Adding File Server Role to in-guest cluster

JamesNT
JamesNT used Ask the Experts™
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Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update.

We already have a Hyper-V cluster that is working fine.  We created an in-guest SQL Server 2014 cluster on top of the Hyper-V cluster and that is working fine.  We decided to add the File Server role to the SQL Server in-guest cluster.  The in-guest cluster has three storage volumes:

1.  Cluster Disk 1 - Cluster Shared Volume used to store the SQL Server database only.
2.  Cluster Disk 2 - Disk Witness in Quorum.
3.  Cluster Disk 3 - Cluster Shared Volume currently Unused

When I run through the wizard to add the File Server role, I choose  "File Server for General Use" I then choose an IP address and give it a name.  The next step is to choose storage and the wizard says No Storage is Available.  

Question:  How can I make the wizard use Cluster Disk 3?

Thank you for your help.

JamesNT
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Is it such a good idea as to run an additional role on the guest SQL cluster?

For file services, a cluster within a cluster really doesn't make any sense? What would be accomplished by this?

I suggest setting up an HA VM that is dedicated to the file services role on the Hyper-V cluster.

Author

Commented:
Unfortunately, those are the requirements.  From a licensing standpoint and others, we have to be frugal.  Setting up another in-guest cluster just for File Server role has been shot down for now.

James
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
James,

You already have a cluster on Hyper-V. That's your failover protection for an HA VM that hosts the file services, and other roles. I am not suggesting to set up another cluster when one is already there and ready to host workloads.
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Author

Commented:
Setting up a VM on the Hyper-V cluster just for the file services role would still consume another license - which we don't have (we are using Windows Server Standard for all the licensing).  Further, a single VM is HA when it comes to hardware failures, but not software failures (e.g. bad patch).  That's why we wanted to utilized an existing in-guest cluster.

James
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
James,

I'm not getting the point?

A cluster is a cluster. If a patch toasts one of the Hyper-V hosts the VMs saddle up on the other host.

Is this what the goal is? TechNet: Windows Server 2012 Continuous Availability File Server feature

There's a How-To in there to get things going via Failover Cluster Manager.

Would we do it on an already deployed SQL cluster setup? Flat out no.

Point of Clarification: In a cluster setting 2 VMs running on two nodes require two Windows Server Standard licenses (1:2 across two nodes). 4 VMs running on a two node Hyper-V cluster would require four licenses (1:2 across two nodes).

EDIT: License clarification assumes one or two CPUs per physical host.

Author

Commented:
So what happens when a bad patch toasts the VM?  At that point you are still down.  You would have to have two VM's in an in-guest cluster on top of the Hyper-V cluster for true HA - which we already have it's just running SQL also.

Regarding licensing, you are asking me to set up one - two more VM's and we are out of licenses.

James
Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Commented:
James,

Disaster Recovery is an important part of any IT setup.

We set up two VHDX files. One 50GB for the OS and one set at whatever is required for the data.

In a bad patch situation we could have that VM restored by restoring _only_ the system partition in very short order.

IMNSHO, as a long time cluster technical architect, we'd never share cluster setups/resources in the manner indicated.

Author

Commented:
I'm of the same mind.  I really don't want to have an already running SQL Server in-guest cluster running another role.  I think I'm going to go to the higher-ups and just tell them like it is.  Surely they can afford $1600 for two more Standard licenses.

James
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
James,

If the server setup is recent an OEM license pair may be had for less cost.

Thanks for the points eh! :)

Author

Commented:
Wait, how many points did you get??  I don't see anywhere on this thing to allocate points!

I ALWAYS post all questions with 500 points.  At least, that's how things were done on the old interface (500 was the default).  Not quite use to this one.

James
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
I see 500 points on my end. The new UI has been modified at least twice in the last year or so? I've hopelessly lost my cheese ... ;)

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