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SQL Server Support Policy for Failover Clustering and Virtualization gets an update…

SQL Server Support Policy for Failover Clustering and Virtualization gets an update…

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Last October I posted on our updated policy for support of SQL Server in a virtualization environment. This policy is based on a KB article that summarizes our policy. You recall this article is the following:

Support policy for Microsoft SQL Server products that are running in a hardware virtualization environment

One fairly controversial aspect to this policy was our support (actually non-support is a better word) for “guest” failover clustering. We didn’t support installing SQL Server failover clustering in a virtual machine. Well this policy is now changed effective immediately as updated in the article.

The article now contains the following new wording on this topic:

  • Guest Failover Clustering is supported for SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 in a virtual machine for Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, and SVVP certified configurations provided both of the following requirements are met:
    • The Operating System running in the virtual machine (the “Guest Operating System”) is Windows Server 2008 or higher
    • The virtualization environment meets the requirements of Windows 2008 Failover Clustering as documented at The Microsoft Support Policy for Windows Server 2008 Failover Clusters.
  • Guest Failover Clustering is when you create a SQL Server failover cluster inside a virtual machine where the nodes are running as a virtual machine. A non-SVVP configuration that meets these requirements will receive support from Microsoft CSS per the policies documented in

    897615 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615/ ) Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software

    It is important to read through some of these details:

    • We support both Hyper-V and SVVP configurations
    • SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 are supported.
    • We only support Windows Server 2008 or higher as the operating system running inside the virtual machine (known as the “guest” operating system). Because of this requirement, SQL Server 2000 and earlier SQL Server releases are not supported.
    • The virtualization vendor must meet the requirements for failover clustering as documented in the following KB article: The Microsoft Support Policy for Windows Server 2008 Failover Clusters
    • Non-SVVP configurations that meet all of these requirements still can get some support from Microsoft per http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615.

    The article on Windows 2008 Failover Clustering has 2 requirements:

    • All hardware and software components must be meet “Certified for Windows Server 2008” logo requirements.
    • The configuration must pass the Validate test in the Failover Clusters Management snap-in. This is run inside the virtual machine.

    Logo certification information is found at http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/default.aspx

    The Windows 2008 Failover Clustering article discusses the requirements for the validation test that must pass through the Failover Cluster Management snap-in.

    There are likely to be some other questions on this topic and I’ll post updates to this blog as they come in. Stay tuned for my next blog post as i walk you through the steps to install SQL Server in a cluster with Hyper-V including what the clustering validation test looks like.

     

    Bob Ward
    Microsoft

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