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

At this point, you have now completed all the Virtual Server 2005 configuration steps. Now you need to install Windows 2003 Server into the virtual machine you just created and configured. Now, we come to one of those times when we are going to assume you know how to install a guest OS into Virtual Server 2005. If you don’t know how, then check the Virtual Server 2005 Administrators Guide for information on how to do so. We are also going to assume you know how to install Windows 2003 Server as well.

As you install Windows 2003 Server as node 1 of your virtual cluster, you will want to keep the following in mind, as they relate to how we just configured the virtual machine.

  • Install the OS onto your drive “C”.

  • Install the appropriate service pack.

  • Install the Virtual Server Virtual Machine Additions, as described in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrators Guide, after you have installed Windows 2003 Server.

  • Use your Public network as the network for the initial install. Use an appropriate IP naming scheme.

  • Once the OS is installed, configure the Private Network and the shared disk just as you would when installing a cluster on physical equipment.

  • Because clustering requires the use of a DNS Server and Active Directory, you must either have these available on your connected network, or you need to configure this node with its own DSN Server and Active directory. For learning/educational purposes, configuring these on this node gives you the capability to bring your virtual cluster with you anywhere. This is what I did on my portable PC.


Create Virtual Node 2

As I mentioned earlier, creating virtual node2 is almost identical to creating virtual node1. But there are some important differences. Because of this, and to help prevent any confusion, I am repeating all of the same steps here, and of course, including the differences as well.

To create a virtual server called node2, 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,” and the “Create Virtual Machine” screen appears.

  2. First, you must specify a name for the virtual machine you are now creating. In our case, let’s name it node2. If you don’t enter a path, the virtual machine configuration file (which is what we are actually creating in this step) will be saved in the default path. If you want the virtual machine configuration file stored in another patch, you can manually specify the path.

    Second, you must specify the amount of physical memory to allocate to this node. On my host computer, which only as 1 GB of RAM, I have specified 320 MB as the size for node2. Notice that this is less than the 384 MB that I allocated to node1. Why? The reason is that I made node1 a domain controller and DNS server, while node2 is only a member server. Because of this, node2 needs less RAM than node1. I would have liked to given more RAM to both of these virtual nodes, but if I did, then I would not have enough RAM to run the host OS, along with Virtual Server 2005, and any other applications I might be running on my laptop. Your case may be different. If so, then allocate as much RAM as you can to each virtual node so that you get the best overall performance.

    Third, you specify the drive “C” for node2, which you created earlier. You do this by selecting “Use an existing virtual hard disk” and pointing to the filename and path of the virtual hard disk.

    Fourth, you must specify the “Public” virtual network adapter that you created earlier.  Your completed screen should look similar to the one below.




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