Chapter 4: High Availability and Virtualization Enhancements

This chapter is taken from book "Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2" by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner published for Microsoft Press.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers several enhancements in the areas of high availability and virtualization. Many of the enhancements are affiliated with the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and the Hyper-V platform. Windows Server 2008 R2 builds on the successes and foundation of Windows Server 2008 by expanding on the existing high availability technologies, while adding new features that allow for maximum availability and reliability for SQL Server 2008 R2 implementations. This chapter discusses the enhancements to high availability that significantly contribute to the capabilities of SQL Server 2008 R2 in both physical and virtual environments.

Enhancements to High Availability with Windows Server 2008 R2

In the following list are a few of the improvements that will appeal to SQL Server and Windows Server professionals looking to gain maximum high availability within their database infrastructures.

  • Hot add CPU and memory When using SQL Server 2008 R2 in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, database administrators can upgrade hardware online by dynamically adding processors and memory to a system that supports dynamic hardware partitioning. This is a very convenient feature for organizations that cannot endure downtime for SQL Server systems running in mission-critical environments.
  • Failover clustering Greater high availability is achievable for SQL Server R2 with failover clustering on Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Server 2008 R2 enhances the failover cluster installation experience by increasing the number of validation tests within the Cluster Validation Wizard. Moreover, Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a Best Practices Analyzer tool to help database administrators reduce best practice violations. Similar to its predecessor, Windows Server 2008 R2 continues to supports up to 16 nodes within a failover cluster and organizations can also protect their applications from site failures with SQL Server multi-site failover cluster support by using stretched VLANs built on Windows Server support for multi-site clusters.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V The Hyper-V virtualization technology improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2 were the most sought-after and anticipated enhancements for Windows Server 2008 R2. It is now possible to virtualize heavy SQL Server workloads because Windows Server 2008 R2 scales far beyond its predecessors. In addition, database administrators can achieve increased virtualization availability by leveraging new technologies, such as Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) and Live Migration, both of which are included in Windows Server 2008 R2. Guest clustering with SQL Server 2008 R2 in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V is also supported.
  • Live Migration and Hyper-V By leveraging Live Migration and CSV-two new technologies included with Hyper-V and failover clustering on Windows Server 2008 R2-it is possible to move virtual machines between Hyper-V hosts within a failover cluster without downtime. It is worth noting that CSV and Live Migration are independent technologies; CSV is not required for Live Migration.
  • Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) CSV enables multiple Windows servers running Hyper-V to access Storage Area Network (SAN) storage using a single consistent namespace for all volumes on all hosts. This provides the foundation for Live Migration and allows for the movement of virtual machines between Hyper-V hosts.
  • Dynamic virtual machine (VM) storage It is possible to add or remove virtual hard disk (VHD) files and pass-through disks while a VM is running. Support for hot plugging and hot removal of storage is based on Hyper-V. This is very handy when you are working with dynamic SQL Server 2008 R2 storage workloads, which are continuously evolving.
  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) Enhanced processor support and memory management can be achieved with SLAT, which is a new feature supported with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2. SLAT leverages Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) Extended Page Tables (EPT) and AMD-V Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology in an effort to reduce the overhead incurred during mapping of a guest virtual address to a physical address for virtual machines. This significantly reduces hypervisor CPU time and saves memory for each VM, allowing the physical computer to do more work while utilizing fewer system resources.

Failover Clustering with Windows Server 2008 R2

If you're unfamiliar with failover clustering, don't stop reading to run out and purchase a book on the topic-this section begins with an overview of failover clustering. It may surprise some readers to know that SQL Server failover clustering has been available since Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. Back in those days, failover clustering proved to be quite a challenge to set up. It was necessary to install multiple Microsoft products to form the Microsoft cluster environment, including Internet Information Services (IIS), Cluster Server, SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) 2.0, and sometimes the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack. Moreover, the hardware support, driver support, and documentation were not as forthcoming as they are today. Many IT organizations came to believe that failover clustering was a difficult technology to install and maintain. That has all changed, thanks to the efforts of the SQL Server and Failover Clustering product groups at Microsoft. Today, forming a cluster with SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2 is very easy. In addition, the two technologies combined provide maximum availability compared to previous versions, especially for database administrators who want to virtualize their SQL Server workloads.

