Monday, 13 August 2012


This is my first blog post so thought of starting with a topic which I always wanted to test, Multi-Site clustering. So this is probably going to be a 4 part series, in the 1st part will cover setting up lab and setting up SAN replication. In part 2 of the series I will go over configuring failover Manager and testing the Cluster and in 3 rd series will show adding File server to 2 Node Multi-site clusters and in the last part I will go over configuring SQL 2012 which now supports Multi-site clustering.


Heartbeat NIC Communication: As Heartbeat Nic’s will not have default gateway communicating to other site Heartbeat NIC would fail. So we need to manually add static routes on all the nodes in the cluster.

VM2008C Node:
Netsh interface ipv4 add route "Heartbeat"
VM2008D Node:
Netsh interface ipv4 add route "Heartbeat"

Domain controllers:
There are so many website which goes into details of installing and configuring DC, I thought of skipping this. In my Lab I have configured as my domain and VM2008DC1 will be primary domain controller and Active directory integrated DNS server. Using Active directory sites and support added a new site which is my Secondary site and configured VM2008DC2 as secondary Domain controller and DNS server.
Note: Before you start installing the Secondary site make sure your VMrouter server which is our router in the LAB up and running, if not communicating to primary site will fail.
SAN considerations:

The most important part of any multi site cluster is SAN configurations. As both sites will be in different datacenters it’s not possible to have shared SAN. So we will have local storage on each site and have to rely on 3rd party vendor to do replication. There are so many hardware vendors who does it so just Google it. As in the lab we can’t have an expensive SAN I started to look around for software replication vendors who can do the same job over a tcp/ip connections, so I came across 2 vendors Starwind software and Steel Eye Data keeper product which are quite different way of setting up but does the purpose of us.
In my lab I download a 30 day trial version of Starwind software(Version 5.4) so will go over step by step of configuring it and setting it up.
                ISCSI SAN steps:

1.       Install Starwind which is a next... Next... finish install on both primary and secondary sites.
2.       Log in to primary site Server VM2008dc1 and launch Starwind Management console.
3.       Right click on StarWind Servers and say Add Host.

Click ok
4.       Now you will see the Host added , right click and say connect

Leave the login name as root and type password as: starwind and click ok and you will see connected with Targets option on the left Paine.

5.Right click Targets and say Add targets

Type in Target Alias, ex HA3

Click Next

Select Hard Disk and Click Next

Click Advanced Virtual and click next

Select High Availability device and say next

Provide the Partner server details; in my lab it is the secondary site server which is VM2008dc2.
Leave the port as 3261 and authentication to Basic  and provide user name as root and password as starwind.
Note: Please note you need to have installed starwind on the secondary server before clicking on next.

Partner Target Alias name is repopulated, so you can leave as it is or pick a new name and click next. I kept the same name in my lab.

Click on the browse button in “Current server virtual disk parameters “and pick a folder location and a file name on the primary server.   ex.:   My Computer\C\Multisite\HA3.img
Click the check box next to “Create new”. Now browse on the “Partner server virtual disk parameters” and pick a folder location and a file name on the secondary server.
In my lab to be consistent I am using the same folder path structure with different file name.
ex.: My Computer\C\Multisite\HA3partner.img and pick the Size in MBs , example 2048 MB(2GB) and click next

Click on Interface on the current server parameters and pick the primary server IP details which will be used for communication and do similar for Partner server parameters Interface and click next
Note: Best practice would be to have a dedicated NIC for iSCSI communication.

Click “Do not synchronize virtual disks” and click next

Change the cache mode to Write-through caching and click next

Click next…

Click Finish.

Now login to Secondary site and verify the target iSCSI disk is created …

I followed the same process and created 2 more disks, HA1 and HA2 each 5GB.
This finishes setting up iscsi SAN with HA, next step would be to enabled the disk on the Nodes and start configuring failover cluster.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Naveen,

    It would be great if you could explain the setup of your VMRouter, and how you managed to add those ip's in your diagram. I would also request if you could provide steps on configuring a 2nd domain controller. Article is really informative, but needs more info if a layman or someone who has lesser knowledge on the AD and Network part of things will find helpful to recreate the same.