SQL Server 7.0 Clustering

Tip: If you have a current SQL Server that is non-clustered, and will be moving the databases on this server to a new, clustered SQL Server, you can make your life easier by reusing the old SQL Server name and IP address on the new cluster, with no adverse effects.

Explanation: Because SQL Server clustering uses a virtual server name and IP address, there is no inherent issues with changing the virtual server name and IP address to meet your needs. For example, let’s say you have a current SQL Server which is named sqlserver1 with an IP address of, and that you have over 500 different people using a variety of clients to access this server. This includes DSN and DSN-less-based applications. Your goal is to move the databases from this old server to a new SQL Server cluster, and you want to do this with as few steps and with as little down-time as possible for your 500 users.

One option is to first build your SQL Server cluster on new hardware, and test it appropriately. When you do this, you will have to assign the SQL Server cluster a name and IP address for its use. This name and IP address of course cannot match the current SQL Server’s name and IP address.

Once you have thoroughly proved to yourself and others that the cluster is sound and ready for production, you can take these steps. First, backup all of the databases and restore them on the new SQL Server cluster. Second, rename the old SQL Server and assign it a new IP address, then bring this server down (you want to do this because if you ever bring it up again, you don’t want its name and IP address to cause a conflict). Third, remove SQL Server clustering from the cluster (see first tip on this page). Fourth, reinstall SQL Server clustering using the old server’s name and IP address as the SQL Server virtual name. Once SQL Server clustering is complete, all 500 of your clients will be able to access their data without knowing that they are now on a new server.

NOTE: Don’t every change the name or IP address of a SQL Server cluster without using the SQL Server Failover Cluster Wizard to remove, and then re-install the SQL Server cluster.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: It is very important that between the time you shut down the old server, and before you run the SQL Server Clustering Wizard, that the name of the old server (which will now become the name of the new virtual SQL Server on the cluster) be removed from the domain. Generally, this will happen when you rename the old server as described above. Just to be safe, you may want to check to see if the computer name has been removed from domain controllers on your domain. If it is not, then the SQL Server Cluster Wizard will fail when you try to assign the old computer’s name to the SQL Server virtual server.

Version: 7.0

Updated Added: 7-30-2001


Tip: Don’t turn off or on the mssqlserver, sqlserveragent, or the msdtc services off or on using any other tool other than Cluster Administrator when SQL Server 7.0 has been clustered. That means don’t use Enterprise Manager, Service Manager, or Services to turn these services off or on.

Explanation: If you don’t follow this rule, you could corrupt your SQL Server 7.0 cluster installation and have to reinstall it.

Also keep in mind that sometimes SQL Server itself, will prompt you to stop or start one of the services. For example, when you change a server setting that requires you to stop or start a service for it to be in effect, SQL Server often asks if you want to stop and then restart the appropriate service at this time. If you are asked this, always say no, and then use Cluster Administrator to stop and start the appropriate service.

In addition, be sure that “Autostart SQL Server,” “Autostart SQL Server Agent,” and “Autostart MSDTC” are all unselected in the “General” tab of the SQL Server “Properties” screen, and that “Auto restart SQL Server if it stops unexpectedly” and “Auto restart SQL Server Agent if it stops unexpectedly” are both unselected in the “Advanced” tab of the SQL Server Agent “Properties” screen.

In SQL Server 2000, the mssqlserver, sqlserveragent, or the msdtc services can be stopped and started from Enterprise Manager and Service Manager.

Version: 7.0

Date Updated: 6-26-2001


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