AlwaysOn Availability Group – Tech-Coffee Sun, 05 Oct 2014 09:03:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 65682309 AlwaysOn Availability Group Install SQL Server Core Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:29:17 +0000 SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups: Article Summary Part 1 – AlwaysOn Introduction Part 2 – AlwaysOn Design Part 3 – Install and Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 in Core mode Part 4 – WSFC Cluster Creation Part 5 – Install SQL Core on Windows Core Server Part 6 – AlwaysOn Availability Groups Creation Part ...

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Install SQL Server Core appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups:





This part covers the installation of SQL Server on Core node (with the creation of a SQL Configuration INI file).


MSA AD Account

In Part 3, I created this group/account:

  • –  lab1\SQLAlwaysOnAdmins
  • –  lab1\sqlaoinstall

Now, I need to create the MSA accounts for each node.

(Note: You can find PowerShell scripts used for this part here)

MSA Account for Instance 1:

From a DC, start PowerShell (run as Administrator) with a Domain Admin account.

Creates new managed service accounts and restrict its use to a single computer:

New-ADServiceAccount -Name svc-sqldbe1 -RestrictToSingleComputer -Description "SQL MSA"
New-ADServiceAccount -Name svc-sqlagt1 -RestrictToSingleComputer -Description "SQL MSA"
New-ADServiceAccount -Name svc-sqlbws1 -RestrictToSingleComputer -Description "SQL MSA"

Associate MSA accounts with the target SQL Server:

Add-ADComputerServiceAccount -Identity M-SQLA1 -ServiceAccount svc-sqldbe1
Add-ADComputerServiceAccount -Identity M-SQLA1 -ServiceAccount svc-sqlagt1
Add-ADComputerServiceAccount -Identity M-SQLA1 -ServiceAccount svc-sqlbws1

View Service Account associate to a Server:

Get-ADComputerServiceAccount -Identity m-sqla1 | ft name,samaccountname,enabled -AutoSize

You can see MSA accounts from “Active Directory Users and Computers” console:

Go to the SQL Server (M-SQLA1) (you must be connected with a Domain Admin account):

  • –  Install the AD PowerShell Module
  • –  Install MSA accounts previously created
Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-AD-PowerShellInstall-ADServiceAccount svc-sqldbe1
Install-ADServiceAccount svc-sqlagt1
Install-ADServiceAccount svc-sqlbws1

Repeat the Operation for all nodes:



TechNet Resources:


Security Note for Service Accounts

If you are using a standard AD Account (not a MSA), you have to Assign “Deny logon locally” right to SQL service accounts (through secpol.msc or GPO) on each node.

And from AD, you have to assign “Deny permissions to log on to Remote Desktop Session Host server’:

With MSA, these steps are not necessary.



Install First SQL Server

The installation of SQL can be fully automated via an INI answer file. To prepare the INI file, I will install the first server via the wizard.

Note: Normally, to create the INI file I use the SQL Installation Wizard and I cancel it just before the installation.

First download the last Cumulative Update for SQL and copy it on the server. (To check the last CU available:

From first node (M-SQLA1), connect with sqlaoadm account; launch the SQL Setup (with the CU included):

Setup.exe /Action=Install /UpdateEnabled=TRUE /UpdateSource=“E:\CU”

Note: By default Setup will search update on Microsoft Windows Update (require Internet access), this is equivalent to “/UpdateSource=MU” parameter.

Update retrieve from local path:

Select Features:

  • Database Engine Services
  • Full-Text Search (needed for SCOM Databases)
  • Management Tools – Complete

Select “Named instance” and enter name and path:

Disk space requirements:

Configure Service account (MSA, add a “$” at the end of account name) and Startup Type:

Set Collation to (this is the collation required for System Center Product): SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS

I use “Mixed Mode” to keep the sa account as “lifeboat account”, but for security I rename the sa account later.

Add the “SQLAlwaysOnAdmins” group:

Set paths:

Start installation :


Automate Installation

Prepare SQL Setup INI File

Retrieve ConfigurationFile.ini from previous installation (M-SQLA1), path:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Setup Bootstrap\Log\20xxxxxx_110110


Edit the file and do the following modifications:

Installation Options:


  • –  UIMODE=”Normal”
  • –  QUIET=”False”


  • –  QUIETSIMPLE=”True” (Original value: False)
    (Setup will display progress only, without any user interaction)


  • –  IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms=”True”
    (Accept the License agreement to continue with Installation)

Feature Options:



Removed feature:

  • –  SSMS: Management Tools – Basic
  • –  ADV_SSMS: Management Tools – Complete


Path Options:


    (Specifies the data directory for SQL Server data files)
    Default values:

    • *  For WOW mode on 64-bit:%Program Files(x86)%\Microsoft SQL Server\
    • *  For all other installations:%Program Files%\Microsoft SQL Server\


Note – Parameters Path

Do not confuse these two parameters: “INSTALLSQLDATADIR” and “INSTANCEDIR”.


Example Result:

; Specify the installation directory. (Contains binary files)


; Specify the Data directory for SQL Server data files (Contains System Databases, Logs, JOBS, FTData)



Note – About COMMFABRIC Parameters

When you retrieve an INI file generates by SQL Wizard, there are these parameters (not listed in the TechNet article):

; CM brick TCP communication port
; How matrix will use private networks
; How inter brick communication will be protected
; TCP port used by the CM brick

These parameters are for Microsoft internal tests and can be removed:


Now the file is ready to be used in silent installation (and in addition on a core server, without Management Tools features)


INI File (M-SQLA1\AOI1):


;SQL Server 2012 Configuration File
[OPTIONS] ; INSTALL OPTIONS———————————————————————-
;Specifies that the detailed Setup log should be piped to the console.
; Updates:
; FEATURE OPTIONS———————————————————————————-
;To Add Management Tools (not compatible on core installation):


;    SSMS    : SQL Server Management Tools – Basic

;    ADV_SSMS: SQL Server Management Tools – Complete

;Path —————————————————————————————–



INSTALLSHAREDDIR=“C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server”

INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR=“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server”

; Instance ——————————————————————————




; Service – SQL Server



; Service – Agent



; Service – Browser Service


; Service – Full-Text Search


; Default Path – Database Engine user databases



; Default Path – Database Engine backup files


; Path – Database Engine TempDB files.



