Ramblings of a DBA

Tara Kizer
posts - 165, comments - 832, trackbacks - 75

My Links

Advertisement

News

Subscribe
Search this Blog

Archives

Post Categories

Work

SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

A few weeks ago, we were preparing to move our SQL Server 2005 databases from a 4-node Windows 2003 cluster to three 2-node Windows 2008 clusters.  On the new clusters, we noticed that Database Mail and the monitoring application for Database Mirroring weren’t working on four of the SQL Server 2005 instances that we had installed.  For the monitoring issue, we found that we were missing all of the sys.dbmmonitor* system stored procedures in the msdb database.  We had installed six SQL Server 2005 instances across the six servers using the same media on each, so we were very perplexed as to why the issue was happening on four of the instances and not on all six.  After doing our own research and coming up dry, we decided to open a case with Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS). 

The Microsoft engineer assigned to our PSS case determined that the issue was due to five of the server names being in lower case.  This caused the Resource database to not get patched when we installed service pack 3 and then October’s critical SQL hotfix (MS09-062).  The Resource database was still at the RTM build, 1399, but it should have been at build 4262 like everything else. 

When we first heard what the root cause was, our reaction was to laugh as this sounded absurd.  I confirmed the bug with another Microsoft engineer just to be safe.  Unfortunately there is no bug fix for it, but there is a workaround/solution which is documented here.  The workaround involves evicting the nodes with lower case server names, upper casing the server names, and then joining the fixed node back into the cluster.  After this is complete, you then reapply the service pack or hotfix.  We only needed to reapply the hotfix.

The reason why we only encountered the issues on four of the six SQL Server instances that we installed is because on our third cluster one of the nodes had its server name in upper case.  SQL Server 2005, service pack 3, and MS09-062 were installed from the server whose name was in upper case.  Had we performed the installations on the other node with a lower case server name, we would have encountered the issue there too.  We decided to perform the workaround on the working cluster since we could run into this issue again if we forgot to perform the SQL Server 2005 installations from the server with an upper case name.  You do not need to perform the workaround on any servers that are properly named in all upper case.

Print | posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:19 AM |

Feedback

Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

This is a true story?
11/24/2009 1:46 PM | Peso
Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

Yes, very much true. I didn't believe it either, which is why I had another Microsoft engineer confirm it before we continued further with the PSS case. After we did the workaround, Database Mail and Database Mirroring monitoring worked perfectly. It fixed the issue since it allowed the Resource database to be updated.

The bug only impacts SQL Server 2005 instances on a Windows 2008 cluster. SQL Server 2008 is not impacted for some reason. The underlying issue is with lower case server names on Win2k8 though.
11/24/2009 2:35 PM | Tara
Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

It sounds like a collation issue. Nevertheless, it's strange that this kind of bugs still occur.
Thank you for sharing!
11/24/2009 11:43 PM | Peso
Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

Ben Miller blogs that there are problems with this in Windows 2003 install as well:

http://sqlblog.com/blogs/ben_miller/archive/2010/01/11/long-time-sql-cluster-issue-resurfaced.aspx

1/11/2010 11:40 AM | crazyjoe
Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

Definitely not a collation issue.

Crazyjoe, thanks for posting that. The MS PSS engineer I was working with did mention that old Connect item which showed the issue existed in 2003 as well. I should have mentioned that in my blog article. It's unfortunate that Microsoft doesn't resolve things like this when it's a known issue and was reported quite some time ago.
1/11/2010 1:32 PM | Tara
Gravatar

# re: SQL Server 2005/Windows 2008 cluster issue when physical server names are in lower case

Tara, i submitted this to Connect again. https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/532372/resource-database-is-not-upgraded-when-sp-or-cu-is-applied-to-sql2005-failover-cluster-running-on-windows-2008
2/9/2010 3:56 PM | 7gartner
Comments have been closed on this topic.

Powered by:
Powered By Subtext Powered By ASP.NET