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

How to Create a Virtual Quorum Disk

Clustering two virtual servers requires the use of a quorum disk, which is used by the cluster to store database checkpoints and log files. Both nodes of a cluster must have access to the quorum disk. Creating a quorum disk is virtually identical to creating the shared disk. The only difference is that it does not have to be as large. Microsoft recommends that quorum disks be at least 500 MB, and that is what I recommend for your virtual quorum disk. To create the virtual quorum disk, follow these steps.

  1. From the Master Status screen (the default screen displayed when the Virtual Server Administration Website is started), Under “Virtual Disks”, select “Create.” This will produce a pop-up menu, from which you need to select “Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk.”

  2. First, specify the “Location” or the path where the file is to reside. When you click on the down-arrow button next to “Location”, you will see one or more options. Second, you must specify the name of the file next to “Virtual hard disk file name.” And last, you must specify the size of the disk, which should be 500 MB. When you are done, your screen should look similar to the following one.

  3. Once you have entered all the data, select “Create” to create the file.

How to Create the Virtual “C” Drives for the Two Nodes of the Cluster

We still have two more virtual disk to create before we are done. In this case, we need to create the “C” drives for our two virtual nodes. Once these are created, we can then install our two guest OSs that will become our virtual nodes of our cluster. Creating these two virtual disks are very similar to what we have done already. The only difference is that we can chose a “Dynamically Expanding Virtual Hard Disk” instead of a “Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk” if we want. The choice is yours. In my case, I am going to choose the “Dynamically Expanding Virtual Hard Disk” because it better allows me to minimize the amount of hard disk space on the host system that is devoted for our drive “Cs.” For example, since the disk can expand if necessary, I can create them at a minimum size to conserve space, and if I guess wrong, the disk files can expanded as necessary. To create the two virtual “C” disks, follow these steps.

  1. From the Master Status screen (the default screen displayed when the Virtual Server Administration Website is started), Under “Virtual Disks”, select “Create.” This will produce a pop-up menu, from which you can select “Dynamically Expanding Virtual Hard Disk.”

  2. First, specify the “Location” or the path where the file is to reside. When you click on the down-arrow button next to “Location”, you will see one or more options. Second, you must specify the name of the file next to “Virtual hard disk file name.” And last, you must specify the size of the disk, which should be 2 GB or larger. When you are done, your screen should look similar to the following one.

  3. Once you have entered all the data, select “Create” to create the file. This creates the “C” drive for node1. Now, repeat the above steps, except this time, assign a name of node2. Once both virtual drives have been created, you are ready to create the virtual machines, which will be used for the virtual cluster nodes.

Create Virtual Node1

At this point, Virtual Server 2005 has been configured, and is now ready for us to install the two nodes of our cluster. Essentially, you will be installing two instances of Windows 2003 Server, pretty much the same as you would install them on individual physical servers, with just a few differences. It is assumed here that you already know how to install Windows 2003 Server, so the focus of this section will be on the aspects of this installation that are unique to installing guest OSs in Virtual Server 2005. In this section, we will focus on Node1, and then we will do Node2 separately. We are doing these as separate steps because the configuration of each node is slightly different. To create a virtual server (also called a virtual machine) called node1, follow these steps.

  1. From the Master Status screen (the default screen displayed when the Virtual Server Administration Website is started), Under “Virtual Machines”, select “Create.” The following screen appears.



     

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