How to Configure Virtual Server 2005 in Order to Setup a Test SQL Server Cluster

Install and Configure Your Host OS

Install the host OS, and appropriate service pack, onto your hardware as you would any other install. Also install any updated hardware drivers, if appropriate. Once you are done installing the base OS, ensure that all the hardware is working correctly, and if appropriate, make the system a member of your domain and check to see that it can communicate over your LAN.

Virtual Server 2005 requires that IIS be installed and operating correctly on the host OS. So if IIS was not installed as part of the OS installation, then you must install IIS at this point. Once it is installed, check to see that it can serve up web pages.

In the Control Panel, System, Performance Options, Advanced Tab, select “Background services” for “Processor scheduling” and select “Programs” for “Memory usage.”

If your hardware is somewhat underpowered for your virtual cluster, you will want to turn off any OS services that don’t need to run in order to free up resources for your virtual cluster.

Install Virtual Server 2005

Install Virtual Server 2005 as directed in the Virtual Server Getting Started Manual. If you are not familiar with Virtual Server 2005, you will also want to spend some time with the Virtual Server 2005 Administration Guide before you proceed with the following steps in this article on how to configure Virtual Server 2005 as a cluster for SQL Server.

Configure Virtual Server 2005 for Clustering

Now that Virtual Server 2005 has been installed, you are ready to begin configuring it so that you can set up your virtual SQL Server cluster. Here’s what we will be doing in this section:

  • Creating a virtual “Private” network for all virtual node to virtual node communications.

  • Creating a virtual “Public” network for all client to virtual cluster communications.

  • Create a virtual shared disk for the virtual cluster to share.

  • Create a virtual quorum disk.

  • Create two virtual “C” drives to be used by the virtual nodes in the virtual cluster.

Once all of the above prerequisites are complete, then you will be ready to install the guest OSs and the virtual cluster.

How to Create a Virtual Private Network

In this step, we will create a virtual Private network, which will be used by the two nodes in our cluster to communicate.

  1. On the host computer, start the Virtual Server Administration Website. This is the tool you will be using to configure Virtual Server 2005 to work as a virtual SQL Server cluster.

  2. From the Master Status screen (the default screen displayed when the Virtual Server Administration Website is started), Under “Virtual Networks”, select “Create.” This displays the “New Virtual Network” Network Properties Screen, as shown below. Your screen may look slightly different than this one. That’s to be expected, as my computer is configured differently than yours. This will not affect what we are doing here. This is true for all of the screens you see in this article.

  3. In this screen, you need to replace “New Virtual Network”, next to “Virtual network name” with an appropriate name, as shown below. In our case, we will call it “Private.” This will make it easy for us to remember that this network is the private network, not the public network. In addition, leave the “Network adapter on physical computer” option set to its default value of “None (Guests Only).” And if you like, you can enter a description of this virtual network for the “Virtual network notes.” When your are done with this screen, as shown below, click on OK to create this virtual network.

    You are now done creating the Private virtual network.



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