Now that you know some of the history behind failover clustering, it's time to take a closer look into what failover clustering is all about and what it means for organizations and database administrators. A SQL Server failover cluster is built on the foundation of a Windows failover cluster, while providing high availability and protecting the whole instance of SQL Server in the event of a server failure. Failover clustering allows organizations to meet their high availability uptime requirements through redundancy in their SQL Server infrastructure by eliminating single points of failure for the clustered application. The server that is used to form a cluster can be either physical or virtual. The next section introduces the different types of failover clusters that can be achieved with these two products (SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2), which work very well with one another.

Traditional Failover Clustering

The traditional SQL Server failover cluster has been around for years. With a traditional failover cluster, there are two or more nodes (servers) connected to shared storage. A quorum is formed between all nodes in the failover cluster, and this quorum determines the health and number of failures the failover cluster can sustain. Communication between cluster nodes is required for cluster operations and is achieved by using two or more independent networks that connect the nodes of a cluster to avoid a single point of failure. SQL Server 2008 R2 is installed on all nodes within a failover cluster. If a node in the cluster fails, the SQL Server instance automatically fails over to a surviving node within the failover cluster. Note that the failover is seamless from an end-user or application perspective. Like its predecessor, SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers single-instance and multiple-instance failover cluster configurations. In addition, SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2 supports up to 16 nodes and a maximum of 23 instances within a failover cluster due to the drive letter limitation.

IMPORTANT When you are configuring a cluster, make sure to connect the nodes by more than one network; otherwise Microsoft Product Support Services does not support the implementation. In addition, it is a best practice to always use more than one network.

Figure 4-1 illustrates a two-node single-instance failover cluster running SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 R2.


FIGURE 4-1 A two-node single-instance failover cluster

Figure 4-2 illustrates a multiple-instance failover cluster running SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 R2.


FIGURE 4-2 A two-node multiple-instance failover cluster

Guest Failover Clustering

In the past, physical servers were usually affiliated with the nodes in a failover cluster. Today, virtualization technologies make it possible to form a cluster with each node being a guest operating system on virtual servers. This is known as guest failover clustering. To achieve a guest failover cluster, you must have a quorum, a public network, a private network, and shared storage; however, instead of using physical servers for each node in the SQL Server failover cluster, each node is virtualized through Hyper-V. Organizations taking advantage of guest failover clustering with SQL Server 2008 R2 must have the physical host running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2, and the configurations must be certified through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). Likewise, the guest operating system must be Windows Server 2008 R2, and the virtualization environment must meet the requirements of Windows Server 2008 R2 failover clustering, including passing the Validate a Configuration tests.

NOTE When implementing failover clusters, you can combine both physical and virtual nodes in a single failover cluster solution.

Figure 4-3 illustrates a multiple-instance guest failover cluster running SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2. SQLNode1 is a virtual machine running on the server called Hyper-V01, which is a Hyper-V host, and SQLNode2 is a virtual machine running on the Hyper-V02 Hyper-V host.


FIGURE 4-3 A two-node guest failover cluster

NOTE Guest clustering is also supported when Hyper-V is on Windows Server 2008.  However, Windows Server 2008 R2 provides Live Migration for moving virtual machines between physical hosts. This is much more beneficial for a virtualized environment running SQL Server 2008 R2.

