Monthly Archives: August 2009

SQL 2008 Cluster + Quest LiteSpeed

In today’s episode of provisioning, we encountered a slight hiccup with installing Quest LiteSpeed (arguably, the fastest most flexible SQL server backup and recovery solution.)  It seems version 5 now has some built in support for sql 2008 clustering, however during the install, we encountered an error when trying to install extended stored procedures to the alternate node within the cluster.  More details can be found here: http://sqlserver.quest.com/thread.jspa?threadID=6997&tstart=1

The provided solution, which essentially involved temporarily adding the machine account (AD computer object) of the alternate node to local admin group – enabled the Quest install to complete.

Hope this helps, should you encounter a similar issue.

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SQL 2008 Cluster – Add Node 2, get Invalid SKU

When you use the GUI to add a node to an existing SQL Server 2008 Cluster you get an Invalid SKU error without any details on how to troubleshoot it.

It’s been reported to Microsoft that this is a bug and it should be corrected in the next release or maybe they will come up with some type of hotfix.

SQL Server 2008 Failover cluster installation works a little different than in previous versions (2005 and earlier). In SQL 2008 you first have to install the cluster in one (Active) node then you need to do the installation in the other nodes separately.

In Order to get around the “Invalid SKU” error you need to add the node by performing an installation using the command prompt bypassing the GUI.

Here are the Steps:

1) Open a Command Window

2) Change Directory to where your installation Files are at.

3) Edit the code below with your credentials, copy/paste the code and hit Enter.

NOTE:

Notice that my code I am passing parameters for Analysis Services and Integration Services Accounts and password; that is because I am also installing Analysis Services and Integrations Services; so if you are not installing those you do not need to pass those parameters.

/q = Silent or Quite mode. This will not display the GUI; However if you still want to use the GUI along with the Command prompt you can omit this parameter, but you will have to Click Next on the GUI. It still will work.

——————————————————->

CODE:

setup.exe /q /ACTION=AddNode /INSTANCENAME=”MSSQLSERVER”
/SQLSVCACCOUNT=”<Domain\Account>” /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”<Password>”
/AGTSVCACCOUNT=”<Domain/Account>”, /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”<Password>”
/ASSVCACCOUNT=”<Account/Password>” /ASSVCPASSWORD=”<Password>” /INDICATEPROGRESS

SQL 2008 Cluster w/SP1 Slipstream

We recently deployed a new iSCSI SAN solution by Dell/EqualLogic, which has gone very well.  Earlier this week, we began a new SQL 2008 Cluster, utilizing new brand new Dell R610s – which we’re also pretty excited about.  We opted to keep the OS on local 15K SAS drives, while dropping the data/logs/indexes, etc. on the iSCSI backend.  While we did discuss a boot from SAN option, which would come in handy with geographically dispersed datacenter and DR failovers, that’s slightly out of scope, for this project.

Since we’ve got all this shinny new hardware, we figured we should go ahead and deploy the latest software as well – opting to go straight to Windows 2008 R2!  I must admit, the combination of our new hardware, and windows 2008 R2, is SUPER fast.  A complete OS load, from bare-bone equipment can be completed in well under an hour, which for us was a huge improvement over W2K3.

So we were speeding along, OS was built, all patches, drivers, iSCSI initiated and cluster prereq’s met – even building the windows cluster was a breeze – then came SQL 2008, which turned out to be a nightmare!  Install wizard was very straight-forward, until we got the “SQL Error Log is being generated” message, below:

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Setup
——————————

The following error has occurred: There was an error setting private property ‘RequireKerberos’ to value ‘1’ for resource ‘SQL Network Name (33SQLCluster)’. Error: Value does not fall within the expected range.

For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=20476&ProdName=Microsoft+SQL+Server&EvtSrc=setup.rll&EvtID=50000&ProdVer=10.0.1600.22&EvtType=0xDCFFB30D%25400X1251FB33

——————————-

Initially, we thought it was related to us trying to reuse a existing [virtual] cluster name, which was already an active directory object (even though we couldn’t find it.)  The install was fail, partially and you could not re-install nor uninstall – nice..  It seems the virtual server name didnt create an entry in the registry, therefore uninstall would say “server name ” could not be found” and re-install would state ‘default instance already in use’ – so we had not choice but to flat-line the machine, and try, try, try again.  Five rebuilds later, we finally uncovered an option to slipstream SP1 into the install, which helped us to finally solve our issue.    Briefly, those steps are:

  1. Install the required pre-requirements for SQL Server 2008.
    • .NET Frameworks from here
    • MSI 4.5 from here
  2. Download the Service Pack package that matches you system architecture. For these steps you only need to download the one package that matches your system architecture. You can download from here. For example download the x64 package if your system is an x64 system.
  3. Extract the Service Pack that you downloaded as follows:
    • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x64-ENU.exe /x:C:\SP1
  4. Run the Service Pack to install Setup files onto the machine. You will see the following dialogs if the Setup files have not been installed yet.
  5. Run Setup.exe from the SQL Server 2008 source media, but specify the /PCUSource parameter (i.e. Setup.exe /PCUSource=C:\SP1)

If you experience the same issue, you might find these links helpful:

Hopeful, that will be the last of the SQL issues we’ll have to face and we can get back to business.  Hope this helps you save some time!

Substance is Everything

Responsibility. Resolve. Resourcefulness.

The list of qualities the very best executives demonstrate goes on and on. But first and foremost is a keen sense of leadership. Of knowing what needs to be done and doing it, unflinchingly, taking a never-give-up attitude to its logical conclusion. This year’s crop of Corp! magazine’s Michigan Top Executives is no exception. Once nominated, the list of individuals are further scrutinized and screened. And what remains are those who any company would be proud to consider their own.

