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adding node to a 1 node sql cluster...'upgrading' from eval version

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-08-08
What I had:
A two node sql2008r2 cluster on server2008eval version.  Eval versions are expired so both nodes reboot every hour or so.  Cluster resource allocation not with standing.

xxxsql1 and xxxsql2 both nodes in xxxdbcl.  Each machine is an MPIO enabled, dl580g5, with 24procs (4 seen by OS, 24 listed in devices, and bios, multicore's suspected), and 72gb of mem.

Anyway, I have evicted xxxsql1 from the node, and rebuilt the machine with a fresh OS install, 100 plus updates and patches, including sp1 and now have a fully validated 2008r2sp1dc build.  It's imaged (i.e. backed up).  It is now joined to the domain as xxxsql3, and with powerpath drivers installed is seeing the SAN disks.  They are all offline and  appear unconfigured.

What are the steps from here?  Do I add the node to the cluster?  Use the SQL install to add a sql cluster node?  Configure the storage?

I can validate the configuration with a warning about the OS version and patch levels, which appears to be a prerequisite for success.  Is this true?

Will my plan of adding a node with a valid OS evicting the eval node, rebuilding it with a valid OS and then adding it as new node to the old cluster work?

Appreciate any experience or tips on this process.

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Question by:j8ear
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by:Ryan McCauley
Ryan McCauley earned 500 total points
ID: 36512082
If you add this "new" node to the cluster, you can then install SQL on it and make sure you can fail all your instances over to it before you reformat your second node, which seems like the safer way to do things. Your plan sounds good, though - I'd add this new "node3" to your cluster (which should currently be a one-node cluster with just "node2", right?), deploy SQL to it and make sure you can fail each instance successfully over to node3, and then evict, reformat, and repeat the installs on what I assume will be "node4" (reformatted "node2").

Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:j8ear
ID: 36513376
That's essentially how im planning to proceed.  Node 1 is evicted and rebuilt as node 3.  However my add node to cluster failed, I think the drive config hung, but I'm not sure.  Today we decided to return the unaffiliated machine to the image we created after install (08r2sp1dc)....but the whole restore from image (a 30 gb image mind you) was still running when I left and was 3.5 hours into the process.  Every step taking 30 minutes or more to complete.  Scanning, finding, loading, rebooting....something feels amiss.

Anywho, hopefully the reimage will complete by monday morning and I can start fresh....which brings me to the steps.

Ryan seems to think it's add node to cluster first, then deploy sql.  Sounds right.  Is there any shared storage config required by me on the node being added?  Is it all done by the "add node" processes and sql node installs, configs?  

Thanks for reading, too, everyone, Ryan.  This is a very fascinating process by how convulted it seems.

Thanks,

-bear

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Ryan McCauley earned 500 total points
ID: 36513511
Clustering is great once it's set up, but is definitely touchy during the initial configuration and some minor things can hang you up pretty easily. It sounds like you're on the right path, though.

As long as the SAN has the Quorum and MSDTC LUNs assigned to both cluster nodes, you should be okay to join the cluster from a storage perspective. If you suspect it's the storage configuration that's hanging things up, try this - change the Quorum mode (Right click on your cluster in the manager, select "More Actions" -> "Configure cluster quorum settings"), and set it to "Node Majority" instead of "Node and disk majority". This will remove the reliance on the quorum disk in order a add a second node, so as long as the network is in good shape, you'll be able to add your second node. DO NOT LEAVE IT THIS WAY - IT'S NOT STABLE, AS A NETWORK INTERRUPTION WILL TAKE YOUR CLUSTER RESOURCE GROUPS OFFLINE. However, it can be useful for troubleshooting, and can be changed again once your second node is connected - you'll know if it's related to the disk management, or if it's something else.
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Author Comment

by:j8ear
ID: 36513630
Excellent tips!  Thanks again.  Image completed successfully now, and post image housekeeping complete.  She's ready to try again.
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