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  When you use guest failover clustering, make sure that the virtualized guest operating systems used for the nodes in the guest failover cluster are not on the same physical Hyper-V host. If this situation exists, you have a physical host running Hyper-V, which means that you have created a single point of failure. For example, if a single physical host running all of the guest operating systems suddenly failed, all the nodes associated with the guest failover cluster would no longer be available, ultimately causing the whole SQL Server failover cluster instance to fail. This could be catastrophic in a mission-critical production environment. This problem can be avoided, however, if you use multiple Hyper-V hosts and Live Migration, and ensure that each guest operating system is running on a separate Hyper-V host.

Enhancements to the Validate A Configuration Wizard

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, organizations in the past found it difficult to implement a SQL Server failover cluster. One thing that clearly stood out was the need for an intuitive tool that could verify whether or not an organization's configuration met the failover clustering prerequisites. This issue was addressed with the introduction of Windows Server 2008, which offered for the first time a tool called the Validate A Configuration Wizard.

Database administrators and Windows administrators used this tool to conduct validation tests to determine whether servers, settings, networks, and storage affiliated with a failover cluster were set up correctly. This tool was also used to verify whether or not prerequisite tasks were met and to confirm that the hardware supported a successful cluster implementation.

The Validate A Configuration Wizard tool included with Windows Server 2008 R2 still delivers inventory, network, storage, and system configuration tests. In addition, the Failover Clustering product team made enhancements to the Validate A Configuration Wizard tool that further improve the testing ability of this tool. Some of the enrichments include the following options:

  • Cluster Configuration
    • List Cluster Core Groups
    • List Cluster Network Information
    • List Cluster Resources
    • List Cluster Volumes
    • List Cluster Services And Applications
    • Validate Quorum Configuration
    • Validate Resource Status
    • Validate Service Principal Name
    • Validate Volume Consistency
  • Network
    • List Network Binding Order
    • Validate Multiple Subnet Properties
  • System Configuration
    • Validate Cluster Service And Driver Settings
    • Validate Memory Dump Settings
    • Validate System Drive Variable

NOTE The wizard tests configurations and also lists information. See "Failover Cluster Step-by-Step Guide: Validating Hardware for a Failover Cluster," a Knowledge Base article that describes each test in detail, at

Running the Validate A Configuration Wizard

Prior to installing a failover cluster for SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2, administrators should run the Validate A Configuration Wizard tool by following these steps:

  1. Ensure that the failover clustering feature is installed on all the nodes associated with the new cluster being validated.
  2. On one of the nodes of the cluster, open the Failover Cluster Management snap-in.
  3. Review the information on the Before You Begin page, and then click Next. You can select the option to hide this page when using the wizard in the future.
  4. On the Select Servers Or A Cluster page, in the Enter Name field, type either the host name or the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of a node in the cluster. Alternatively, you can click the Browse button and select one or more nodes in the cluster. Click Next to continue.
  5. On the Testing Options page, select Run All Tests or Run Only Test I Select, and then click Next. It is recommended that you choose Run All Tests when using the wizard for the first time. The tests are organized into Inventory, Network, Storage, and System Configuration categories.
  6. On the Confirmation page, review the details for each test, and then click Next to begin the validation process. While the validation process is running, status information is continually displayed on the Validating page until all tests are complete. After all tests are complete, the Summary page is displayed, as shown in Figure 4-4. It includes the results of the validation tests and numerous details about the information collected
    during each test. Any errors or warnings listed in the validation results should be looked into and rectified as soon as possible. It is also possible to proceed without fixing errors; however, the failover cluster will not be supported by Microsoft.


    FIGURE 4-4 The Failover Cluster Validation Report
  7. Click View Report to observe the report in the default Web browser. The report is displayed in Web archive (.mht) format. Click Finish to close the wizard.

NOTE The Validate A Configuration Wizard is quite useful for troubleshooting a failover cluster. Administrators who run tests relating to the specific issues they are experiencing are likely to yield valuable information and answers on how to address their issues. For example, if you are experiencing issues with Multipath I/O (MPIO), a specific driver, or shared storage after a successful implementation of a failover cluster, the wizard would identify the problem for quick resolution.

