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Can more than one SQL cluster use the same network for cluster communication?

Posted on 2012-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-08-27
We have three 2-node MSSQL 2008 clusters running on Windows 2008 R2. Right now, each cluster is using a separate subnet/VLAN for cluster communications. Can these all use the same subnet for cluster communications, or not? If so, what are the ramifications?
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Question by:ckratsch
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38331888
We have three 2-node MSSQL 2008 clusters running on Windows 2008 R2. Right now, each cluster is using a separate subnet/VLAN for cluster communications. Can these all use the same subnet for cluster communications, or not? - They can but its not recommended as if its on the Public IP it might cause issues to the HA cluster :(

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Cluster Service (Check the article is very good)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727114.aspx


Each node should have two network adapters—one for connection to the public network and the other for the node-to-node private cluster network. If you use only one network adapter for both connections, your configuration is unsupported. A separate private network adapter is required for HCL certification.

Cluster service can use private networks for cluster status signals and cluster management. This provides more security than using a public network for these roles. You can also use a public network for cluster management, or you can use a mixed network for both private and public communications

Recommended private "Heartbeat" configuration on a cluster server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258750


Windows Server 2008 Cluster Heartbeat?
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_24646637.html

Multiple Instances with Different IP Addresses and Same Port Number in SQL Server
http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/Topic661028-149-1.aspx

- Rancy
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kevinhsieh earned 2000 total points
ID: 38332233
The short answer is that YES, multiple clusters can use the same network. In fact, Windows 2008/R2 clusters don't even have to have a separate network for cluster/heartbeat communications. The point of having a separate cluster network is to avoid having the entire cluster go down if there is a failure in part of the network. The truth of the matter is that if I lose a switch, I lose everything and it doesn't matter how many VLANs and network cards I use on my servers, so having a separate cluster network doesn't buy me any protection.

Note that the article Recommended private "Heartbeat" configuration on a cluster server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258750 does NOT apply to Windows 2008/R2/(2012?). It will refer you to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd197454%28WS.10%29.aspx#BKMK_Account_Infrastructure instead.
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