This topic describes how to add a SQL Server failover cluster target environment to the Delphix Engine.

Adding a failover cluster target environment will discover SQL Server failover cluster instances that are running. You can then provision virtual databases (VDBs) to these failover cluster instances.

Prerequisites

  • You must add each node in the Window Failover Cluster individually as a standalone target environment using a non-cluster address. See Adding a SQL Server Standalone Target Environment.
    • For a cluster node added as a standalone environment, the Delphix Engine will only discover non-clustered SQL Server instances.
    • For a cluster target environment, the Delphix Engine will only discover SQL Server failover cluster instances. 
  • Each clustered SQL Server instance must have at least one clustered disk added to the clustered instance resource group, which can be used for creating mount points to Delphix storage.
    • The clustered drive must have a drive letter assigned to it.
    • The clustered drive must be formatted using the "GUID Partition Table (GPT)" partition style in order for the Delphix Engine to automatically discover the drive letter as a valid option for the cluster instance. An MBR-formatted disk requires manual verification outside of Delphix that the disk has been correctly added to the MSSQL clustered resource group prior to creating the VDB. When provisioning the VDB, you must manually specify the desired MBR disk, because it will not appear in the Delphix GUI.
  • Each node in the cluster must have the Failover Cluster Module for Windows Powershell feature installed.
    • While running Windows PowerShell as an administrator, enter this command to load the module: import-module failoverclusters
  • An additional target environment that can be used as a Connector Environment must exist. This environment must NOT be a node in the cluster. See Adding a SQL Server Standalone Target Environment.

Hotfix required for Windows 2008 R2 hosts

The following hotfix is required for Windows 2008 R2 Cluster nodes:

"0x80070490 Element Not found" error when you enumerate a cluster disk resource by using the WMI MSCluster_Disk class query in a Windows Server 2008 R2-based failover cluster

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2720218

Windows Cluster Volume Management Software Requirements

Only cluster volumes managed by the native Windows Volume Manager are supported. For example, cluster volumes managed by Veritas VxVM are not supported.

If you use third-party volume management software, create a new LU (recommended to be 10GB in size) and add this LU as a clustered resource to the SQL Server instance using native Windows volume management tools. Assign a drive letter for this LU. You can then use this LU as the volume mount point location for Delphix VDB provisioning.

Best Practices

SQL Server failover cluster instances that the Delphix Engine will use should not be used to host databases other than Delphix VDBs.

Cluster environment restrictions

You cannot use failover cluster target environments as staging environments.

However, for VDB target hosts, it is important to use the same edition of SQL Server software as the source database, so that all features available in the source are also available in the VDB.

Supported Roles for each Instance Type

Failover Cluster Instances, and instances supporting Always On Availability Groups, support a subset of the operations available to Standalone SQL Server instances.

Environment RoleSource EnvironmentStaging EnvironmentTarget Environment
 Instance TypeAdded As
 Standalone Host
StandaloneSupportedSupportedSupported
 Failover Cluster Instance
StandaloneSupportedUnsupportedUnsupported
 Failover Cluster Instance
ClusterUnsupportedUnsupportedSupported
 Always On AG Instance
StandaloneUnsupportedUnsupportedUnsupported
 Always On AG Instance
ClusterSupportedUnsupportedUnsupported

Using a Failover Cluster Instance as both Source and Target

A Failover Cluster Instance added as an environment once (as either a Source or Target environment) cannot be used as both a Source and Target.

If this is required, the environment can be added twice:

  • Once as a Standalone Source environment
  • Once as a Cluster Target environment

The Standalone Source environment can be used for linking dSources, and the Cluster Target environment used for provisioning VDBs.

As suggested by the Best Practice note earlier in this article, this is not a recommended configuration. Where possible, SQL Server failover cluster instances that the Delphix Engine will use as a target should not be used to host databases other than Delphix VDBs.

Supported Operating System and SQL Server Versions for Cluster Target Environments

Supported Operating System Versions
Windows 2008 R2

Windows 2012

Windows 2012 R2
Supported SQL Server Versions
SQL Server 2008 (10.0)
SQL Server 2008 R2 (10.5)
SQL Server 2012 (11.0)

SQL Server 2014 (12.0)

SQL Server 2016 (13.0)

Procedure

  1. Click Manage.
  2. Select Environments.
  3. Next to Environments, click the green Plus icon.
  4. In the Add Environment dialog, select Windows in the operating system menu.
  5. Select Target.
  6. Select Cluster.
  7. Specify the cluster address of the Windows Failover Cluster.
  8. Select a host which is NOT a node in the cluster as the Connector Environment.
  9. Enter the Username and Password for the target environment.
  10. Click Validate Credentials.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Click Yes to confirm the target environment addition request.

In the Delphix Engine interface, you will see a new icon for the target environment, and two jobs running in the Delphix Admin Job History: one to Create and Discover an environment, and another to Create an environment. When the jobs are complete, click the icon for the new environment, and you will see the details for the environment.

Example Environment

Example Environment

In this example environment, the Delphix Connector was installed on Connector EnvironmentCluster Node 1, and Cluster Node 2. Each host was added to Delphix as standalone target environments.

Next, the Windows Failover Cluster was added as a Windows Target Cluster environment using the cluster address. Cluster Node 1 is currently the active node for the SQL Server Failover Cluster resource group. Delphix has exported iSCSI LUs and has created the corresponding Cluster Disk resources for each VDB.

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