The Windows Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer

Another tool available in Windows Server 2008 R2 is a server management tool referred to as the Best Practices Analyzer (BPA). The BPA determines how compliant a server role is by comparing it against best practices in eight categories: security, performance, configuration, policy, operation, pre-deployment, post-deployment, and BPA prerequisites. In each category, the effectiveness, trustworthiness, and reliability of a role is taken into consideration. Each role measured by the BPA will be assigned one of the following three severity levels: Noncompliant, Compliant, or Warning. A server role not in agreement with best practice guidelines is labeled as Noncompliant, and a role in agreement with best practice guidelines is labeled as Compliant. Server roles inherit the Warning severity level when a BPA scan detects compliance but also a risk that the server role will fall out of compliance.

Database administrators find this tool instrumental in achieving success with their failover cluster setup. First, the Windows Server 2008 R2 BPA can help database administrators reduce best-practice violations by scanning one or more roles installed on a server running Windows Server 2008 R2. On completion, the BPA creates a report that itemizes every best-practice violation, from the most severe to the least severe. It is also possible to customize a BPA report. For example, database administrators can omit results they deem unnecessary or unimportant. Last, administrators can also perform BPA tasks by using either the Server Manager GUI or Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

Running the Best Practices Analyzer

The BPA is installed by default on all editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 except the Server Core installation option. If BPA is installed on your edition, run it in Server Manager. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then select Server Manager.
  2. Open Roles from the navigation pane. Next, select the role to be scanned with BPA.
  3. Open the Summary section in the details pane. Next, open the Best Practices Analyzer area.
  4. Click Scan This Role to initiate the scan.
  5. When the scan is complete, review the results in the Best Practices Analyzer results window.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Virtualization and Hyper-V

Virtualization is one of the hottest topics of discussion in almost every SQL Server architecture design session or executive briefing session, mainly because organizations are beginning to understand the immediate and long-term benefits virtualization can offer them. SQL Server virtualization not only promises to be very positive and rewarding from an environmental perspective-reducing power and thermal costs which translate to green IT-it also promises to help organizations achieve strategic business objectives and consolidation goals, including lower hardware costs, smaller data centers, and less management associated with SQL Server.

As a result, increasing numbers of organizations are showing interest in virtualizing their SQL Server workloads, including their test, staging, and even production environments. This trend toward virtualization has undoubtedly become stronger with the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, which includes Live Migration and Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). By leveraging Live Migration and CSV, organizations can achieve high availability for SQL Server virtual machines (VMs). In addition, it is possible to move virtualized SQL Server 2008 R2 guest operating systems between physical Hyper-V hosts without any perceived downtime.

Live Migration Support Through CSV

Live Migration is a new Hyper-V feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 that is used to increase high availability of SQL Server VMs. By leveraging the new Live Migration feature, organizations can transparently move SQL Server 2008 R2 VMs from one Hyper-V physical host to another Hyper-V physical host within the same cluster, without disrupting the services of the guest operating system or SQL Server application running on the VM. This is achieved via an intricate process. First, all VM memory pages are transferred from the source Hyper-V physical host to the destination Hyper-V physical host. Second, any VM modifications to the VMs memory pages on the source Hyper-V physical host are tracked. These tracked and modified pages are transferred to the physical Hyper-V target computer. Third, the storage handles for the VMs' VHD files are moved to the Hyper-V target computer. Finally, the destination VM is brought online.

The Live Migration feature is supported only when Hyper-V is run on Windows Server 2008 R2. Live Migration can take advantage of the new CSV feature within failover clustering in Windows Server 2008 R2. The CSVs let multiple nodes in the same failover cluster concurrently access the same logical unit number (LUN). Equally important, because a Hyper-V cluster must be formed as a prerequisite task, Live Migration requires the failover clustering feature to be added and configured on all of the servers running Hyper-V. In addition, the Hyper-V cluster hosts require shared storage for the cluster nodes. This can be achieved by either an iSCSI, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN).