I’m very thankful to have been recently recognized as a 2009 Honoree of Corp! Magazine’s Michigcan’s Top Executive Award.  More details can be found here: http://www.corpmagazine.com/Departments/CoverStories/tabid/54/itemid/871/Default.aspx

Many thanks to Corp! Magazine for helping to promote Michigan businesses and the leaders within those businesses helping to make a difference.

Bing still no replacement for Google

While investigating an error message during a SQL 2008 cluster install, I happen to try Bing.com for “there was an error setting private propertly ‘requireKerberos’ to value ‘1’” which turned up exactly zero (0) results.  In the past, I’ve used MSN search with mixed success, specifically when researching Microsoft related products/services, etc. – MSN would occasionally dive deeper into the MS realm where google sometimes wouldn’t cover.  Not with Bing though – in today’s example, Google’s first link in the search results pointed me to the correct place.

Keep your chin up Bing, but for now, I’m forced to stick with Google as my go-to search engine.

MacBook Pro w/Windows 7 RTM + My Favorite Apps

Well, now that Windows 7 has shipped, combined with the fact that my RTC flavor has been giving me a few problems of late – long boot times, system freezes and some flaky bluetooth support – I decided now would be a good time to flat-line my macBook Pro and install a fresh copy of Window 7 RTM.

For the record, i tend to rebuild my machines about once a year – as I’ve been known to be quite abusive on my equipment, lots of beta software, install, test, tweak, break; some for fun, others for work.  Either way, my machines efficiency tends to degrade after about 9-10 months, so I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a clean build every year or so, often around the holiday, or when noteworthy new OS’ ship.

Firstly, I must say, similar to my experience with Windows 7 beta 2 and RTC – the RTM installed very easily (and quickly!)  Overall, I’m very pleased with Windows 7 – and I’d encourage any “windows users” to upgrade, whether from XP or Vista – I’m confident your experience will be better than you expect 😉

A simple prep with bootCamp and off I went, maybe 20 minutes or so and I was up and running.  I then updated drivers and began to get my environment back up to snuff.  It’s probably noteworthy to add, i run a few different OS’ – macOS, ubuntu, redHat and Windows.  I use the macOS primarily for my personal and hobby use, and windows primarily for business – as I tend to run alot of business apps, like office/visual studio and SQL Management Studio.  Therefore, the apps listed below are installed on my Windows partition, since that’s what I’m rebuilding now..

Since there are lots of great “how to” articles on how to get Windows up on a mac, i thought I would take this post in a slightly different direction, outlining my application essentials, programs i tend to install time and time again on new machine builds – and what better time to knock out some documentation other than when Visual Studio is installing!! 🙂

Basics:

  • MacBook Pro (late 2008, aluminum) – dual core 2.8Ghz, 4GB Ram, 320 GB 7200RPM hard drive
  • Windows Experience Index comes in @ a respectable 5.3 (due to gaming graphics)
  • Dual book Mac OSX w/Windows 7 Ultimate
  • VM Ware Fusion w/Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu & Red Hat.
  • MS Office 2007 Ultimate w/SP1
  • Western Digital 500GB Passport Studio (firewire 800!)

Browsers: latest flavors of: IE 8 (whether i like it or not), Firefox, Opera, Safari & Chrome

Firefox AddOns: Del.icio.us, power twitter, xMarks, readItLater,

Development Tools:

  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 + TFS team explorer w/SP1
  • SQL 2008 Express & Mgt Studio w/SP1
  • Visual Slick Edit 2009
  • Adobe Creative Suite 4
  • XML Spy
  • Expression Studio 3

Other Utilities:

  • Terminals
  • Visio 2007 w/SP1
  • Project 2007 w/SP1
  • Misc: debugView, fiddler, processMonitor, reflector, treeSizePro, linqPad, pixie
  • IM: Pidgin (personal), LCS/OCS (corporate)
  • TweetDeck – twitter utility
  • FolderShare
  • SyncToy
  • FoxIt Reader – pdf reader
  • ClearContext – Outlook filing tool
  • Flickr Uploadr
  • MagicDisk – use this for mounting ISO files
  • FileZilla – ftp client
  • iTunes (both in OS X  for personal use & iPhone sync + Windows for podCasts at the office)
  • JetAudio Plus 7.5.3 (for non iTune playlists and quick access)

Well, that’s my short list (of the top of my head anyway, i really should document this more formally – oh wait, i just did.)  I’ll update this a bit more in the coming days as I wrap up any final installs.  I am happy to report, what used to take me 2-3 days to entirely rebuild my machine – can now be done in about one evening, thanks macBook Pro! I guess some credit also goes to Windows 7, and a few other time-saving utilities, backups and sync technologies – such as fireFox xMarks.

Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing

Starting today, Microsoft plans to actually pay users to search via Bing. Yes, you read that correctly – they will PAY you, in cash, to use Bing rather than some other search engine such as Yahoo, or more likely Google. How will they do this? When you shop online through the Bing search engine, Microsoft will refund you a portion of your purchase price at its own expense. Okay, they have actually been doing this for a while, but starting today they will double that amount to up to 50% of your purchase price. That’s worth taking notice.

In practice, this concept isn’t entirely new. Many e-commerce sites have affiliate programs which will pay a third party site (like Bing) for referring customers to them. Microsoft’s search engine has taken advantage of this by combining its search engine capabilities with various affiliate programs. When a buyer searches for an item on Bing and then purchases it, Microsoft gets paid a commission for the referral. There are many sites that do this, but Microsoft is the only one that refunds 100% of this commission back to its users.  Previously, they have offered similar promotional discounts to specific stores like eBay. In that instance, users received up to 30-35% cashback for making their eBay purchases through Bing. But with this promotion, they will double the cashback on ALL affiliate stores, up to 50%!