SQL Server 2012 Failover Clustering with Hyper-V–Part 2: Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on the Host

Today we will be installing Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition on the host computer.  We will then set up Hyper-V and prepare the server for running our virtual network.

Step 1: Burn a DVD

Using your favorite DVD burning software, burn the Windows Server 2008 R2 ISO file that you downloaded onto a DVD.  Sticking with the “free software” theme, I will be using the fantastic free software CDBurnerXP available for download at http://cdburnerxp.se/en/home.

  1. Download and install CDBurnerXP.
  2. Start CDBurnerXP and burn the ISO file to a DVD.

Step 2: Install Windows Server 2008 R2 on Host Computer

The Windows Server 2008 R2 installation is very typical.  Boot the computer using the OS’s bootable DVD.  Be sure to select Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise (Full Installation).


Step 3: Add the Hyper-V Role

  1. Once the installation and initial setup completes, Windows Server will boot up to the user interface with the Initial Configuration Tasks window.2012-03-16_135300
  2. If for some reason this is not displayed, start the Server Manager from the Start > Administrative Tools menu. When Server Manager starts, click on Roles in the left pane. Either way, click on the “Add roles" link to start the Add Roles Wizard.2012-03-16_140214
  3. In the Add Roles Wizard, click Next in the Before You Begin screen and select Hyper-V in the Server Roles window.2012-03-16_141407
  4. Click Next through the wizard to complete the installation.  That’s it! Hyper-V is now installed and ready to use!  A new item called Hyper-V Manager will now be available in the Start > Administrative Tools menu.

Step 4: Install Guest Operating Systems in Hyper-V

We will first create a template VM with Windows Server 2008 R2. We will then make copies of this template VM later when we are setting up servers in the Kamet virtual domain.

  1. Launch Hyper-V Manager from Start > Administrative Tools.
  2. Right click on the computer name and select New > Virtual Machine to start the New Virtual Machine Wizard.2012-03-16_162952
  3. Create a new VM using the New Virtual Machine Wizard. 
  4. In the Installation Options section, select the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise evaluation ISO that you downloaded.2012-03-16_1645272012-03-16_164543
  5. Click Finish to have the New Virtual Machine Wizard create the VM.  The Virtual Machine Wizard will close and you will be returned to the Hyper-V Manager.  The new VM will be listed in the Hyper-V Manager.
  6. Double click on the VM to connect to it and then select Action > Start to start the virtual machine.
  7. Since we selected the Windows Server 2008 R2 ISO file when creating the VM, Hyper-V will automatically begin the setup procedure for the “blank” VM.  Go through the steps to install Windows Server as usual.

Now that the template VM has been set up, we will shut it down and create copies of it for our domain controller and clustered servers.

In the next post of this series, we will set up the Kamet domain with one domain controller and two member servers so that we can finally get started with what the exciting stuff: creating a SQL Server 2012 failover cluster!


SQL Server 2012 Failover Clustering with Hyper-V–Part 1: Ready, Set Download!

Network Diagram

First and foremost, we will install Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise on the physical computer.  We will add the Hyper-V role and then set up the following virtual domain.

We will create a virtual domain called Kamet that will contain 3 instances of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and 1 instance of Windows 7 Enterprise.  We will be using 64-bit editions of all operating systems and SQL Server 2012.  The network diagram is as follows:


An Overview

  • Kamet
    • Domain name Kamet will be the “container” for all the networked virtual machines (VMs).
  • KametDC
    • The domain controller for the Kamet domain and will also have the DNS Server role installed.  I will also install iSCSI Software Target on it and create shared, network accessible storage.  The shared storage will be used for failover clustering of SQL Server 2012.
  • SQLServer2012NodeA, SQLServer2012NodeB
    • The two servers (called nodes) that will have SQL Server installed on them.  They will configured with SQL Server failover clustering.  Note that these servers have internal IP addresses, which are used for clustered SQL Server instances to talk to each other (called the heartbeat).  Internal IP addresses are not part of the main network.
  • WinCluster
    • The Windows failover cluster.  This is the foundation on which the SQL Server failover cluster will sit and operate.  A Windows failover cluster must be created first so that the Windows OS itself becomes cluster aware and enables us to use clustering functionality for software that runs on top of it.
  • SQL2012Dev
    • The SQL Server 2012 failover cluster that will sit on top of WinCluster.  Users will configure their applications to connect to WinCluster instead of any specific server running SQL Server.
  • Win7Client
    • A Windows 7 Enterprise client computer that will have SQL Server Management Studio installed, which we will use to test the SQL Server failover cluster.

Worth Noting

For simplicity purpose, we will assign static IP addresses in the 10.1.1.x range to all VMs (clients and servers). In a production environment, clusters and all servers within would typically have static IP addresses assigned and client computers would have DHCP assigned IP addresses.

Failover clustering is supported only in Enterprise editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012.  So be sure to download only Enterprise editions.

Since we will be using Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise for the domain control and both SQL Server nodes, it is a time saving technique to install the OS once and save the VHD in a safe location so that we may simply make copies of it for the actual VMs in our domain.

Download Installation Files

I have downloaded 64 bit evaluation versions of all software from Microsoft’s websites.  All the software listed here is free to download and fully functional for the trial period.  Most of the download files are very large in size and may take several hours to download.  The software we will need is:

  1. Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 180 day Evaluation ISO file for setting up host. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd459137.aspx
  2. Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial ISO file for setting up Hyper-V guest to run SQL Server client tools. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc442495.aspx
  3. SQL Server 2012 Evaluation ISO file. http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=29066
  4. Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=19867

Trial versions of other software can be downloaded from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter.

Windows Live Writer–My Blogging Companion

I will be blogging with Microsoft Windows Live Writer.  I’m quite new to it but I’ve heard great reviews about it.  There seems to be a consensus that the best points about Windows Live Writer are:

  • It’s free to use
  • It supports a variety of blogging platforms
  • It has great community support through plugins

I am excited about my new SQL Server blog and look forward to contributing to and learning from the SQL Server community.  I am very new to blogging, so commenters please bare with me while I learn and gain experience.

Greetings, Vishal

Windows Live Writer

Blog Reboot

In the next couple of days, I will start writing about setting up up SQL Server 2012 active-passive clustering on Windows Server 2008 R2.  The blog posts will have detailed descriptions, screen captures and explanations about the setup.

I will use evaluation versions of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition and SQL Server 2012 Enterprise edition for the setup.  I plan to do the following:

  1. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise evaluation edition as the host computer
  2. Install Hyper-V on host computer
  3. Within Hyper-V, I will:
    1. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise as domain controller (DC)
    2. Set up DNS and iSCSI target on DC
    3. Install two instances (nodes) of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and configure them for failover cluster
    4. Install SQL Server 2012 Enterprise on the two nodes
    5. Create a sample database on SQL Server 2012
    6. Install Windows 7 Enterprise, set up SQL Server client tools and test connectivity