 machines?

from what I've seen, it may be that the quorum is obligatory for a "cluster" setup


so then if you go with 3 you should go with 4 - even another storage location to serve as a backup to the shared data  

(these storage nodes, the shared storage and the backup storage don't have to be machines themselves though with processor and RAM it can be a RAID implementation of hard disks or just hard disk storage) (and the RAID is good, so if one hard disk fails your data is safe in another one and still available)

in that case with the 2 machines and a RAID storage you would have the availability of the processing machines and the data storage hard disks


I really hope it helps you out ! :)

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