Figure 4-5 illustrates a four-node Hyper-V failover cluster with two CSVs and eight SQL Server guest operating systems. With Live Migration, running SQL Server VMs can be seamlessly moved between Hyper-V hosts.


FIGURE 4-5 A Hyper-V cluster and Live Migration

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V System Requirements

Table 4-1 below outlines the minimum requirements, along with the recommended system configuration, for using Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2.

TABLE 4-1 Hyper-V System Requirements

Processor x64-compatible processor with Intel VT or AMD-V technology
CPU speed 1.4 GHz 2.0 GHz or faster-additional CPUs are required for each guest operating system
RAM 1 GB-additional RAM is required for each guest operating system 2 GB or higher-additional RAM is required for each guest operating system
Disk space 8 GB-additional disk space is needed for each guest operating system 20 GB or higher-additional disk space is needed for each guest operating system

NOTE System requirements vary based on an organization's virtualization requirements. Organizations should size their workloads to ensure that the Hyper-V hosts can successfully accommodate all of the virtual servers and associated workloads from a CPU, memory, and disk perspective.

Practical Uses for Hyper-V and SQL Server 2008 R2

Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 is capable of accomplishing almost the same successes as dedicated servers, including the same kinds of peak load handling and security. Knowing this, you might wonder when Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 should be employed from a SQL Server 2008 R2 perspective. Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 can be utilized for

  • Consolidating SQL Server databases or instances on a single physical server.
  • Virtualizing SQL Server infrastructure workloads with low utilization.
  • Achieving high availability for SQL Server VMs by using Live Migration or guest clustering.
  • Maintaining different versions of SQL Server and the operating system on the same physical server.
  • Virtualizing test and development environments to reduce total cost of ownership.
  • Reducing licensing, power, and thermal costs.
  • Extending physical space when the data center lacks it.
  • Repurposing and extending the life of old SQL Server hardware by conducting a physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration.
  • Migrating legacy SQL Server editions off hardware that is old and that has expired warranties.
  • Generating self-contained SQL Server environments, also known as sandboxes.
  • Taking advantage of the rapid deployment capabilities of SQL Server VMs by using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2.
  • Storing and managing SQL Server VMs in VMM libraries.

By using virtual servers, organizations can take advantage of powerful features such as multi-core technology, and they can achieve better handling of disk access and greater memory support. In addition, Hyper-V improves scalability and performance for a SQL Server VM.

NOTE The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit can be used to identify whether or not an organization's SQL Server systems are good candidates for virtualization. The toolkit also includes tools for SQL Server inventory, assessments, and intuitive reporting. A download of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit is available on the Microsoft Download Center at

Implementing Live Migration for SQL Server 2008 R2

Follow these steps to take advantage of Live Migration for SQL Server 2008 R2 VMs:

  1. Ensure that the hardware, software, drivers, and components are supported by Microsoft and Windows Server 2008 R2.
  2. Set up the hardware, shared storage, and networks as recommended in the failover cluster deployment guides.

    NOTE "Hyper-V: Using Hyper-V and Failover Clustering," the TechNet article at the following link, includes step-by-step instructions on how to implement Hyper-V and failover clustering:

    In addition to step-by-step instructions on how to implement Hyper-V and failover clustering, this page also gives information on the requirements for using Hyper-V and failover clustering, which might be helpful because, the steps in the following sections assume that a Hyper-V cluster is already in place.
  3. For all nodes that you are including in the failover cluster, install Windows Server 2008 R2(full installation or Server Core installation).
  4. Enable the Hyper-V role on each node of the failover cluster.
  5. Install the Failover Clustering feature on each node of the failover cluster.
  6. Validate the cluster configuration by using the Validate A Configuration Wizard tool located in Failover Cluster Manager.
  7. Configure CSV.
  8. Create a SQL Server VM with Hyper-V.
  9. Set up a SQL Server VM for Live Migration.
  10. Configure cluster networks for Live Migration.

