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what's your experience with iSCSI and SQL Cluster setup's? We bought HP StorageWorks MSA2324i. We'll place our high-volume transaction processing system on it.

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Are you using vSphere at all? MSCS on iSCSI ain't supported by VMware. – SteveBurkett Sep 17 '10 at 14:24
It may not be supported to run MSCS with iSCSI under vSphere but it works just fine. – mrdenny Sep 17 '10 at 19:23
No, we're not using vSphere, no virtualization. – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:30

We've got one going; works great. Be absolutely sure you know what you're doing setting it up, it's easy to flub the configuration and get poor performance.

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I'm yet to find a SQL FOC install where everything was setup properly...

Here are some things that i find that are usually not setup correctly:

  1. Read the storage providers best practices... Usually what you need to setup is already spelled out in best practices documentation.
  2. Do performance testing to ensure everything is working properly..
  3. Do failover/DR testing to ensure everything is working properly..
  4. Check your page file setting; usually we have to modify these on a heavily used cluster.
  5. Ensure that AWE/Page locking is setup correctly on 32bit environments.
  6. Setup "Preferred Owners" for each group object to properly distribute load when the cluster comes online. I worked on a cluster recent that had all the groups pointed to one node in the cluster. Needless to say when it rebooted in the middle of the night... Everything was on one node and memory starved.
  7. Remember that in a cluster you need to look at modified performance metrics. Example: PLE in sql server. You need to query this from the database engine instead of perfmon stats to get it for just one instance.
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Thanks! I'll look for storage providers best practices ... – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:31
We've developed our own stress-testing tool for processing transaction system and that's our main test. – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:32
I forgot to mention, environment is 64bit - windows, sql server. – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:33
We have a big problem, please help. BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) appears on one of the nodes when we turn off one switch! We thought it was the problem with network conf on iSCSI adapters, they were on same subnet. We fixed that and it was OK (for 1 day) - now we have the same error. – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:41
I've analyzed the dump file, the cause was msiscsi.sys. I've located hotfix, installed it and so far no BSOD. – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 22:14

iSCSI and SQL clusters will work just fine as long as your network isn't already running at capacity and it has enough room for the additional network traffic.

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On that note, absolutely segregate your iSCSI traffic from, well, everything else. Separate physical LANs preferred. This is a standard best practice. – Jeremy Sep 17 '10 at 19:32
OK, I'll check this out. Also, we had to setup each iSCSI adapter on separate subnet. Thx! – Geo Sep 17 '10 at 19:35
Yes, you'll want to isolate the iSCSI traffic to its own VLAN. – mrdenny Sep 17 '10 at 20:08

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