DBA Sensation

October 20, 2009

SQL Server 2008 Cluster installation on Windows 2008 Enterprise Server

Filed under: 3. MS SQL Server — zhefeng @ 12:41 pm

SQL Server 2008 Cluster installation on Windows 2008 Enterprise Server

1. Windows 2008 cluster ring installation

When you are trying to create windows 2008 cluster ring, you will get error like this:
“An error occurred while creating the cluster. An error occurred creating cluster ‘sql08clus’. The network location cannot be reached.”

It looks like 2008 Cluster requires a system share for it to be created. However, by default windows 2008 server system share was disabled by a registry key. In order to enabling system share, you have to modify this key:
After that the cluster can be created successfully.

Cluster ring configurations:

Cluster Name: sql08clus IP address:
Node1: sqlc08n1 IP address:
Node2: sqlc08n2 IP address:
MSDTC: sql08cldtc IP address:

2. SQL Server 2008 cluster installation
The SQL Server 2008 cluster installation is quite different than earlier versions. It doesn’t do the installation for the remote nodes. (See more at Ref. 1)
There are two installation options:
* Integrated failover cluster install with Add Node
SQL Server integrated failover cluster installation consists of two steps:
1. Create and configure a single-node SQL Server failover cluster instance. At the completion of a successful configuration of the node, you have a fully functional failover cluster instance. At this time it does not have high-availability because there is only one node in the failover cluster.
2. On rest nodes (NOT ON FIRST ONE) to be added to the SQL Server failover cluster, run Setup with Add Node functionality to add that node.

* Advanced/Enterprise installation
SQL Server Advanced/Enterprise failover cluster installation consists of two steps:
1. On each node that will be part of the SQL Server failover cluster, run Setup with Prepare Failover Cluster functionality. This step prepares the nodes ready to be clustered, but there is no operational SQL Server instance at the end of this step.
2. After the nodes are prepared for clustering, run Setup on the node that owns the shared disk with the Complete Failover Cluster functionality. This step configures and completes the failover cluster instance. At the end of this step, you will have an operational SQL Server failover cluster instance.

In this case we used option 1 – “integrated failover cluster install with add node”

Step1: usually we start installation by run “setup” to bring the GUI interface. However, sometimes a fully functional cluster ring couldn’t pass the sql server 2008 validation rule which will block the installation. In our case it’s blocked, so we have to skip this validation rule to let installation carry on (see more at ref.6):
Here are some commands to bypass the rule check:
* For an integrated failover setup, run the following command on each node that is being added:
Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=InstallFailoverCluster
* For adding node to integrated installation instance
Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=AddNode
* For an advanced or enterprise installation, run the following command:
Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=CompleteFailoverCluster
So the first step here we run (c:\temp is my installable location):
C:\temp\Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=InstallFailoverCluster
We use the configuration as below:

Cluster mode: Active – Passive two nodes cluster
SQL Network name: sqlc2k8vip IP address:
Service Account: test\service.acc
Cluster domain group: test\sqlcluster

Step 2: According to the integrated failover cluster installation method, we have to run add node(by GUI/Command line) on second node to add this node into cluster. Because of the validation problem we run this here on node 2:
C:\temp\Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=AddNode
However, Microsoft gave us an error again:
“The current SKU is invalid”
This is actually a installation bug (see more in ref. 7), so we download the hotfix (SQLServer2008-KB973601-x86), patched first node and second node(maybe not necessary). The patch apparently will failed on first node, but it’s ok you can bring the services up manually in cluster admin GUI.
After patching the installation worked well.

Step3: testing failover between two nodes
No problem at all

1. “Getting Started with SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering”

2. “Setting up a Two-node SQL Server 2008 Cluster from the Command Prompt – Preparation”

3. “Setting up a Two-NODE SQL Server 2008 Cluster from the Command Prompt – Integrated Installation”

4. “Installing a Two-node SQL Server 2008 Cluster – Advanced option”

5. “Installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008 Cluster Part 1-4”

6. “Cluster validation rule of the setup process failure workaround”

7. “Error message when you try to add a second node to a SQL Server 2008 failover cluster: “The current SKU is invalid””

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