Enabling CSV

Assuming that the Hyper-V cluster has already been built, the next step is enabling CSV in Failover Cluster Manager. Follow the steps in this section to enable CSV on a Hyper-V failover cluster running on Windows Server 2008 R2.

  1. On a server in the Hyper-V failover cluster, click Start, click Administrator Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.
  2. In the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, verify that CSV is present for the cluster that is being enabled. If it is not in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage A Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster to be configured.
  3. Right-click the failover cluster, and then choose Enable Cluster Shared Volumes.
  4. The Enable Cluster Shared Volumes dialog box opens. Read and accept the terms and restrictions associated with CSV. Then click OK.
  5. In this step, you add storage to the CSV. You can do this either by right-clicking Cluster Shared Volumes and selecting Add Storage or by selecting Add Storage under Actions.
  6. In the Add Storage dialog box, select from the list of available disks, and then click OK.
  7. After the disk or disks selected have been added, they appear in the Results pane for Cluster Shared Volumes.

NOTE SystemDrive\ClusterStorage is the CSV storage location for each node associated with the failover cluster. Folders for each volume added to the CSV are stored in this location. Administrators needing to view the list of volumes can do so in Failover Cluster Manager.

Creating a SQL Server VM with Hyper-V

Before leveraging Live Migration, organizations must follow the instructions in this section to create a SQL Server VM with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  1. Ensure that the Hyper-V role is installed on the server that you use to create the SQL Server 2008 R2 VM.
  2. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.
  3. In the Action pane, click New, and then click Virtual Machine. The New Virtual Machine Wizard starts.
  4. Read the information on the Before You Begin page, and then click Next. You can select the option to hide this page on all future uses of the wizard.
  5. On the Specify Name And Location page, enter the name of the SQL Server VM and specify where it will be stored. For example, the name SQLServer2008R2-VM01 and the VM can be stored on Cluster Shared Volume 1, as displayed in Figure 4-6.


    FIGURE 4-6 The Specify Name And Location Screen when a new virtual machine is being created

    NOTE If a folder is not selected, the SQL Server VM is stored in the default folder configured for the Hyper-V server.
  6. On the Memory page, enter the amount of memory to be allocated to the SQL Server's VM guest operating system. Click Next.

    NOTE With SQL Server 2008 R2, it is recommended that you have 2.048 GB or more of RAM, whereas with Windows Server 2008 R2 a minimum of 512 MB of RAM is recommended. Remember to ensure that SQL Server workloads are sized accordingly, and remember to take into consideration the amount of RAM required for each SQL Server VM. Also, remember that it is possible to shut down the guest operating system and add more RAM to the virtual machine if necessary.
  7. On the Networking page, connect the network adapter to an existing virtual network by selecting the appropriate network adapter from the menu. Click Next to continue.
  8. On the Connect Virtual Hard Disk page, as shown in Figure 4-7, specify the name, location, and size to create a virtual hard disk so that you can install an operating system. Click Next to continue.


    FIGURE 4-7 The Connect Virtual Hard Disk page when a new virtual machine is being created
  9. On the Installation Options page, choose a method to install the operating system. The options include
    • Installing an operating system from a boot CD/DVD-ROM.
    • Installing an operating system from a boot floppy disk.
    • Installing an operating system from a network-based installation server.
    • Installing an operating system at a later time.

