Monday, August 4, 2008

Think you're ready for a Microsoft Cluster Assessment? - Part 2

In part one, I discussed some of the technical things I learned from our latest Microsoft Cluster Assessment ( In the second part I am going to discuss some of the less tangible aspects of the assessment.
So Microsoft breaks it the operational aspects into three major categories

  • Supportability and Best Practices
  • Recovery Best Practices
  • Nodes, Cluster and Site Recovery Procedures
  • The bottom line of all these items: Documentation.

One of the things Microsoft stressed was a cluster build document for each type of cluster. In general we had always built clusters like IKEA furniture - i.e.

  • Assemble component A (the operating system)
  • Assemble component B (Windows Clustering ),
  • Assemble component C (SQL )
  • Combine them into one big happy set of clustered servers.

Microsoft recommends having end to end documentation for each type of cluster you build, rather than a modular documentation set.

There is also a heavy focus on Disaster Recovery, if you don't have any DR or BCM plans, prepare to see quite a bit of red on your final assessment.

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