Deploying SQL Server 2014 with Cluster Shared Volumes

First published on MSDN on May 08, 2014

An exciting new feature in SQL Server 2014 is the support for the deployment of a Failover Instance (FCI) with Shared Volumes (CSV). In this blog, I am going to discuss the value of deploying SQL Server with CSV as well as how you can deploy SQL with CSV. I also did a session at TechEd North America 2014 if you would like to learn more beyond this blog, recording is below:



Value of Deploying SQL 2014 with CSV

A SQL 2014 deployment with Shared Volumes provides several advantages over a deployment on “traditional” cluster .

Scalability

Consolidation of multiple SQL instances
: With traditional cluster , each SQL instance requires a separate LUN to be carved out. This because the LUN would need to failover with the SQL instance. CSV allows nodes in the cluster to have shared access to . This facilitates the consolidation of SQL instances by storing multiple SQL instances on a single CSV.

Better capacity planning, storage utilization
: Consolidating multiple SQL instances on a single LUN makes the storage utilization more efficient.

Addresses drive letter limitation:
Traditionally, the number of SQL instances that can be deployed on a cluster is limited to the number of drive letters (24 excluding the system drive and a drive for a peripheral device). There is no limit to the number of mount points for a CSV. Therefore, scalability of your SQL deployment is enhanced.

Availability

Resilience from storage failures
: When storage connectivity on a node is disrupted, CSV routes traffic over the using 3.0 allowing the SQL instance to remain operational. In a traditional deployment, the SQL instance would need to be failed over to a node with connectivity to the storage, resulting in downtime.

Fast failover
: Given that nodes in a cluster have shared access to storage, a SQL Server failover no longer required the dismounting and remounting of volumes. Additionally, the SQL Server DB is moved without drive ownership changes.

Zero downtime Chkdsk:
CSV integrates with

the improvements in Chkdsk in Windows Server 2012

to provide a disk repair without any SQL Server downtime.

Operability

With CSV, the management of your SQL Server Instance is simplified. You are able to manage the underlying storage from any node as there is an abstraction to which node owns the disk.

Performance and Security


CSV Block Cache

: CSV provides a distributed read-only cache for unbuffered I/O to SQL databases.


BitLocker Encrypted CSV

: With the CSV integration with BitLocker you have an option to secure your deployments outside your datacenters such as at branch offices. Volume level encryption allows you to meet compliance requirements.

deploy a SQL Server 2014 FCI on CSV

You can deploy a SQL Server 2014 FCI on CSV with the following steps:

Note:
The Steps to deploy a SQL Server FCI with CSV is identical with that with traditional storage except for Steps 3, 4 and 19 below. The remaining steps have been provided as a reference. For detailed instructions on the installation steps for a “traditional” FCI deployment refer to
:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231721.aspx


1)

Create the cluster

which will host the FCI deployment.

2)     Run validation on your cluster and

ensure that there are no errors

.

3)     Provision storage for your cluster. Add the storage to the cluster. You may rename the cluster disks corresponding to the storage for your convenience.

Add the cluster disks to
CSV

.


4)     Rename your CSV mount points to enhance your manageability


5)     Install .NET Framework 3.5


Using Windows PowerShell®



Using Server Manager


6)     Begin SQL installation on the first cluster node. Choose the
Installation
tab and choose the
New SQLServer failover cluster installation
option.


7)     Enter the Product Key


8)     Accept the License Terms


9)     Choose to use Microsoft Update to check for updates.


10)  Failover Cluster rules will be installed. It is essential that this step completes without errors.


11)  Choose the
SQLServer Feature Installation
option.


12)  Select the
Database Engine Services
and
Management Tools – Basic
features.



13)  Provide a Name for your SQL instance.


14)  Specify a name for the SQL Server cluster resource group of proceed with the default.


15)  Proceed with the default Cluster Disk selected.
We will adjust this selection in step 19.



16)  Choose both the IPv4 and IPv6 networks if available.


17)  Configure your SQL Server Agent and Database Engine accounts


18)  Specify your SQL Server administrators and choose your authentication mode.


19)  Select the
Data Directories
tab. This allows you to customize the
Cluster Shared Volumes paths
where you want to store the files corresponding to your SQL Database.


20)  Proceed with the final SQL Server installation.



On completion of installation you will now see the FCI data files stored in the CSV volumes specified.


Failover Cluster Manager (type
cluadmin.msc
on an elevated command prompt to launch) will reflect the SQL server instance deployed.



21)  Now add the other cluster nodes to the FCI. In the SQL Server Installation Center, choose the
Add node to a SQL Server failover cluster
option.


22)  Analogous to the installation on node 1. Proceed with the addition of the cluster node to the FCI.








Once your installation is done you can test a failover of your SQL instance through the Failover Cluster Manager.
Right Click
on the SQL Server role and choose to
Move
to the
Best Possible Node.


Note the difference with CSV. Your CSV will remain online for the duration of the SQL Server failover. There is no need to failover the storage to the node the SQL Server instance is moved to.



Thanks!

Subhasish Bhattacharya

Senior Program Manager

Clustering & High Availability

Microsoft

 

This article was originally published by Microsoft’s Failover Clustering Blog. You can find the original article here.