Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 1)

I've been quite busy for the last 3 weeks getting involved in a lot of System Center Operations Manager projects and I've decided to post  my experiences on the initial installation of SCOM for one particular client who wanted the SCOM RMS role clustered (no problem) but onto an SQL 2008 R2 failover cluster (maybe a slight problem!).

This is a fairly new configuration to have to install into a production environment due to the fact that Microsoft have only started supporting SQL 2008 R2 databases with SCOM 2007 R2 in the last few months.

I am going to be posting this installation over a number of blog posts as there is quite a lot of information to take in.

See below for the links to the other posts in this series:

Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 2)
Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 3)
Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 4)
Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 5)
Clustering the SCOM 2007 R2 RMS Role on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Cluster (Part 6)

We'll start this first post by giving a High-Level overview of how to install an SQL 2008 R2 cluster from scratch.

How to Cluster SQL 2008 R2 in a Windows Server 2008 R2 Environment

  • Install Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise onto two nodes

  • Add at least 2 NIC’s to each node

  • Configure NIC 1 with a local IP subnet for the domain to be used for Management

  • Configure NIC 2 with an IP for your ISCSI / Fiber subnet

Note at this point, you will be creating 2 cluster resources (MSDTC and SQL Cluster) so you need to ensure you have provisioned enough LUN’s to present to these. One LUN for Quorum is enough.

  • Present the ISCSI or Fibre Channel storage LUN and Quorum to each node ensuring you have provisioned separate disks for the MSDTC and SQL Cluster Resources (i.e. 1 x MSDTC, 1 x SQL DB, 1 x SQL Logs, 1 x Quorum)

  • Add the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 from the ‘Features’ section before you install SQL 2008 R2
Read the information supplied in the link below before installing any cluster components:
  • Install Windows Failover Clustering on each node
  • Create the cluster within Windows Failover Clustering ensuring you use unique IP addresses and names for each cluster resource (These names will be registered in DNS for Cluster communication)
  • Create a Cluster resource for the MSDTC component
  • Create the SQL Server service accounts within Active Directory
  • Enable SQL Server service accounts permissions to read and write SPN’s within Active Directory.

Follow this link to enable Read and Write of SPN’s on the newly created Service Accounts:

If the above step relating to SPN's is not followed, then you will need to make the registry modification below to disable LoopBack Check and stop an error occurring during setup of the SQL cluster.

Carry out the procedure below to stop an error when installing a SQL Cluster instance:

1.Disable the authentication loopback check by setting the DisableLoopbackCheck value in the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa registry subkey to 1

To set the DisableLoopbackCheck registry entry to 1, follow below steps on all nodes of cluster.
     a. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

     b. Locate the following registry path:
     c. Right-click Lsa, select New, and then click DWORD Value.

     d. Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.
     e. Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.

     f. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

2. Restart the system.

Installing SQL Server

Ensure when you are installing your SQL Server that you specify a Collation Setting of 'SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS' otherwise you will end up with a problem described in this blog posting:

Install SQL Server 2008 R2  from the installation media following the step-by-step instructions in the link below and making sure that you select 'New SQL Server Failover Cluster Installation' on the 'Installation' tab of the intial SQL splash screen:

Once SQL 2008 R2 is installed and up and running, make sure you then download Cumulative Rollup 5 for SQL 2008 R2 and install it as soon as possible. This rollup resolves issues where the OperationsManager Database is housed on an SQL 2008 R2 database and it causes the CPU usage to rocket.

Here's a really good link on this to follow:

Uninstalling a SQL 2008 R2 Cluster
If you want to uninstall a SQL 2008 R2 Cluster, you must first run the ‘Remove Cluster Node’ wizard from the SQL 2008 R2 media and ensure that it is run initially on all nodes that are not the owner of the cluster resource(s).

  • Once all but the last cluster nodes have been removed from the SQL cluster, then ensure that the last SQL server is the owner of the SQL Cluster Resource and that no other SQL cluster nodes exist, then run the ‘Remove Cluster Node’ wizard from here and it will remove the last node from the cluster

  • When you have removed all the SQL cluster nodes, you can then run the SQL uninstaller from the ‘Add/Remove’ programs menu to fully remove all SQL components.

This concludes the first part of this blog post and you should now have your SQL 2008 R2 Failover Cluster built and tested before commencing onto the SCOM side of things.

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