    After choosing the method, click Next to continue.
  10. Review the selections in the Completing The New Virtual Machine Wizard, and then click Finish. The new VM is created; however, it is in an offline state.
  11. From the Virtual Machines section of the results pane in Hyper-V Manager, right click the name of the SQL Server VM you just created, and click Connect. The Virtual Machine Connection tool opens.
  12. In the Action menu in the Virtual Machine Connection window, click Start.
  13. Follow the prompts to install the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.
  14. When the operating system installation is complete, install SQL Server 2008 R2.
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  After an operating system is set up, best practice guidelines recommend the installation of the Hyper-V Integration Services tools for every VM that was created. The Hyper-V Integration Services tool provides virtual server client (VSC) code, which ultimately increases Hyper-V performance of the VM from an I/O, memory management, and network performance perspective. Hyper-V Integration Services is installed by connecting to the VM and selecting Insert The Integration Services Setup Disk from the Action Menu of the Virtual Machine Connection window. Click Install in the AutoPlay dialog box to install the tools.

Configuring a SQL Server VM for Live Migration

Organizations interested in using Live Migration need to set up a VM for Live Migration. This is accomplished by reconfiguring the automatic start action for the VM and then preparing the VM for high availability by using Failover Cluster Manager. The following steps illustrate this series of actions in more detail:

  1. Create a SQL Server 2008 R2 VM based on the steps in the previous section. Verify that the VM is using CSV.
  2. In Hyper-V Manager, under Virtual Machines, highlight the VM created in the previous steps (SQLServer2008R2-VM01 in the example in this chapter). In the Action pane, under the VM name, click Settings.
  3. In the left pane, click Automatic Start Action.
  4. Under Automatic Start Action, for the What Do You Want This Virtual Machine To Do When The Physical Computer Starts? question, select Nothing, as shown in Figure 4-8. Then click Apply and OK.


    FIGURE 4-8 Configuring the Automatic Start Action Setting screen
  5. Launch Failover Cluster Manager from Administrative Tools on the Start menu.
  6. In the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, if the cluster that will be configured is not displayed in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager. Click Manage A Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster.
  7. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster you want.
  8. Click Services And Applications.
  9. In the Action pane, click Configure A Service Or Application.
  10. If the Before You Begin page of the High Availability Wizard appears, click Next.
  11. On the Select Service Or Application page, shown in Figure 4-9, click Virtual Machine, and then click Next.


    FIGURE 4-9 Selecting the service and application for high availability
  12. On the Select Virtual Machine page, shown in Figure 4-10, confirm the name of the VM you plan to make highly available. In this example, SQLServer2008R2-VM01 is used. Click Next.


    FIGURE 4-10 Configuring a VM for high availability

    NOTE To make a VM highly available, you must ensure that it is not running. It must be either turned off or shut down.
  13. Confirm the selection, and then click Next.
  14. The wizard configures the VM for high availability and provides a summary. To view the details of the configuration, click View Report. To close the wizard, click Finish.
  15. To verify that the virtual machine is now highly available, look in one of two places in the console tree:
    • Expand Services And Applications, shown in Figure 4-11. The VM should be listed under Services And Applications.
    • Expand Nodes. Select the node on which the VM was created. The VM should be listed under Services And Applications in the Results pane.


    FIGURE 4-11 Verifying that the VM is now highly available
  16. To bring the VM online, right-click it under Services And Applications, and then click Start Virtual Machine. This action brings the VM online and starts it.

Initiating a Live Migration of a SQL Server VM

After an administrator has enabled CSV, created a SQL Server 2008 R2 VM, configured the automatic start option, and made the VM highly available, it is time to initiate a live migration. Perform the following steps to initiate Live Migration:

  1. In the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, if the cluster to be configured is not displayed in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager.
  2. Click Manage A Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster. Expand Nodes.
  3. In the console tree located on the left side, select the node to which Live Migration will move the clustered VM.
  4. Right-click the VM resource that is displayed in the center pane, and then click Live Migrate Virtual Machine To Another Node.
  5. Select the node that the VM will be moved to in the migration, as shown in Figure 4-12. After the migration is complete, the VM should be running on the node selected.


    FIGURE 4-12 Initiating Live Migration for a SQL Server VM.
  6. Verify that the VM successfully migrated to the node selected. The VM should be listed under the new node in Current Owner.

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