Creating/converting a MNS 2008 Cluster with EMC RecoverPoint (part 2)

In my previous post I covered the considerations you’d want to make when adding a 3rd node to your existing shared quorum cluster at a new site. Now that you’ve made the decision and are using EMC RecoverPoint with Cluster Enabler (RP/CE) to manage the data replication and management of the disks and are converting your cluster to MNS, I’ve written up the steps to actually do this.

The EMC documentation is clear as mud on this. Literally you’ll go to the index where it says “Cluster Enabler install” and it’ll have step 1, then say “go to page 127”. You’ll go there and it’ll have step 2 and then will say “go back to page 76”… On and on. It’s actually so confusing that the consultant we had come from EMC to help answer our questions later called me and asked for my documentation so that he could use it at an installation at another client.

Please note that the below steps worked explicitly in my environment, but may need some changes to conform to specifics in your environment. Where noted there are different steps for 2003 and 2008 clusters. This assume that your SAN group has already replicated all the appropriate LUNs with RecoverPoint and that you’ve base-installed any new nodes.

1) Install Windows Installer 4.5 (if not already installed)

2) Install CE on all host nodes in the cluster (including the 3rd node that you’ve already base installed and have not yet added to the cluster).

  • Copy both the *base.msi and *plugin.msi to the same directory on your target machine (i.e. C:temp)
  • Run *base.msi, accept all the defaults. Reboot
  • Repeat for the existing nodes in the cluster, moving resources around as necesary. Note that at this point you’re only installing the files, you’re not actually enabling the cluster yet.

3) If your SAN group was nice enough to name the Consistency Group (replicated LUNs on the SAN. All the disks in the same Windows Cluster Group must be in the same Consistency Group on the SAN side) the same as your Cluster Group, then you’re fine. Otherwise you need to rename the Windows Cluster Group to match the name of the RP CG. All of the disks in the CG need to match the disks in the Windows Cluster Group. Renaming a Cluster Group doesn’t affect anything.

4) Have your SAN group ensure that your disks are replicating successfully and in sync.

5) Convert your cluster to MNS

  • Windows 2008: Right click on the cluster and go to More Actions —> Configure Cluster Quorum Settings. Check the box for “Node Majority”. Click Finish thru the wizard
  • Windows 2003: Right click on the “Cluster Group”, select New —> Resource and select the name as “MNS Resource”. Change the resource type to “Majority Node Set”. When done, bring the resource online. Right click on the root name of the cluster and select the Quorum tab. Select the “Quorum Resource” drop down box and change it to the “MNS Resource” you created.

6) Delete the old Quorum disk (Q:) from the cluster groups.

7) Assuming you have it, delete any Private networks from the cluster. You can’t use them anymore for cluster communications unless you’re extending 2 different subnets.

8) Have your SAN resource go into RP and enable image access on the 3rd node at the remote site.

9) Right-click the cluster and select Add Node. Add the server name and run through the validation wizard. You now have a 3 node MNS cluster.

10) Have your SAN resource go into RP and disable image access on the 3rd node. They also need to go into the RecoverPoint Management Applications and select the Consistency Group. In the Components pane, select the Policy tab. In the stretch Cluster Support area, check Use RecoverPoint/CE. Ensure that Group is managed by CE, Recoverpoint can only monitor is selected.

  • This step is very important! If you have trouble later it’s likely that your SAN resource did not do something in this step correctly.

11) On each node of the cluster go to All Programs —> EMC —> Cluster Enabler —> RecoverPoint Access Settings

  • Type in the IP of the RPA (you’ll get this from your SAN resource). There should be one on both sides of the WAN. Use your local one on each side.
  • The default userid/password is plugin/plugin. I suggest having the SAN guys change the default and tell you what the new account is.

12) In the same Start Menu group, go to EMC Cluster Enabler Manager

  • Click Configure CE Cluster
  • You should be able to accept the defaults on the rest of the wizard. If you get an error it’s likely because of step 10 or 11.

13) At this point you’re technically done. You’ve got a 3 node MNS cluster with RP/CE. You should be able to fail your cluster groups between the 3 nodes without any issues. If you can’t bring the disks up on any of the other nodes, check step 10. You HAVE to have CE manage the cluster. CE is what’s installed on your cluster nodes and you now have a new resource in the cluster that all your disks are dependent on.

But of course before you can truly fail over to the 3rd node you need to install your application onto the new node. I can’t tell you those steps since I don’t know your app, but it should be the same steps as when you did the 2nd node. Note that SQL installs vary by version on how you do the 3rd node install. Sometimes you have to slipstream Service Packs into your base SQL binaries and then just run setup. Older versions may require you to do a command line install with certain switches. Make sure you read documentation!