Install Windows 2000 Cluster Services: Installing and Configuring Windows 2000

Once the hardware is properly selected and assembled, the next step is to install Windows 2000. For the most part, installing Windows 2000 on servers that will be clustered is the same as any Windows 2000 installation. The focus of this section of the the article focus on what is slightly different between installing Windows 2000 for a stand-alone server and installing Windows 2000 for a server to be clustered.

Things to Keep In Mind When Installing Windows 2000 for Clustering

  • Before you begin installing SQL Server 2000, be sure that you have any special drivers available for your hardware. Most likely, Windows 2000 will not have all the special drivers you need for the shared disk array, and it may not have the drivers you need for your graphics card, network cards, etc.

  • Before you begin, ensure that the shared disk array has been configured appropriately. At a minimum, there must be two logical drives available on the shared disk array. One will be used for shared disk space, and the other will be used as the Quorum drive for the Windows 2000 clustering service. The Quorum drive must be at least 50MB in size, although I generally make them much larger, as much as 1GB (disk space is cheap). Once Windows 2000 is installed, then you can format the logical drives.

  • Before you begin, you will need to determine the following information:

    • Name to be assigned to node 1 of the cluster.

    • Public IP Address and subnet mask for node 1 of the cluster.

    • Private IP address and subnet mask for node 1 of the cluster.

    • Default gateway for node1 Public Network Card (the same as node 2).

    • Name to be assigned to node 2 of the cluster.

    • Public IP address and subnet mask for node 2 of the cluster.

    • Private IP address and subnet mask for node 2 of the cluster.

    • Default gateway for node2 Public Network Card (the same as node 1).

    • The IP addresses of the DNS and WINs servers to be used by the public network cards in the two nodes of the cluster.

    • The password you will give to the local administrators account on both nodes of the cluster.

    • The name of the domain you will be joining. You will either need to be a domain administrator, or have a domain administrator, add the servers to the domain.

  • Install Windows 2000 on only one node of the cluster at a time. First, perform all of the installation steps for one node. Once that node is done, turn if off, then perform the installation of the second node. Be sure that you never have both nodes turned on at the same time before the Clustering Service is installed. Only when the Clustering Service is installed on the second node will both nodes of the cluster be turned on at the same time.

  • All the nodes in a cluster must be either member servers or domain controllers, you are not able to make one node a member server and the other a domain controller. For best performance, both servers in the cluster should be member servers.

  • Install Windows 2000 and updates in this order:

    • Windows 2000 Advanced Server

    • The latest service pack

    • The latest version of IE and the latest IE updates.

  • Don’t install any Windows 2000 components that you will not be using, such as IIS, etc.

  • After Windows 2000 is installed, to make your life easier, copy the /I386 folder from the installation CD to a local drive (generally the drive where Windows 2000 is installed). Also copy the service pack installation files to a folder to the same local drive. When you install the Clustering Service later, you will need to have access to both of these.

  • When configuring the disk array from within Windows 2000, they must be configured as “basic” disks, not “dynamic” disks. Format all logical drives using NTFS. While not required, you may want to assign the logical name “q:” to the Quorum drive in order to prevent any later confusion of its purpose.

  • Install the public network card using standard default settings. But when you install the private network card, keep the following in mind:

    • Don’t add the IP address for DNS or WINS to the private network card’s configuration.

    • Don’t add a default gateway address for the private network cards.

    • Be sure that “Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP” is selected from WINs tab on the “Advanced TCP/IP Settings” property box.

    • If any of the network cards support more than one speed, such as 10/100MB network cards, you must ensure that you have manually configured them for the appropriate speed (such as 10 or 100) and for the correct duplex (half or full). Do not use the default “automatic” sensing options, as these options may not work and cause you much grief. (I learned this the hard way.)

  • For convenience’s sake, name the public network connection “Public Network,” and the private network connection “Private Network.” This will make it easier to identify which network is which when later installing the Clustering Service.

Once Windows 2000 is installed on both nodes of the cluster, you are ready to create the necessary service accounts and set the necessary security in Windows 2000 for preparation for installing Cluster Services and SQL Server clustering.


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