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SQL FineBuild Cluster Overview

FineBuild supports installing SQL Server 2005 and above on a Windows Failover Cluster, including many common pre-installation and post-installation tasks.

All of the tasks listed below can be performed by FineBuild, depending on the parameters that you supply:
  • Windows server preparation tasks
  • Clustering of MSDTC
  • Cluster install of SQL Server database engine
  • Cluster install of SQL Server Analysis Services
  • Cluster or non-cluster install of SSIS
  • Clustering of SSRS and PolyBase
  • Installation of other non-clustered components (R Services, client tools, etc)
The normal post-install configuration of SSRS so it can work on a cluster must still be performed manually in this version of SQL FineBuild.

SQL FineBuild supports both Active/Passive and Active/Active cluster installations for single or multiple instances of SQL Server. In both of these situations, a given SQL Server instance can only be Active on a single node at any one time. The situation where multiple nodes can update a single database is not supported by Windows Failover Clustering.

Active/Passive One of the Windows Cluster nodes does not host any active SQL Server Cluster instances
Active/Active All of the Windows Cluster nodes host active SQL Server Cluster instances

In an Active/Active situation it is often useful that a given SQL Server Cluster instance will automatically become active on a specific Windows Cluster node if the node that it is running on is rebooted. If this is desired then include the following parameter when installing that instance:
/PreferredOwner:Server Name
The following aspects of SQL Server clustering are not supported in this version of SQL FineBuild:
  • Multi-subnet (geographically dispersed) clusters
  • Non-Domain SQL Clusters

Even though FineBuild makes it easy to install a SQL Server cluster, it cannot provide the DBA skills needed to manage it efficiently. The specialist skills needed should be planned for, so that any cluster-specific tasks and risks can be understood.

If you are not familiar with SQL Server clustering it is recommended you review clustering (SQL Server) in Books Online (BOL), and search the internet for general advice on installing clustered instances of SQL Server.

The reasons for creating a cluster should be fully understood and documented, as a SQL Server cluster may not be the most appropriate method of achieving the SLA objectives. It is suggested that the paper Replication HADR Case Study is reviewed as an alternative to using a SQL Server cluster.

The guidance given at is acknowledged for helping in the development of clustering within SQL FineBuild.

Copyright FineBuild Team © 2014 - 2016. License and Acknowledgements
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Last edited Oct 17, 2016 at 10:44 AM by EdVassie, version 6