Cluster Lab Setup - please help!!!

dsimons2001dsimons2001 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi I am preparing for the 70-293 and I thought a home lab setup for clustering would be a great idea. I have two Dell 1550 PowerEdge servers. Both have 3 SCSI drives, dual PIII processors, and dual NICs. Neither one has a RAID controler card installed.

My question is what other hardware is needed in order to setup a lab for clustering? It appears that I may need the following:
-- 2 PCI storage host adapters
-- 2 boot disk adapter ???
-- external disk storage unit that connects to both servers
-- 2 storage cables to attach both servers to the shared storage device

What type of external disk storage unit can be used?
Please let me know what else I need to buy.

I don't want to spend too much more money for this lab, so please let me know how much I can expect to pay for the needed equipment. If it is too much I will just use VMWare and do the best that I can with that. It does appear that VMWare is limited in setting up a true cluster that includes heartbeat traffic and shared storage. I was only able to use a local quorum or majority node set with VMWare. Thanks.

Comments

  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Bit difficult to answer this one to be honest, and I'm mostly familiar with clustering with HP MSA500/1000 arrays and Proliant servers.

    For what it's worth, seperate arrays probably won't be cheap, and you're right in that you'll need some interconnect (SCSI or fibre depending on the array plus the cables), and you're best off referring to the Dell and Microsoft sites to see if they have a list of hardware that supports clustering to make sure if it is compatible. I've been playing with this stuff since NT4 (yuck, for NT4 'High Availiabilty clustering' read 'An outage every time the wind changes direction and lots of overtime required to fix'), and that definately required hardware that had been verified, though I've also built a few test clusters using any bits of hardware and it's been ok for a learning environment. I've got a test 2003 cluster using ye-olde HP Netservers and HP RS/12 arrays but these are SO old that you won't find these anywhere - though perhaps these are available in Bletchley Park in the UK where they have rebuilt the WWII Colossus machine :)

    I'd think that the cost of a suitable array and the SCSI/FBA cards may make it an expensive proposition on a limited budget.
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  • jbaellojbaello Member Posts: 1,192
    Go get yourself an external scsi drive that has 2 connectors connected to 2 pc that has scsi controller, when setting up a quorom disk it will automatically detect it, I believe they have to be the same ID.
  • dsimons2001dsimons2001 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    jbaello wrote:
    Go get yourself an external scsi drive that has 2 connectors connected to 2 pc that has scsi controller, when setting up a quorom disk it will automatically detect it, I believe they have to be the same ID.

    What kind of external drive can I use?

    Also I am not sure what yoy mean by "2 pc that has scsi controller". I already have two servers. Do you mean I just have to add SCSI RAID controllers to those servers?

    Thanks
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    does it have to be hardware solution? could you not do it in a VM environment?
    i know its always best to play with the real stuff but if your budget doesnt allow it then vm's are a good substitute.

    Sadly, this is how ive had to learn most of my stuff because work wont let me touch theres! icon_sad.gif
    So much for self development!
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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've yet to take 293, so I don't know if this is even plausible.

    Couldn't you just create a share somewhere and created identical mapped drives on both machines that point to that share? It seems like you just need to reference the same drive/data.

    I flipped through the clustering section in my MS Press 293 book, and this was right at the beginning of the clustering section:

    "For example, a simple server cluster might consist of two computers running both Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server, connected to the same Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, which contains the database files"

    A share on another machine isn't going to appear any different than a NAS device as far as windows is concerned. Give that a shot, and you'll probably save yourself some money.
  • dsimons2001dsimons2001 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    nel wrote:
    does it have to be hardware solution? could you not do it in a VM environment?
    i know its always best to play with the real stuff but if your budget doesnt allow it then vm's are a good substitute.

    Sadly, this is how ive had to learn most of my stuff because work wont let me touch theres! icon_sad.gif
    So much for self development!

    I may have to go the VM route if the hardware solution is too expensive. Thanks.
  • dsimons2001dsimons2001 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote:
    I've yet to take 293, so I don't know if this is even plausible.

    Couldn't you just create a share somewhere and created identical mapped drives on both machines that point to that share? It seems like you just need to reference the same drive/data.

    I flipped through the clustering section in my MS Press 293 book, and this was right at the beginning of the clustering section:

    "For example, a simple server cluster might consist of two computers running both Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server, connected to the same Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, which contains the database files"

    A share on another machine isn't going to appear any different than a NAS device as far as windows is concerned. Give that a shot, and you'll probably save yourself some money.

    I will try that and let you know. Thanks.
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