Failover Cluster availability in Windows Server 2008

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I tried like crazy today to install a SQL Server 2008 Failover cluster on two Windows Server 2008 Standard machines. There’s just one problem… it can’t be done with WS 2008 Standard! After many Google searches and TechNet article-combing I found the following TechNet article that says Failover Clustering can only be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter editions.

One thing to understand about SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering is that you need to install the Failover Cluster feature on your Server before starting to install a new SQL Server failover node instance. Otherwise, you get errors when the Installation checks occur and it finds you do not have the Microsoft Clustering Service (MSCS) running and no nodes are setup. Below is an example of the screen I got when trying to do the reverse… install SQL Server Failover node without first configuring a Failover Cluster at the server level.


I have not completed the process of creating a Failover cluster yet, but if I ever do get to do this, I will make sure to write a brief blog post on the process.

There is also a very good reference for finding a High Availability Solution with SQL Server 2008 on the MSDN Library: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb510414.aspx

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