sql server clustering basics

Can I ask a few basic questions on SQL Server and SQL clustering:

1. Is it a specific tool/software that manages SQL Server clustering? What’s the name of the software that manages the SQL clustering?
2. How can you see what servers and databases are in a SQL cluster?
3. And is every MSSQL database replicated onto each of the other servers in the cluster?
4. Do you still need to backup each of your databases? Or do you just backup the cluster? or does the fact they are clustered mean you dont need a backup anymore?
5. Is there anything that can go wrong with SQL Server clustering, or any poor clustering designs/decisions?
6. if you were tasked with looking at the configuration of an MSSQL cluster what would you be looking for in terms of best practice/bad practice?

Sorry for the basic level of question but I am not a DBA doing this for continuity risk assessment. Much prefer comments aimed at management level as opposed to being directed to techie links.
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pma111Asked:
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65tdRetiredCommented:
The type of clustering referred to is called Fail over clustering (in 2008R2 and up).  There is a Fail over cluster manager to view and configure the cluster.

The fail over manager will allow one to see the nodes in the cluster.

A fail over cluster has shared disk on a SAN and that is where the DBs are stored, the SQL application is on all nodes used in the SQL cluster.

Depending on the importance of the data bases one would still backup the data bases.

A poorly configured cluster can cause all kinds of headaches.

Would review the best practices set out by Microsoft and others.
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pma111Author Commented:
>Depending on the importance of the data bases one would still backup the data bases.

Why, if you have a cluster/high availability?
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pma111Author Commented:
I still dont really understand about the databases and how they would typically be stored in a cluster environment, ie say you have 200 mssql databases in a cluster, are they all on the same server, or can you have 10 servers in your cluster, and 20 databases on each? Or are all 200 databases on each of the 10 servers in your cluster?

I am coming from this form a security angle, if you have 20 databases replicated on 10 servers, then you have to check the security on all 10 servers, do you not? Or if you tighten the security on 1 server, is that then replicated to the other 9 servers?
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65tdRetiredCommented:
A cluster should be designed such that one host could run all services should all the hosts go away.
Database instance (groups) would be spread across the hosts for performance.
Each goup would consist of the following resources a SQL instance, disk(s), network name and IP address.  So if one had 2000 database there would have to be 200 groups.

NTFS security would be set only once, user security would be set once because domain accounts would used.  Host OS security could be different but could made to be uniform using local and or domain GPO's.
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pma111Author Commented:
But all in all my database is only ever on one system, i.e. \\server\share\directory\mydatabase.dbf, there isnt a copy of it on all servers in the cluster, but they (the other systems in the cluster) could run the database if the server it is on fails.
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