How do I safely remove MSCS & keep SQL Services running using the same SQL names after P2V of SQL cluster?

sactaylor used Ask the Experts™
Hello all,

I need to move a 2-node cluster (Windows Server 2003 R2 running SQL Server 2000/2005) to VMware to free up physical hardware for a new project. With VMware HA I don't believe MSCS is needed  so I'd like to remove it if possible.  I'm looking for some help on how best to accomplish this in the shortest time frame possible.  An option is to simply build a fresh virtual SQL Server and move all databases to it but that will take some time.  If I can P2V the current SQL server that would be a huge help.  

My plan so far is to...
• break the cluster leaving only the primary node
• shutdown SQL Services (disabled so they don't start up on a reboot)
• Convert physical server to virtual using VMware Converter
• I'll setup new virtual server with NIC's disconnected to prevent duplicate names on the network
• On new virtual server I'll clean up any unnecessary hardware and setup network connections for LAN and SAN storage
• Shutdown physical SQL server
• Start up virtual SQL server and test

At that point I believe I should have a working SQL server with all of my databases intact and answering to the same SQL names.  Changing names means modifying multiple applications, websites, and workstations.  Not much fun.  But, I'll also have a server running MSCS which isn't needed.  How do I safely remove MSCS and keep SQL Services running using the same SQL Names?

Thanks in advance!
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Your steps look good.  Here are my thoughts.

When you have a SQL Server cluster, there is a virtual server name associated with the cluster, as opposed to the physical node names that the cluster is running on.  Make sure you use that same name when you setup your VM.  

Also to remove MSCS, just go into Add/Remove Programs --> Add/Remove Windows Components --> Uncheck Cluster service.


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