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SQL Server Failover Cluster Checklist

SQL Server Failover Cluster Checklist

In this post, we will talk about the Pre-Installation SQL Server Failover Cluster Checklist that might be helpful for you to prepare the environment. Please note that they steps are meant to help you get started. Please use your own service accounts and passwords for pre-production deployments.

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SQL Server Failover Cluster Checklist

Assuming that you have all the hardware and environment in place, with the Windows Server running on a minimum of 2 Nodes, here are the items to check before installing SQL Server on a Cluster.

  1. DNS name resolution of the nodes participating in the cluster. Simply PING the Server nodes by their Host Name.
  2. All the nodes should use a common service account which is a member of the local admin group. Ensure that each node can access the root folders, like C$ and ADMIN$ shares of each of the other nodes.
  3. Verify that the network binding order should have the following:
  • External public network for Client Connections to SQL Server.
  • Internal private network for cluster Heartbeat connections.
  • iSCSI or other special purpose network connections like Remote Access Connections etc.

4. The System Date and Time should be in Sync with the Domain Controller. Use NET TIME command to check.

5. Ensure all resources in the Cluster is online. For example, Disk, Network, MSDTC etc.

6. Remote registry service should be started.

7. Ensure the following Services are started:

  • Task Scheduler
  • Remote Registry
  • COM+ System Application
  • Server
  • Cryptographic services

Before installing a clustered instance of SQL Server, you need to have the following Items in place:

Domain Name: YourCompanyDomain.com
Node 1 Name: SQLNode1
Node 2 Name: SQLNode2
Node 1 Public Network IP Address/Mask: (Client connection Network Interface on Node 1)
Node 2 Public Network IP Address/Mask:  (Client connection Network Interface on Node 2)
Private Network IP Address on Node1: (Cluster Heartbeat)
Private Network IP Address on Node2: (Cluster Heartbeat)
Admin Account Name and Password: Administrator/Pass@word1
Windows Cluster Virtual Name: SQLCLUSTER

Even though the Windows Cluster Virtual Name has a DNS Entry, this is not the connection which which client data connections should point to.

Windows Cluster IP Address:
MSDTC IP Address: (Ensure a Static IP Address)
MSDTC Network Name: MSDTC (Will have DNS Entries)
Virtual SQL Server Name (default or named): SQLCLUSTER\MyInstance

The Virtual SQL Server name is what the SQL Client Connections should point to.

Virtual SQL IP Address:
Cluster Service Account Name and Password: ClusterSVC/Pass@word1
SQL Service Account Name and Password: SQL2K16SVC/Pass@word1
SQL Server Domain Group Name: SQL Server Admins
MSDTC Disk Letter: Assign a Clustered Shared Disk for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator Service, For Example, Drive M:

We hope that this post about SQL Server Failover Cluster Checklist was helpful for you to get started. If you have any questions or feedback, do not hesitate to comment below in the comment section.

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