SQL Server Pre Cluster Installation Checklist (Part 1 of 4)

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This is the first checklist in the process - run through it as soon as you are ready to form the cluster, or prior to installing SQL Server in a standalone-configuration.

Server Cluster Pre-Installation Checklist

Check Pass Fail
Verify cluster hardware configuration on Windows Catalog/HCL
Complete each of the following documents for the cluster and nodes in the cluster:-      Cluster Config.doc-      Cluster Node Config.doc-      Disk Configuration.doc-      SQL Cluster Config.doc
All to-be cluster nodes are attached to the same domain
Domain contains at least 2 Domain Controllers
Domain contains at least 2 DNS servers that support dynamic updates and configured as Global Catalog Servers
Domain Controllers are configured with at least 2 DNS servers - If DC's are also DNS, each should point to itself for primary, and the other for secondary resolution
Minimum of two networks on different subnets configured
Private LAN isolated from all network infrastructure other than cluster nodes (including DC's, WINS servers, DHCP servrs, etc.)
Verify ALL to-be cluster networks configured on separate subnets, distinct from all other to-be cluster networks
Public Network(s) configured to have binding priority over Private Network(s) on all nodes
Only TCP/IP configured on the private network(s); all other options unchecked
NetBIOS disabled on Private Network(s) (if not a MNS cluster)
Private network(s) do NOT contain DNS, WINS, or Gateway definitions
Private network(s) NOT configured to register with DNS
Network cards (public and private) set to a static speed and duplex on all nodes and NICs
All NICs configured with same communication settings (speed, duplex, flow control, media type)
Verify Public networks configured for Maximum Throughput of Network Applications
All public NICs configured with at least 2 DNS servers
WINDOWS 2000 ONLY - DHCP Media Sense Disabled
Disable network task offloads if possible
Verify 8.3 naming structure enabled
Verify all server node names are all UPPERCASE
No errors from hardware specific monitoring tools provided by the vendor on all nodes
Ping the local loopback address on each node
Ping the individual IP address of each network adapter on all nodes from each other node
Ping the individual IP address of each network adapter on each node from a machine not in the cluster
Ping the name of each individual node from each node of the cluster
Ping the name of each individual node from a machine not in the cluster
Verify that all required services are running and configured for boot on all nodes
Verify cluster disks can be seen by all nodes (power each server on one at a time)
Verify the cluster disks are Basic disks, MBR, and formatted with NTFS.
Verify all disks are properly aligned and have correct offset
Ensure all the latest OS updates, security patches, and related hotfixes have been installed
Ensure local admin account has non-blank password
Verify staggered boot delay for all cluster nodes
Verify processor scheduling for background services, memory usage for programs, visual effects off
Verify appropriate page file configuration
Verify unnecessary services disabled
MSDTC service configured for network access (if MSDTC install)
Run syscomparre.exe to verify node matches (if available)
Ran ClusDiag.exe to verify node configurations
Before continuing, power down all nodes but the first node to be installed on
Turn off screen saver
Update allowed size of all event logs (Application, Security, and System)


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MSSQLTips author Chad Boyd Chad Boyd is an Architect, Administrator and Developer with technologies such as SQL Server, .NET, and Windows Server.

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