; Protocol – TCP/IP (0=disable – 1=enable)


; Protocol – Named Pipes (0=disable – 1=enable)


; Security ——————————————————————————

; SQL Server system administrators.


; Authentication Mode (SQL=Mixed Mode)


; Provision current user as a system administrator




Setup command line

All configuration parameters are set in the INI file except the passwords for Security reason.

So to set password we have to use argument on the setup.exe.

We need to add to command line:


  • *  /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”xxxxxxxxx”

Specify the password for the SQL Database Engine service account

  • *  /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”xxxxxxxxx”
    Specify the password for the SQL Server Agent service account
  • *  /SAPWD=”xxxxxxxxx”

    Specifies the password for the SQL Server sa account


For information, bellow the argument for manage services configuration (account, password, startup type):

SQL Server component

Account parameter

Password parameter

Startup type


Startup type values:

  • Automatic
  • Manual
  • Disabled

For more information, see TechNet article “Install SQL Server 2012 from the Command Prompt“:



Prepare INI file for other nodes

Copy the INI file prepare before for each Server installation. Edit the file and replace the Instance name (with the other instance, in my case AOI2, AOI3 and AOI4):



Install SQL Server on Core Nodes

Do this operation for all nodes (in this lab m-sqla2/ m-sqla3/ m-sqla4).

Connect to M-SQLA2 with sqlaoadm account

  • *  Copy the INI configuration file to L:
  • *  Check Volumes
  • *  Copy Cumulative Update in the location specify in the parameter: UpdateSource
  • *  Mount SQL Server ISO
  • *  Launch a CMD in as Administrator


Launch installation:

Setup.exe /SQLSVCPASSWORD=“xx” /AGTSVCPASSWORD=“xx” /SAPWD=“xx” /ConfigurationFile=“L:\SQLConfigCore.ini”


Configure Instances

Done the following configurations on all Instances:

Configure – Instance TCP Port

TCP Dynamic Ports = 0, indicate that the Database Engine is listening on dynamic ports, on a named-instance TCP Dynamic Ports it’s enabled by default:


Configure Instance Static Port via Console (SQL Server Configuration Manager)

In “SQL Server Configuration Manager“, go to SQL Server Network Configuration\Protocols for <instance>\TCP/IP properties.

To set a Static Port:

  • *  Delete “TCP Dynamic Ports” value 0 for all IP (IP1, IP2, …)
  • *  On IPALL clean the “TCP Dynamic Ports” value
  • *  On IPALL enter you Static port in “TCP Port” Field
  • *  Restart SQL Server Service

Configure Instance Static Port via PowerShell

  • *  2 – Edit the script “SQL_Set-Instance-Port.ps1” (set ServerName, Instance and Port) and execute it (with Administrator rights):

  • *  3 – Check configuration (SQL_Get-Instance-Network-Cfg.ps1):

Restart SQL Instance service

Get-Service -Name ‘MSSQL$AOI1’ | Restart-Service

Check configuration from console:


NOTE Check if Instance is listening on the defined port
Use netstat:


NOTE Retrieve TCP Configuration from Registry
Go to : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\<InstanceName>\MSSQLServer\SuperSocketNetLib\Tcp


NOTE View Windows Dynamic Port range configuration
netsh int ipv4 show dynamicport tcpSo Range is: 49152 to 65535


Configure Instance Memory

The memory configuration depends of your environment (if SQL Server is mutualized, number of instance …). I will not cover this part in this article. But in this lab, Servers are dedicated to SQL and there is only one instance per servers, so I allow SQL to use memory dynamically (default option).


For more information about memory configuration see TechNet article “Server Memory Server Configuration Options“:


Configure TempDB

This article does not cover TempDB Tuning, but you can read note in “Part 2 – Lab Design“.


Get Number of Cores:


SELECT cpu_count FROM sys.dm_os_sys_info;


If you need to add additional TempDB files:


ALTER DATABASE [tempdb] ADD FILE (NAME = N’tempdev2′, FILENAME = N’G:\MSSQL\MSSQL11.AOI1\MSSQL\TempDB\Data\tempdb2.ndf’, SIZE = 10GB, FILEGROWTH = 10%)


Note: A recommendation is that all TempDB files must have the same size. So to do this you have to disable autogrowth for all files (during creation: FILEGROWTH = 0) and set the right size to all TempDB.

List Database Files:


SELECT MF.database_id AS [DB ID], AS [DB Name], AS [Logical Name], MF.physical_name AS [Physical Name], MF.type_desc as [Type], MF.state_desc AS [State], (MF.size*8)/1024 AS [Size MB],growthFROMsys.master_files MF, sys.sysdatabases SDwhere MF.database_id = SD.dbid AND = ‘tempdb’


Another way to list Database Files:




Instance – Enable AlwaysOn

Now we can enable the “AlwaysOn Availability Groups” feature on the instance.

Note: This option is only available if the server if member of a WSFC cluster.

1 – Via Console

From “SQL Server Configuration Manager” console edit the “SQL Server (<instance>)” service properties. In the “AlwaysOn High Availability” tab, check the box “Enable AlwaysOn Availability Groups“.

