cluster in a box

Our upcoming project at work will have a clustered SQL Server for a backend. No current production systems currently use clustering and our vendor building the solution doesn’t really have the budget to buy cluster capable hardware just for testing.

Here’s where VM technology comes in. For this I chose Virtual Server 2005 because I could get a trial version and I only need this system to be running for a few months (the trial expires in Jan 2005).

On one physical server I build an Active Directory domain controller and two SQL Server 2000 servers attached to a virtual Shared disk subsystem – just a file on the host machine in active/passive clustering mode. This way we can test our application, test failover procedures without having to actually buy cluster hardware.

The beauty of all this was I was able to do it in just a few hours and didn’t encounter any trouble at any step along the way.

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