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Version: v22.0

Virtualize a SQL Server Instance with DxAdmin Quick Start Guide

Introduction

This quick start guide describes how to configure and virtualize an instance of Microsoft SQL Server using DxEnterprises's DxAdmin interface. Using this guide, you will create a Virtual Host (Vhost), manage and format a virtual disk for your cluster nodes, create a disk group, and add a virtual instance of Microsoft SQL Server.

Prerequisites

  • Three nodes (virtual or physical) with DxEnterprise installed and joined together in a cluster. For information about installing and configuring DxEnterprise, please see:

    For cloud platforms with DxEnterprise pre-installed, please see the Azure or AWS installation guides.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 or later installed on each server (node). Reference Microsoft documentation for instructions on installing SQL Server.

  • DxAdmin installed on a Windows machine. DxAdmin is automatically installed as part of a DxEnterprise Windows installation. To connect to a cluster via DxAdmin from outside of a cluster node, download and install the DxAdmin package on the remote machine.

  • SAN (network) storage presented and accessible to the DxEnterprise cluster nodes.

  • A valid DxEnterprise license. A fully featured Developer Edition is available free for non-production use. To purchase DxEnterprise software for production workloads, visit the DH2i Store.

Add a Virtual Host

  1. Open the DxAdmin management console and connect to the cluster.

  2. Right-click on Virtual Hosts from the DxAdmin explorer tree and select Add a virtual host. When the Vhost Properties window appears, configure the parameters.

    info

    DxEnterprise uses Vhosts to provide failover support and high availability. A Vhost virtualizes the network name and IP address associated to a particular SQL instance, and instead of using the network name and IP address of a physical server, a Vhost is created and assigned a unique name/IP-address pair. Clients access the databases associated with an instance via the Vhost name or IP address; they do not need to know which node is running the SQL instance.

  3. In the Virtual Host Name box, give the Vhost a name. The name cannot include spaces.

  4. In the Virtual IPs box, specify the IP address(es) that will be associated with this Vhost. Multiple virtual IP addresses can be specified for a Vhost, delimited by a comma. The use of a loopback address (127.0.0.1) is supported but must be preceded by an asterisk (*) so it does not attempt to bind the loopback address.

    caution

    DxEnterprise will bind the virtual IP to the adapter with the same network mask. A DNS entry must exist for each Vhost/IP address. The entry must include an A record and a [PTR] record for forward and reverse lookup. Windows authentication may fail if these records do not exist. Be sure to create a DNS entry for each Vhost/IP address that you create. Dynamic DNS registration is not supported.

  5. In the Member Type box, specify the member type for the Vhost. Available options are NODE or VHOST. Select NODE to create a standard Vhost.

  6. In the Available Members box, move the nodes (or Vhosts) you want to participate in the Vhost from the Available Members column to the Selected Members column. This can be done by double-clicking each node, or selecting the nodes and clicking the right arrows.

    caution

    Ensure that the members you select are all exclusively Windows or Linux machines, not a mixture of both. Mount points for disks will not function across operating system types.

    info

    The first member that is selected is the primary member, and the other members that are selected are backup members. You can use the up and down arrows to reorder the members in the Selected Members column.

  7. OPTIONAL: Configure any of the following optional parameters:

    Probe Port

    In the Probe Port box, specify the port(s) to use for the Internal Load Balancer health probing for cloud solutions.

    For more information on load balancers, see the AWS or Azure Load Balancer Quick Start Guide(s).

    Priority

    In the Priority box, change the priority for the Vhost.

    This setting defines the importance (from 1 to 5, 5 being most important) of the Vhost relative to other Vhost(s) running on a system. When there is a system resource (processor, memory, disk I/O, network I/O) pressure or a system failure, DxEnterprise uses this value to determine the best possible cluster member to start the Vhost.

    Auto Failback

    Select the Auto failback checkbox to enable this policy for the Vhost.

    This policy is intended to return the Vhost to its original configuration, or as close to it as possible. After the Vhost fails over to a backup node, DxEnterprise watches the health of the nodes that are higher in the list of nodes configured for that Vhost. When the health of one of these nodes is equal to or greater than the backup node where the Vhost currently resides, the Vhost will automatically attempt to fail back to that node.

    By default the Vhost remains active on the backup node as long as it is healthy.

  8. Select OK to create the Vhost.

  9. A Confirmation Dialog box will appear. Select Yes to commit the changes.

Manage a Disk for your Cluster

  1. In the left-hand pane, click on the Storage Management Tab. Under the tab, click on any one of the nodes that are participating in the Vhost you just created. A new screen will appear that shows all the disks available to that node.

  2. Right-click on an unallocated disk that is presented to all nodes participating in the Vhost and select the the Manage option. In the Manage Disk window, check the highlighted box to the left of your disk-id, then click Submit.

  3. After your disk has been managed, right-click the disk and click the Create Volume option. In the Cluster Disk window, specify the volume size in megabytes, then select Submit.

  4. Next, right-click on your new volume and select Format. In the Format window, select the disk formatting you prefer (eg. EXT4), then select OK.

  5. Set your volume as a logical drive.

    1. Right-click on the volume and select Set as Logical Drive.

    2. In the Logical Paths window, select the Add Button.

    3. In the Add new mountpoint window, specify the directory where you want to mount your drive (e.g. //mnt/testDrive1) or an available drive letter.

Create Disk Group and Virtualize the SQL Server Instance

  1. In the tree view on the left and under your Virtual Host, there is a section called Diskgroups. Right-click on Diskgroups and select the Manage Virtual Host Group option.

  2. The Virtual Host Diskgroup Management menu will show your Available Disks. Select your managed disk from the left column and use the right (>>) arrow button to move it over to the Selected Disk column on the right, then select Submit.

  3. In the tree view, right-click on your Vhost, then select the Add SQL Instance option. In the Virtual Host Instance Maintenance menu, you need to configure the following options:

    1. Use the drop down menu for Instance Name and select the name of the instance you want to virtualize. You may add a description for the instance if you choose.

    2. Use the drop-down menu to set your Data Path and Log Path to the mount point or drive letter you created earlier.

    3. Type in your Microsoft SQL Server Login and Password.

    4. Select OK, then select Yes to commit the changes.

  4. To test if the instance is running, click the Process Manager in the top-left corner. You can see in the dialog box that all of your nodes are virtualizing or successfully running with Microsoft SQL Server. Depending on your machine's specifications it might take a few minutes for all of your nodes to appear.

Additional Information