2 – Via PowerShell

PowerShell Command:

Enable-SqlAlwaysOn -ServerInstance “$SQLServer\$SQLInstance” -Force

(-force remove user confirmation; command automatically restart instance)

Use script SQLAO_Enable-AlwaysOn-Feature.ps1


NOTE Retrieve SQL Server Property with Transact-SQL
AlwaysOn Availability Group Property:

IsHadrEnabled Description
1 AlwaysOn Availability Groups is enabled
0 AlwaysOn Availability Groups is disabled







Rename – System Administrator (sa) account

For Security, rename “sa” account:

–Rename Account



NOTE Retrieve “System Administrator” account name with SID (Transact-SQL)
— Retrieve “sa” account name with SID
SELECT sid,name,dbname,sysadmin,loginname FROM sys.syslogins WHERE sid = 0x01

— Change “sa” password


Configure – Login Audit

By default, audit is active for Failed “Logins only”, to monitor all connection set the audit to “Both failed and successful logins”:

I use two scripts:



Connect on all instances from M-SQLA1.

Now the four instances are ready !


Create Remote SQL Configuration Manager MMC

From the management server (here m-sqla1) I create all “SQL Configuration Manager” consoles for all server (core or not) I have to managed.

From M-SQLA1, launch mmc in Author mode:

Add “Computer Management” and select a remote server:

Select “New Window from Here”:

Switch back to the “Computer Management” console (Window\1 Console Root) and close it:

On the File menu, click Save As, and save the mmc. Close the MMC.



Now the cluster and all SQL nodes are OK, the next part covers the creation of the first two Availability Group: AlwaysOn Availability Goup – Part 6 – Create first two AAG


The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Install SQL Server Core appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

]]> 2 981
AlwaysOn Availability Group WSFC Cluster Creation Sun, 27 Apr 2014 16:15:47 +0000 SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups: Article Summary Part 1 – AlwaysOn Introduction Part 2 – AlwaysOn Design Part 3 – Install and Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 in Core mode Part 4 – WSFC Cluster Creation Part 5 – Install SQL Core on Windows Core Server Part 6 – AlwaysOn Availability Groups Creation Part ...

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group WSFC Cluster Creation appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups:


This part cover the configuration of the WSFC Cluster required for the AlwaysOn Availability Group.


WSFC Node Updates [Note]

In addition to WSUS update, you have to check Hotfix/Rollup for WSFC Cluster:

WS2012 R2
  • Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012 R2-based failover clusters:

Or on this article from the TechNet Blog “The troubleshooters and problem”




WS2008 R2 SP1


AlwaysOn – Prerequisites

Install Windows Features

On all nodes install “.NET 3.5” and “Failover Clustering” features:

Add “Failover Clustering Administration Tools”:

Note: Only “Failover Cluster Module for PowerShell” is available on core node.

Or installation via PowerShell:


# For remote install add: -Computer <Hostname>
Install-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Core -source V:\sources\sxs
Install-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering -IncludeManagementTools# ‘-IncludeManagementTools’ includes:# * Failover Cluster Management Tools
# * Failover Vluster Module for Windows PowerShell




WSFC Cluster – Creation

During the WSFC Cluster creation a CNO (Cluster Name Object) is created in Active Directory. This operation requires specific AD right.

There are three options:

  • Give Active Directory right “Create Object” to the SQL Admin account which you plan to create the WSFC Cluster.


From M-SQLA1, launch “Failover Cluster Manager” console:

Launch “Validate Configuration”:

Add all SQL AlwaysOn nodes:

Do the Validation tests:

Check “Create the cluster now…”:

Enter Cluster name and add an IP (on the Public VLAN):

Note: Cluster Name and IP are used for management and Cluster operations. These resources are known as “Cluster Core Resources”.

Create Cluster:

Check nodes status:



WSFC Cluster – Configuration

Configure Networks

Rename each Cluster Network and configure Communications allowed.


Network Communications
Public Cluster and Client
Heartbeat Cluster Only
Replication None



Configure Quorum

In this example I do not use a Witness. I use only the Dynamic Quorum mode (enabled by default).

Be careful, because Dynamic Quorum works fine as long as the nodes go down one by one. If multiples nodes fail at the same time (e.g.: the loss of a datacenter), the Dynamic Quorum may have malfunction (no recalculate vote). I will do further tests in a future article.

So for Production environment it’s recommended to use a Witness.

Configure Quorum:



NOTE Create WSFC Cluster through PowerShell


# Run “Validate Configuration and Open Report
$clustreportPath = “D:\Reports\TestClusterReport_xxx-xx-xx”
Test-Cluster -ReportName $clustreportPath
Invoke-Item $clustreportPath
# Create Cluster
$ClustVIP = “”
$ClusterName = “CN=clustsqlao1,OU=Clusters,DC=lab1,DC=ad”
write-host “Create Cluster: $($ClusterName)”
New-Cluster -Name $ClusterName -StaticAddress $ClustVIP -NoStorage -Node “M-SQLA1”,“M-SQLA2”,“M-SQLA3”,“M-SQLA4”
#Check Cluster Creation
$clust = Get-Cluster 2> $null
if ($clust -eq $null) { Write-Warning “Cluster not found” }
else {Get-ClusterNode}


Quorum Configuration Note

Dynamic Quorum is a new feature came with Windows Server 2012.

When Dynamic Quorum is enabled (by default) , the cluster dynamically manages the vote assignment to nodes, based on the state of each node. Votes are automatically removed from nodes that leave active cluster membership, and a vote is automatically assigned when a node rejoins the cluster.

Get the Quorum Type:


Get-ClusterQuorum | fl *


Check if Dynamic Quorum is enabled:


Get-Cluster | ft name,dynamic* -Autosize


View the “Dynamic Node Weight” status for nodes:


Get-ClusterNode | ft name,*weight,id,state -Autosize



Property Description
DynamicWeight This is the node weight manage by “Dynamic Quorum”. If a node is failed, DynamicWeight = 0
NodeWeight This is the “hard” configuration, for example you can decided that nodes on a DR site will not have a vote, so in this case NodeWeight = 0.


For more information about Quorum Configuration see TechNet Article:

Configure and Manage the Quorum in a Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster


NOTE Retrieve “NodeWeight” from SQL (Transact-SQL)
SELECT member_name, member_state_desc, number_of_quorum_votes
FROM sys.dm_hadr_cluster_members;



Guest Cluster Virtualization Configuration

This part is for Hyper-V Hypervisor, I will add later configuration for VMware vSphere.


