Prepare Windows Cluster SharePoint

This part demonstrate how to configure windows cluster for two server, to be used as SQL Cluster.

Before you start

· You need to have two network adapters on each node, one Public and one Private(for heartbeat communication).

· Shared storage (like SAN storage) should be present and connected to both cluster nodes  with at least:

  • Quorum Disk (5GB)
  • DTC Disk (1GB)
  • SQL data files and log file disk(s)

· domain user account (SPSadmin): add SPSadmin user as administrator on both servers

· Prepare a preserved static IP and Cluster Name to be used.

· Prepare a preserved static IP and DTC Name to be used.

Windows Cluster Configuration

1. Install latest windows updates on all server nodes.

2. Install Application role and IIS role on both SQL DB server nodes

3. Install Fail over clustering feature on both SQL DB server nodes.

4. Provide a Cluster Name and Cluster IP for the database nodes:

Note: make sure that the public network is used here not the private (heartbeat)

5. Below are the servers info

6. Cluster Disk files are configured as the following:

7. Configure DTC as clustered service , this is a pre requisite for SQL Cluster installation

8. DTC cluster configuration

9. Assign the DTC a cluster disk

10. Create SQL Group which is a logical group to include all SQL resources in :

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load balance manager create cluster

Load balanceing WFE servers sharepoint

Windows 2008 includes a Network Load Balancing feature and I’ll be utilizing this in my SharePoint environment.  I currently have two web front end servers but there is no reason why I can’t add more, and include them in the NLB cluster, at a later date.

Unfortunately, NLB isn’t application aware so it won’t know if SharePoint fails.  As long as the server is up NLB will continue to forward requests to the failed server and any users hitting that server will just get an error of some kind if SharePoint is not running.

So, the first thing to do is install the NLB feature in Windows.  This can be done using the Server Manager.  See the screenshot below:

Load balanceing WFE servers sharepoint

Load balanceing WFE servers sharepoint

Once installed I need to create an NLB cluster on the first server.  This is quite easy to do – just follow these steps:

  1. Start the Network Load Balancing Manager
  2. From the Cluster menu choose New
  3. Enter the server name or IP address and select the desired interface from the list.  Click Next
  4. Select the dedicated IP address and click Next
  5. Add a cluster IP address, choose Multicast and click Next
  6. If required, narrow down the ports required for the cluster (for example just port 80 and 443).  Click Finish.  The cluster is now in place with just the one host, as you can see below:
load balance manager create cluster

create cluster load balance manager

To add the second host just right-click the cluster and choose Add host to cluster.  Follow the wizard to add the second server to the cluster.

Note: when clustering 3 or more web front end servers it is a good idea to use a separate network for server to server communication.