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SQL Server thoughts, observations, and comments
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October 2007 Blog Posts

One step forward, two steps back.

We sometimes do things as DBAs that are self defeating, especially regarding high availability. We can get so focused on the One True Thing™ that will solve all of our problems that we don't realize that the way we implement something can end up costing us all the benefit. Clustering is often seen as the complete solution to availability. Unfortunately, clustering adds complexity to the system which can then impact stability. The way we remove that uncertainty is to use high quality hardware that is tested and approved for clustering. We have the Windows...

posted @ Thursday, October 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Low Availability ]

SQL 2005 Build 3186 Cluster problem

SQL 2005 Build 3186 has a major negative side effect on x64 clusters.  Installing it pretty much kills the SQL Agent..  The workaround is to enable unconstrained delegation for the machine and the service accounts.  Not exactly a best practices security setting, but necessary.  For now, if you are on an x64 cluster and don't have a compelling reason to install this hotfix, you may want to wait until this issue gets resolved. Here is the MSDN thread discussing the problem and the workaround: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2242421&SiteID=1  UPDATE:  Build 3200 (Cumulative Update 4) has the same issue.  Evidently this bug is due to a complex interaction...

posted @ Thursday, October 11, 2007 1:53 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Microsoft High Availability ]

Patches! We don’t need no stinkeen’ Patches!

Well, yes. Actually you do. Patching a SQL Server cluster sounds like a complex endeavor, but it is really a lot simpler than people think. Much of the confusion is due to SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 having slightly different behaviors when it comes to patching. Also, with Clustering now available in Standard Edition, more DBAs find themselves caring for the first cluster in their organization. “Learn as you go” is not nearly as fun as it sounds. The first rule of patching is to test. Make sure the patches work in a test environment, both with patches for the OS and for SQL. Given the history of...

posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2007 5:31 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ High Availability ]

To Cluster or Not to Cluster, That SSIS the Question

Clustering and SSIS have a stormy relationship at best. What you think you get after installing SQL and SSIS on a cluster is not always what you expected. For SQL 2000, the installer was cluster-aware on every component. Tools, code, everything got loaded on all nodes. Now, we aren't so lucky. Only SQL and SSAS install cluster-wide (or at least to all specified nodes). Client tools and most importantly SSIS only install to the local node. In practice, this often means a successful cluster install can leave a DBA with only one node capable of running SSIS packages. What is...

posted @ Thursday, October 04, 2007 4:58 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ High Availability ]

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