Hyper-V – Heartbeat configuration

On Hyper-V, during a Live Migration of a node, the Cluster resources (in our case the AAG) can failover to another node. The configuration bellow is for tuning WSFC Cluster on a multi-site environment or on a virtualized environment

What’s happen:

WSFC nodes send heartbeat packets to other nodes of the cluster. The default port for cluster communication is TCP\UDP 3343.

If a node does not receive a response from another node for a specified period of time, the cluster removes the node from cluster membership. By default, a cluster node is considered down if it does not respond within 5 seconds. In this case another node will initiate failover

At the end of a Live Migration, the VM is stopped on the original Hyper-V host and begins to start on the destination host. During this short time, the VM node may exceed the Heartbeat threshold and so a failover starts. (Note: With the 2012 R2 version, “Live migration” has been improved. Migration is faster and after several migration tests of SQL node the Availability Group have not failover).

To prevent this problem, you have to increase the Threshold (there are two parameters, one for Cluster on same subnet, and one for cross-subnet):

Parameter Default Value Range Configuration needed
SameSubnetThreshold 5 heartbeats 5 <> 120 heartbeats 20 heartbeats
CrossSubnetThreshold 5 heartbeats 5 <> 120 heartbeats 20 heartbeats

Retrieve Cluster configuration

get-cluster | fl name, samesubnet*,crosssubnet*

Change values (in my lab same subnet):

(Get-Cluster).SameSubnetThreshold = 20



For information:

You can also configure Heartbeat Frequency.

By default, regardless of subnet configuration, heartbeat frequency is once every second (1000 milliseconds). So with the configuration above, we have 20 x 1000 = 20 seconds before node becomes unavailable for the cluster (This is the Microsoft recommendation for Hyper-V).

Heartbeat frequency:

Parameter Default Value Range
SameSubnetDelay 1000 ms 250 <> 2000 ms
CrossSubnetDelay 1000 ms 250 <> 4000 ms


Hyper-V – Place SQL VM Nodes on Different Physical hosts

For guest clustering, if you have multiple Hyper-V hosts in cluster you have to host VM on different physical hosts. To prevent that the VMs do not end up on the same host (during Live Migration or PRO operation) you have to configure the Anti-Affinity rules on Hyper-V (AntiAffinityClassNames Paramerter).

View Anti-Affinity Rules

Get-ClusterGroup | Select AntiAffinityClassNames


On the first Hyper-V Cluster:

$ColAntiAffinity = New-Object System.Collections.Specialized.StringCollection


(Get-ClusterGroup -Name M-SQLA1).AntiAffinityClassNames = $ColAntiAffinity

(Get-ClusterGroup -Name M-SQLA2).AntiAffinityClassNames = $ColAntiAffinity


Repeat the operation on the second Hyper-V Cluster for M-SQLA3 and M-SQLA4 nodes.


Prestage – Availability Group Listener

Active Directory

The Availability Group Listeners are register as Cluster Resources and so in Active Directory as VCO (Virtual Computer Object). As the CNO (Cluster Name Object), we have to prestage these VCO and give the appropriate permissions.

With a Domain Admin account, launch the “Active Directory Users and Computers console
Click on the “View” menu and select “Advanced Features”.

Go to the OU where there is the AlwaysOn cluster CNO, and create a new computer:

Enter the Listener name:

Edit Properties of the created VCO, add a description, go to the “Security” tab and add the AlwaysOn cluster CNO (here: clustsqlao1), under Permissions allow “Full Control”

Repeat operation for all Listeners:


DNS (Integrated in AD)

Launch the DNS console, go to you domain zone, and create an new Host (A or AAAA):

Enter the Listener Name and the IP Address:

Repeat the operation for all Listener :


Allow the Cluster Name Object (CNO) to update DNS records:

Note: This configuration must be done DNS is integrated to Active Directory.

Edit the properties of record created previously:

Go to the “Security” tab and add the CNO, give the Full Control permissions:

Repeat the operation on all Listeners DNS records.


The next part covers the installation of SQL Server on Core node (automated through unattened INI file): AlwaysOn Availability Group – Part 5 – Install SQL Core Server

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group WSFC Cluster Creation appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

]]> 5 913
AlwaysOn Availability Group Install WS2012 R2 Core Server Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:28:47 +0000 SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups: Article Summary Part 1 – AlwaysOn Introduction Part 2 – AlwaysOn Design Part 3 – Install and Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 in Core mode Part 4 – WSFC Cluster Creation Part 5 – Install SQL Core on Windows Core Server Part 6 – AlwaysOn Availability Groups Creation Part ...

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Install WS2012 R2 Core Server appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups:

This part covers the installation and configuration of Windows Server 2012 R2 Core.


Virtual Machine

Create the four SQL Servers and configure the three Network adapters and the three Virtual disks:


AD Account

Create Group:

  • lab1\SQLAlwaysOnAdmins

Create accounts:

  • lab1\sqlaoinstall

Add your account and sqlaoinstall account to SQLAlwaysOnAdmins Group. This is not mandatory but I recommend using an “Install account” for environments installation.


Server Installation – 1st Node

Install and Configure a WS2012 R2 Server

Server: M-SQLA1

  • Install WS2012R2 (in full GUI mode). For reminder this server will be used for management (consoles, …)
  • Configure Network

Note about IPv6 for WSFC Cluster

For Cluster network you can disable IPv6 protocol, but by default the heartbeat mechanism prefer use first IPv6 addresses. Now on WS2012, it’s not recommended to disable IPv6.

Note for Cluster and Replication NIC

Disable “Register this connection’s addresses in DNS”

  • Configuration: Do the same configuration as the Core server bellow.


Core Server Installation – Three other Nodes

Servers: M-SQLA2, M-SQLA3, M-SQLA4

Install and Configure a Windows Server 2012 R2 Core Server


Configure all Nodes

All commands bellow are in the script: “WSCoreNode-Configuration.ps1.

