Recently a customer asked me if it was possible to install a ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Site database on an SQL 2012 cluster. My answer was: yes it is and the following TechNet location confirms this:
However, even though it is supported, I wanted to find out myself. If you’re doing a lot of ConfigMgr 2012 implementations, then you probably won’t be confronted so much with clustering, except for SQL. At most projects, many organizations don’t really use physical servers anymore for ConfigMgr 2012 since it works quite nicely on a virtual platform. Most of these hypervisor platforms use clustering technologies which allows failover of virtual machines. Personally, if such failover mechanisms are available I won’t really bother to use an SQL cluster to host my site databases. I’d use a single server deployment instead.
The customer’s question allowed me to do some testing and I thought: let’s find out how to do this so I might learn something too 😉
Someone informed me that building clusters using Windows Server 2012 has been simplified dramatically so I felt comfortable trying it out.
In my lab environment (my domain is named domain1.local) I did the following:
- I built a Windows Server 2012 machine to host an iSCSI target with 2 iSCSI disks, one disk for the SQL database and one quorum disk
- I built two Windows Server 2012 machines which were configured as cluster nodes
- I installed SQL 2012 on the cluster nodes which meets the requirements for ConfigMgr 2012 SP1. The cluster’s FQDN was named SQLCLU.domain1.local
- I set the required permissions to successfully create an SQL 2012 database during ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 setup
- I installed a stand-alone Primary Site to test if this works.
During the setup I filled in the name of the SQL cluster which looks like this:
When setup was finished, I noticed the following in the ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Console (don’t bother the hostname and the Site type I chose):
I see both cluster nodes AND the SQL cluster displayed as Site Systems, sweet…
I fooled around a bit by shutting down one of the nodes to verify if failover works as expected and if the ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Console showed any glitches. Everything worked like a charm J
So yes, it works and using Windows Server 2012 makes it painfully easy to build and configure…
I didn’t try the following:
- Building a cluster using a Scale-out File Server share as cluster storage, this is something I need find out some other time
- I didn’t try SQL mirroring since ConFigMgr 2012 SP1 doesn’t support this
As usual, try it out yourself in a test environment before using it in a production environment…