Deploy a domain-independent Windows Failover Cluster for SQL Server

Deploy a domain-independent Windows Failover Cluster for SQL Server

This article shows how to deploy a domain-independent Windows Failover Cluster for SQL Server Always On Availability Groups. In this series, we configured the SQL Server Always On Availability Groups beginning from virtual server build. Always On provides a robust high availability and disaster recovery solution in SQL Server.

Introduction

In this series, we configured the SQL Server Always On Availability Groups beginning from virtual server build. Always On provides a robust high availability and disaster recovery solution in SQL Server. It integrates the Windows failover clustering with the database mirroring concepts. For a traditional availability group, we should have the following configurations.

  • You should have two or more nodes configured in a failover cluster
  • All nodes should be a member of a domain. For example, in my earlier articles, all nodes were part of [MyDemoSQL.com] domain

Windows Server 2016 introduced a new concept known as domain-independent Windows failover clusters. In this article, we are going to explore this new concept and see how we can leverage this for SQL Server Always On Availability group configuration.

Prerequisites

  • You should understand the concept of a traditional SQL Server Always On availability group. You can use the articles (see ToC at the bottom) to prepare your AG without having prior knowledge
  • You should have a DNS controller to provide the static IP address to the participating nodes
  • Create two virtual machines using Oracle VirtualBox and Install Windows Server 2016 on it

Overview of the Domain independent Windows failover clusters for SQL Server Always On Availability Groups

As explained above, in a traditional failover cluster for SQL Server Always On, all participating nodes must be a member of the Domain.

Domain independent Windows failover clusters for SQL Server Always On Availability Groups

In the above image, we have two servers [ServerA] and [ServerB]. Both servers are a member of the ABC.COM domain. We have configured an availability group between these servers.

In the Windows Server 2016, we can create the domain-independent failover clusters as well. Let’s create the cluster in the subsequent section.

Note: In this article, we do not go in detail with each step. You can refer to previous articles for detailed steps.

Steps to configure domain-independent failover cluster for SQL Server Always On Availability Groups

As a part of the prerequisite, I have prepared two virtual machines, SQLAG1 and SQLAG2. Both virtual machines are not part of any domain.

Step 1: Enable failover cluster feature on the SQLAG1

Navigate to the Add Roles and Feature Wizard in the server manager and enable the failover clustering feature, as shown below. It installs failover clustering along with its dependencies.

Enable failover cluster feature

In the next screen, we can verify that the failover clustering feature is enabled on the node AG1.

Feature installation

Step 2: Enable failover cluster feature on the SQLAG2

Similarly, enable the failover cluster feature on the second virtual machine [SQLAG2].

Failover feature on SQLAG2

Installation progress

alwayson availability groups sql

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