Configure Network

List NIC:

Identify NIC, retrieve MAC address from Hyper-V:


Rename Network Adapter

Rename-NetAdapter -Name "Ethernet" -NewName "eth1-public"

Repeat operation for “Ethernet 2” and “Ethernet 3”:

Set IP Address

Note: Option -Gateway <IP>new

New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "eth1-public" -IPAddress -PrefixLenght 24


Repeat Operation for “eth2-cluster” and “eth3-replication” NICs:

# NIC Cluster
New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "eth2-cluster" -IPAddress -PrefixLenght 24
#NIC Replication
New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "eth3-replication" -IPAddress -PrefixLenght 24


To set multiple DNS: “-ServerAddresses,”


Configure Protocols

Retrieve Protocol status:

Get-NetAdapterBinding -InterfaceAlias "eth1-public"


NIC “eth1-public”:

I disable “Link-Layer Topology …” and “IPv6” protocols.

Disable-NetAdapterBinding -InterfaceAlias "eth1-public" -ComponentID ms_rspndr, ms_lltdio, ms_tcpip6


Repeat Operation for “eth2-cluster”:

Disable “Link-Layer Topology …” and “QoS” protocols.

Disable-NetAdapterBinding -InterfaceAlias "eth2-cluster" -ComponentID ms_rspndr, ms_lltdio, ms_pacer

Repeat Operation for “eth3-creplication”:

Disable “Link-Layer Topology …”, “QoS”, and “IPv6” protocols.

Disable-NetAdapterBinding -InterfaceAlias "eth3-replication" -ComponentID ms_rspndr, ms_lltdio, ms_pacer, ms_tcpip6

Enable Remote Desktop

Method 1 – From SCONFIG

Go to “7”:


Method 2 – From PowerShell

Enable Remote Desktop:

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server'-name "fDenyTSConnections" -Value 0

Enable Secure Connections:

set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp' -name "UserAuthentication" -Value 1

Enable Firewall Exception:

Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"


Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server'-name "fDenyTSConnections"
Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp' -name "UserAuthentication"


Check Firewall:

Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop" | ft displaygroup,displayname,enabled,profile -AutoSize


Configure Firewall

This configuration can be done (and it’s better) though AD GPO. Commands bellows are for information or for lab environment.


Enable Firewall Remote Management

Show CurrentProfile:

netsh advfirewall show currentprofile settings

Enable Remote Management:

netsh advfirewall set domainprofile settings remotemanagement enable

This enables rules:

NOTE To disable Remote Management (netsh)
netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement disable


Enable Remote Management Rules

I use script “FW_Enable-GroupRules-RM.ps1” to enable this rules:



NOTE Enable Remote Management rules (netsh/powershell)

Set-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup “Remote Service Management” –Enabled True -Profile “Domain,Private”

Or via netsh

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Remote Shutdown” new enable=yes


Check the Remote Management Rules:

Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup “Remote *” | ft displaygroup,displayname,enabled,profile -AutoSize


Create Firewall Rules for SQL

You have to create these inbound rules:

Protocol Port Name Note


Instance and VNN Port  


Instance SQL Endpoint User for AAG communication


Script: FW-Create-Rules-AOLab.ps1

Script overview:

#SQL Server Firewall RULES
$Profile = “Domain,Private”
$RuleGroup = “SQL”

#Rule: INBOUND – Allow Instance/VNN Port
$RuleName = “SQL Database Engine – Instance/VNN (TCP 1764)”
$LocalPort = 1764
$Protocol = “TCP”
$Action = “Allow”
New-NetFirewallRule -Group $RuleGroup -DisplayName $RuleName -Direction Inbound -Protocol $Protocol -LocalPort $LocalPort -Action $Action -Profile $Profile | out-null

# ...

Other SQL Ports:

Protocol Port Name Note


SQL Browser Service Browser Service listens for incoming connections to a named instance and provides the client the TCP port number that corresponds to that named instance.

Browser will be disabled.

For more information (other port for SSRS, AS …) see TechNet article “Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access“:


Join Server to Domain

Rename-Computer -NewName xxxx

Add-Computer -DomainName domain.local -DomainCredential (Get-Credential)



Add account to Local Administrators Group


 Add AD Group to local Administrators group:


net localgroup administrators /add lab1\SQLAlwaysOnAdmins
List members of a Local Group:
net localgroup administrators


Or via PowerShell:


#Add an account/group:


#Remove an account/group:




Add Route (optional)

I need route for RDP, this is the netsh command:


[Note] Remote Management

Now, we can remotely manage the server with consoles from another Server in Full-GUI mode.

Commands bellows are for information.


Configure DVD-Drive Letter

View the CD/DVD Drive Letter:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_CDROMDrive


Change Drive Letter:

(gwmi Win32_cdromdrive).drive | %{$a = mountvol $_ /l;mountvol $_ /d;$a = $a.Trim();mountvol v: $a}

Warning: This method function if there is only one CD/DVD Drive.


Configure update

Now the core server is joined to domain, I have GPO to set Update mode (Automatic during the night) and WSUS options.

List installed updates

wmic qfe

Force Update:

Copy this script to each core node:

And launch it (this script start a Windows Update session):

TechNet Resources:

Configure Automatic Updates by Using Group Policy
Servicing a Server Core installation
Searching, Downloading, and Installing Updates


Core Servers deployment done!


[Note] Switch between Full-GUI/Minimal/Core interface

Command for switch between Full-GUI, Minimal, or Core mode

By default on core installation, “Server-Gui-Shell” and “Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra” features are removed, so you have to specify the source files. To do that retrieve Index on the source WIM:

dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:”v:\sources\install.wim”

To switch to Minimal interface:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-gui-mgmt-infra -Source wim:v:\sources\install.wim:2

To switch to Full interface:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell, Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Source wim:v:\sources\install.wim:2


To switch to Core interface:

Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell, Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra

Note: you can use “-remove” option to delete binary files from local disk.


Manage all nodes from Server M-SQLA1

From M-SQLA1 (with full GUI mode), connected with lab1\sqlaoadm account, got to Server Manager and add the three core nodes.

Click “Add other servers to manage”:

Select the 3 other nodes:


Configure Volume for all nodes:

Note: For AAG the volume letter (for DB and Log) must be the same on all instance that participate to the AAG

If you want to use PowerShell, you can read this great article on Volume Management with PS:



Now all nodes are ready, the next part covers the WSFC Cluster creation: Part 4 – AlwaysOn – WSFC Cluster Creation

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Install WS2012 R2 Core Server appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

]]> 0 852
AlwaysOn Availability Group Design Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10:53:15 +0000 SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups: Article Summary Part 1 – AlwaysOn Introduction Part 2 – AlwaysOn Design Part 3 – Install and Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 in Core mode Part 4 – WSFC Cluster Creation Part 5 – Install SQL Core on Windows Core Server Part 6 – AlwaysOn Availability Groups Creation Part ...

The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Design appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups:


This part describe the design of the environment.

Article summary: SQL Server 2012-2014 AlwaysOn Availability Group

For the tests, I will create an “AlwaysOn Availability Group” cluster with four nodes and four AAG. Each AAG has two SQL Server Instance members, so each SQL node participate to two AAG.

The first two AAG will be used to host only test Databases. The other two will be used to host databases for SCOM 2012 R2 and SCO 2012 R2.

Schema AlwaysOn Availability Groups - Design - Multiple AAG - Replication Network

Schema: AlwaysOn Availability Groups Design with multiple AAG on four Nodes and a dedicated Network for Replication

AlwaysOn Cluster – Physical View

Schema - AlwaysOn Availability Groups Physical View (DataCenter Fault Tolerance)

Schema: AlwaysOn Availability Groups Physical View (DataCenter Fault Tolerance)


LAB Requirements

Three Networks are required.

vSwitch Description Subnet
vSwitch0-Public Client Access /24
vSwitch1-Cluster Heartbeat /24
vSwitch2-Replication AAG Replication /24

Note: I use same subnet for all nodes, I’ll write an article for WSFC Cluster Administration/Troubleshoot which also cover cross-subnet configuration.

Infra server:

Server Description IP


SQL Servers / Instances Configuration

The lab will be composed on a four node WSFC cluster:


Hostname OS IP VLAN Public IP VLAN CLUSTER IP VLAN Replication Note
M-SQLA1 WS2012R2
clustsqlao1 n/a n/a n/a Cluster Resource Name

M-SQLA1 OS will be installed in full GUI mode with the SQL Feature “Management Tools – Complete” (include “Management Studio”; it’s not compatible with a Core installation). This server will be used to manage SQL AAG and WSFC cluster.

Note: In a production environment, all servers must be identical (all in core mode, or full/minimal) and a dedicated “management/tools” server with consoles is used for administration.

Best Practices and Recommendations
It’s recommended to use the Windows Server Core Installation option for setting up a SQL server environment (especially if it’s virtualized).
Advantages of a SQL Core installation:
  • reduce the space required on disk.
  • reduce the potential attack surface.
  • reduce the overhead of updating patches.
  • minimize the requirements for servicing and restarting the server.


We need to install one named-instance per SQL Server:

Server Instance Name Instance Port SQL Features
M-SQL1 aoi1 1764 SQL Database Engine
Full-Text Search (needed for SCOM)
M-SQL2 aoi2 1764
M-SQL3 aoi3 1764
M-SQL4 aoi4 1764


Note Port Instances/Listener:

For an AAG Environment, you have to choice Ports for instances (here x4) and Ports for AAG-Listener (also x4 in my lab). I choose to use the same port (but not the default 1433) for all instances and all AAG Listeners, but there is no restriction. You can use different ports for each instance, different ports for each Listener, same port for all instances and another port for all Listeners, etc…


Availability Groups Configuration

I will create four Availability Groups:

AAG Members (Instance) Default Role AAG Listener Databases




AAG-1 m-sqla1\aoi1 Primary AAG-1L 1764 DBTest01
m-sqla3\aoi3 Secondary
AAG-2 m-sqla1\aoi1 Secondary AAG-2L 1764 DBTest02
m-sqla3\aoi3 Primary
AAG-3SCOM m-sqla2\aoi2 Primary AAG-3L 1764 SCOM OP
m-sqla4\aoi4 Secondary
AAG-4SCOM m-sqla2\aoi2 Secondary AAG-4L 1764 SCOM DW
DB Orchestrator
m-sqla4\aoi4 Primary

AAG-1 and AAG-2 will serve for tests only. AAG-3SCOM and AAG-4SCOM will be used for my SCOM and Orchestrator Labs.

In this configuration, in nominal mode each instance hosts an “Active” Primary Replica.

The simulation is m-sql1 and m-sql2 in the same room and the two others in another room.

So I can lose one room (all my AAG/Databases remain available)


AAG Listener (VNN – Virtual Network Name)

For reminder, on the WSFC cluster side an AAG is a cluster Resource Group and the VNN is two cluster resources:

  • Virtual Name
  • Virtual IP


When you configure an application to host its Database on a SQL Availability Group you have to specify the Listener name for the instance name and the Listener port for the Instance port.


AAG Implementation – Version 1

This is the first version that will be configured in the next parts of the article:


Schema AlwaysOn Availabilty Groups Design 4 AAG v1

Schema: Design 4x AlwaysOn Availability Groups with Synchronous Replicas – V1

AAG Implementation – Version 2

In another part, to simulate a Remote DRP Site, I will add and additional Instance (with two Replicas in Asynchronous mode on the AAG-1 and the AAG-2):


Schema AlwaysOn Availability Groups Design 4 AAG v2

Schema: Design 4x AlwaysOn Availability Groups with Synchronous/Asynchronous Replicas – V2

Availability Replicas Configuration

The next part is to specify the detailed availability replica (two per AAG) configuration:

AAG Server Instance Initial Role Automatic
Allow Readable
AAG-1 m-sqla1\AOI1 Primary Yes Yes Yes
m-sqla3\AOI3 Secondary Yes Yes Yes
AAG-2 m-sqla1\AOI1 Secondary Yes Yes Yes
m-sqla3\AOI3 Primary Yes Yes Yes
AAG-3SCOM m-sqla2\AOI2 Primary Yes Yes Yes
m-sqla4\AOI4 Secondary Yes Yes Yes
AAG-4SCOM m-sqla2\AOI2 Secondary Yes Yes Yes
m-sqla4\AOI4 Primary Yes Yes Yes

All replicas will be configured in “Automatic” failover mode and so in “Synchronous” availability mode.

For more information see TechNet: Failover and Failover Modes (AlwaysOn Availability Groups) –


Readable Secondary Option:

For future tests, I enable Readable Secondary option.

Option Description
No No user connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica. They are not available for read access. This is the default setting.
Read-intent only Only read-only connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica. The secondary database(s) are all available for read access.
Yes All connections are allowed to secondary databases of this replica, but only for read access. The secondary database(s) are all available for read access.


Primary Role Connections:

I use the default settings (Allow all connections).

Option Description
Allow all connections All connections are allowed to the databases in the primary replica. This is the default setting.
Allow read/write connections When the Application Intent property is set to ReadWrite or the Application Intent connection property is not set, the connection is allowed. Connections where the Application Intent connection property is set to ReadOnly are not allowed. This can help prevent customers from connecting a read-intent work load to the primary replica by mistake.


Endpoints Configuration

There is one Endpoint per SQL Server Instance.

During AAG Creation (via Wizard), Endpoint URL is configured with the SQL Instance FQDN. With this default option, instances will communicate over the Public Network (for reminder:

So to configured instance communication on the Replication Network ( I have to set my endpoint to: TCP://10.0.20.x:5022.

For tests, I will configure two instances (AOI1 and AOI3) on the Public Network (with FQDN) and the two other instances (AOI2 and AOI4) on the Replication Network.

Server Instance Endpoint URL Endpoint Port Endpoint Name
m-sqla1\AOI1 TCP:// 5022 Hadr_endpoint
m-sqla2\AOI2 TCP:// 5022 Hadr_endpoint
m-sqla3\AOI3 TCP:// 5022 Hadr_endpoint
m-sqla4\AOI4 TCP:// 5022 Hadr_endpoint


Note: 5022 is the default port, you can use another port.


Service Accounts Requirement

Isolate Instance Services

Isolating services reduces the risk that one compromised service could be used to compromise others.

At the Instance level, each SQL Service (SQL Server, SQL Agent …) must be configured with different account.

Isolate Instances

A Security Best Practice is to use different accounts for each instance, but considers these points:

  • Microsoft recommends to use the same account for all instances of an AlwaysOn Cluster (it’s more simple to assign rights to Endpoints)
  • If you want to use Kerberos, instances must use the same account:


Service Accounts – Solutions

Use the same account for all Instances (enable Kerberos authentication):

  • gMSA (Group Managed Service Accounts): the best solution for the AlwaysOn Availability Group is to use a gMSA (same as a MSA account but available on multiple host). But it’s not supported for the moment on SQL Server…


Status about  gMSA/MSA accounts for SQL

Group Managed Service Accounts Overview


  • “Classic” Domain Account:
    you can use the same domain account for all instances (this works), but when you have to change the password account you have to program an interruption of service (all node will be affected at the same time by the password change…)


Use different accounts for all Instances (disable Kerberos authentication):

    • MSA (Managed Service Account): you can use a MSA account per Instance (MSA is a domain account; password is managed automatically by the domain controller; a MSA is assigned to only one host)


  • Virtual Accounts: you can use a virtual account per Instance (the functioning is identical to a MSA except it’s a local account managed by the host, not by the DC). This is the default option during a SQL Instance installation.


For more information, see TechNet article: Configure Windows Service Accounts and Permissions –

So actually, there is no possible solution for use Kerberos with AAG in a production environment. I will use MSA account for my lab.

Account MSA Description Member Of / Rights Instance Service Mode
lab1\SQLAlwaysOnAdmins n/a SQL Administrators Group Local Administrator of all nodes
Sysadmin on all instance
n/a n/a
lab1\sqlaoinstall No Account use for Installation Member of SQLAOAdmins Group n/a n/a
lab1\svc-sqldbe1 Yes SQL Service – Database Engine Domain User aoi1 Automatic
lab1\svc-sqlagt1 Yes SQL Service – Agent Domain User Automatic
lab1\svc-sqldbe2 Yes SQL Service – Database Engine Domain User aoi2 Automatic
lab1\svc-sqlagt2 Yes SQL Service – Agent Domain User Automatic
lab1\svc-sqldbe3 Yes SQL Service – Database Engine Domain User aoi3 Automatic
lab1\svc-sqlagt3 Yes SQL Service – Agent Domain User Automatic
lab1\svc-sqldbe4 Yes SQL Service – Database Engine Domain User aoi4 Automatic
lab1\svc-sqlagt4 Yes SQL Service – Agent Domain User Automatic


Permission needed for Service Account:

Notes: During installation, these permissions are granted by the SQL setup.

Service Description Permissions granted by SQL Server Setup
SQL Server Database Services The service for the SQL Server relational Database Engine. The executable file is <MSSQLPATH>\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe. Log on as a service
Replace a process-level token
Bypass traverse checking
Adjust memory quotas for a process
Permission to start SQL Writer
Permission to read the Event Log service
Permission to read the Remote Procedure Call service
SQL Server Agent Executes jobs, monitors SQL Server, fires alerts, and enables automation of some administrative tasks. The executable file is <MSSQLPATH>\MSSQL\Binn\sqlagent.exe. Log on as a service
Replace a process-level token
Bypass traverse checking
Adjust memory quotas for a process
Reporting Services Manages, executes, creates, schedules, and delivers reports. The executable file is <MSSQLPATH>\Reporting Services\ReportServer\Bin\ReportingServicesService.exe. Log on as a service
SQL Server Browser The name resolution service that provides SQL Server connection information for client computers. The executable path is c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe Log on as a service
Full-text search Quickly creates full-text indexes on content and properties of structured and semistructured data to provide document filtering and word-breaking for SQL Server. Log on as a service
Adjust memory quotas for a process
Bypass traverse checking



Disk configuration per node:

Disk Letter RAID Level Size Name SQL Path Description
disk0 c: n/a 25GB System C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\
C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft SQL Server\
SQL Shared Features
SQL Shared Features
SQL Server Directory
System Databases
disk1 G: n/a 5 GB SQL_DB G:\MSSQL\AOREPLICA\Data
TempDB Database
Database Backups
DB Transaction Log
TempDB Log


Notes about Storage:

If your SQL Servers are virtualized, for production environment you shouldn’t use Virtual Disk (except for OS). You have to use Pass-through (via Virtual FC) for Hyper-V, or RDM LUN for VMware.

In addition for better performance you must use a dedicated disk for TempDB.

Install SQL Server (SQL Server Directory) on a separate disk (D:).

You can also add a separate disk for pagefile, but if the SQL server is correctly sized it should not have to swap.


Example of a Production configuration

Disk Letter RAID Level Size Name SQL Path Description
disk0 C: Raid 1 xx GB System C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\
C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft SQL Server\
SQL Shared Features
SQL Shared Features
disk1 D: Raid 1 xx GB SQL_BIN D:\MSSQL\MSSQL11.<instancename>\
SQL Server Directory
System Databases
disk2 G: Raid 10 xx GB SQL_DB G:\MSSQL\AOREPLICA\Data Databases
disk3 K: Raid 5 xx GB SQL_BAK K:\MSSQL\MSSQL11.<instancename>\MSSQL\Backup Database Backups
disk4 L: Raid 10 xx GB SQL_LOG L:\MSSQL\AOREPLICA\Log Transaction Log
disk5 T: Raid 10 xx GB SQL_TEMPDB T:\MSSQL\MSSQL11.<instancename>\MSSQL\TempDB\Data
TempDB Database
TempDB Logs
disk6 R: Raid 5 xx GB SQL_SSRS R:\MSSQL\MSSQL11.<instancename>\MSSQL\Reports SSRS Feature


Note for Databases/Logs path on AAG:

If you use the default instance path (which contains the instance name) for Databases and Logs, the paths on all the nodes participating to the AAG are different. This has an impact on AlwaysOn AG.


If the file path (including the drive letter) of a secondary database differs from the path of the corresponding primary database, the following restrictions apply:

  • New Availability Group Wizard/Add Database to Availability Group Wizard:  The Full option is not supported (on the “Select Initial Data Synchronization” Page).
  • RESTORE WITH MOVE:  To create the secondary databases, the database files must be RESTORED WITH MOVE on each instance of SQL Server that hosts a secondary replica.
  • Impact on add-file operations:  A later add-file operation on the primary replica might fail on the secondary databases. This failure could cause the secondary databases to be suspended. This, in turn, causes the secondary replicas to enter the NOT SYNCHRONIZING state.


So it is recommended to use the same path on all instances:

Data Default Path New Path


Note about TempDB

  • The TempDB shouldn’t be store on the same disk as your Databases
  • In Production, autogrow operations can affect performance so preallocate space to allow for the expected workload (autogrow should be used to increase disk space for unplanned exceptions)
  • SQL CAT team recommends one file per CPU Core. Microsoft Note:

But this recommendation is subject to discussion and depends of your SQL environment (and the TempDB Contention). I’m not going to analyze this in this article, but I invite you to read the great articles of Paul Randal:

A SQL Server DBA myth a day: (12/30) tempdb should always have one data file per processor core:

The Accidental DBA (Day 27 of 30): Troubleshooting: Tempdb Contention:

Another “General” Recommendation:

Last year at PASS 2011 Bob Ward, one the Sr Escalation Engineers for SQL, made the following recommendation which will be updated in the Microsoft references that other people provided on this thread:

As a general rule, if the number of logical processors is less than 8, use the same number of data files as logical processors. If the number of logical processors is greater than 8, use 8 data files and then if contention continues, increase the number of data files by multiples of 4 (up to the number of logical processors) until the contention is reduced to acceptable levels or make changes to the workload/code.




These ports (incoming) must be opened:

Service Protocol Port Name Managed by
Windows (*)
SQL TCP 1764 Instance and VNN Port    
SQL TCP 5022 Instance SQL Endpoint   User for AAG Replica Communication
WSFC Cluster TCP 3343 Failover Clusters (TCP-In) Yes Required during a node join operation
WSFC Cluster UDP 3343 Failover Clusters (UDP-In) Yes  
WSFC Cluster TCP 135 Failover Clusters (DCOM-RPC-EPMAP-In) Yes  
WSFC Cluster TCP 445 Failover Clusters – Named Pipes (NP-In) Yes  
WSFC Cluster TCP <Dynamic> Failover Clusters <RPC Server Programs> Yes  
(*) Rules are automatically created during the feature/role installation

For more information about Microsoft Products Port requirements see MS KB “Service overview and network port requirements for Windows” –


Antivirus Exclusion

Configure these exclusions on your Antivirus:

Exclusions for Cluster:

Type Detail (Path, Extension,…) Description
Folder %Systemroot%\Cluster Cluster folder
Folder Q:\mscs Qurom disk

Exclusions for SQL Server:

Type Detail (Path, Extension,…) Description
File-name extensions .mdf
SQL Server data files
Process <installpath>\MSSQL11.<Instance Name>\MSSQL\Binn\SQLServr.exe SQL process



Next par covers the installation and configuration of servers in core mode: AlwaysOn Availability Group – Part 3 – Install WS2012 R2 Core Server


The post AlwaysOn Availability Group Design appeared first on Tech-Coffee.

]]> 0 765