RecoverPoint Cluster Enabler

One of these days, I do plan on writing about other non-EMC geographically dispersed solutions…I swear [;)]. I just need to find the time to give these other products a proper test run before writing my opinions about them so I can give them a fair assessment. Though finding the time to “play” is becoming increasingly difficult lately.


Anyway, reading Storagezilla’s blog reminded me that I left a little cliff hanger in one of my previous posts. There was a new addition to the EMC Cluster Enabler family, RecoverPoint Cluster Enabler (RP/CE) was introduced with the release of RecoverPoint 3.1 software. This product helps to integrate Microsoft Failover Clusters with RecoverPoint
continuous remote replication (CRR) technology.


This is done in pretty much the same fashion as SRDF/CE and MV/CE. We add a “Cluster Enabler (CeCluRes)” resource to each of the application groups and make the cluster’s physical disk resources in that group depend upon this resource. This prevents the disk from attempting to come online until the CE resource performs its magic under the covers to enable the image access on the remote array.


Much like MV/CE, RP/CE also only supports non-disk based quorum models. So you can only use MNS or MNS+FSW quorum models with RP/CE.


If you want more details about this solution, EMC has published the following whitepaper regarding RP/CE:


http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/white-papers/h5936-recoverpoint-cluster-enabler-wp.pdf

6 thoughts on “RecoverPoint Cluster Enabler”

  1. In EMC’s white paper on page 20 in the paragraph under figure 18 they state, “Windows 2003 supports eight node clusters when File Share Witness is used.” However, in the MS forum (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/winserverClustering/thread/c72e8744-26b9-4052-b2c9-e710723b0b4c) you state, ” No. Windows 2003 only supports 2-nodes with the FSW quorum model.” Which is correct? Everything I found agrees with you – Windows 2003 only supports 2-nodes with the FSW quorum model. Thanks, Mike

  2. The white paper would be inaccurate as Windows 2003 clusters only support FSW with 2 nodes. You can have a MNS resource with a FSW set a 3+ node cluster in 2003, but it will not function properly once the 3+ nodes are added.

    If you need a FSW with more than 2 nodes, you’ll need to go with Windows 2008.

  3. Thanks for that, we just wanted to be sure. This relates or our current 6 node cluster (3 each in two data centers) and attempting to deploy RP/CE. RP/CE is to avoid the outage of one data center taking down the entire cluster – because the storage is there. But to do RP/CE we must move from quorum disk to MNS quorum which puts us back in the position of a data center outage taking down our entire cluster – no majority. A FSW solves that but we are running Windows 2003 so that will not work with 6 nodes. :-( The path to get to Windows 2008 is ugly – build a new cluster and migrate all the applications’ connections to new instance names! Big project. So another question: What if we bring up a stripped down server (or VM server) into the cluster in a third location, use MNS quorum, set all instances so this new server could not be an owner of any resource groups— would that work/be supported? Then a single data center outage would still have a majority of nodes – four. Thanks for your help. Mike

  4. Sorry, missed this comment until just now. Would this work? Yes. Would it be supported…now that’s the real question.

    Officially, Microsoft only supports Windows 2003 clusters that have been fully HCT tested and qualified. You will not find this sort of configuration anywhere on the Windows 2003 HCL, so technically, it’s not a supportable configuration. Of course, if you’ve got enough money/time/hardware to go thru the testing and have the configuration posted to the HCL, that would help make it a supportable configuration.

    Windows 2008 sounding better yet? ;-) You could always create Windows 2003 VMs and host these VMs in a Windows 2008 HyperV cluster. For some, this is an easier migration than going straight to a 2008 clustered config.

    Hope this helps.

  5. I was pointed to your posts by David Bermingham and I need your assistance.

    Here is what we are planning to build(all on WIndows 2008 R2 Geo-clusters):

    Cluster #1 –> SQL Server 2008 R2 Geo-Cluster
    ================================
    Data Centre #1
    ——————
    Node 1 & Node 2 (with Instance 1 and Instance 2 respectively)

    Data Centre #2
    ——————
    Node 3 & Node 4 (with Instance 3 and Instance 4 respectively)

    Cluster #2 –> SQL Server 2005 Geo-Cluster
    ================================
    Data Centre #1
    ——————
    Node 1 (with Instance 5)

    Data Centre #2
    —————–
    Node 2 (with Instance 6)

    So we would have 6 Instances alltogether, 4 in SQL 2008 R2 Geo-cluster, and remaining 2 in SQL 2005 Geo-cluster (both in Windows 2008 R2 clusters). We would be using EMC Recovery Point for our SAN replication. Though I am aware that SQL 2008 R2 does not support the nodes being in multiple subnets (windows 2008 supports this) I do not have much experience with SAN replication, but here we would have to rely on strech VLAN and SAN replication to achieve Geo-cluster failover (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am stuck as neither I have any experience with SAN replication nor do I have hands-on on Geo-Clustering.. which is a problem. Under such scenario, I would have to document the steps needed to build both the geo-clusters as well as the mechanism for failover and failback alongwith DR strategy.. phew!!

    1) I do not know whether SQL 2005 has some issues with its installation on multi-site or do we have to install it differently or not. This is because, your steps show /SKIPRULE switch to skip cluster validation. Do we have to apply any such switch while installing SQL 2005 Geo cluster or can it be done normally?

    2) I do not know the steps to failover/failback, whether they happen automatically in case of (a) Node failure in a Data Centre (b) Entire Data Centre failure..do you have this documented somewhere? Could you please share the steps or guide me here? What extra steps would I have to do to take care of failover/failback with SAN replication?

    Please assist as I am stuck :(

  6. Here is what we are planning to build:

    Cluster #1 –> SQL Server 2008 R2 Geo-Cluster

    ================================

    Data Centre #1

    ——————

    Node 1 & Node 2 (with Instance 1 and Instance 2 respectively)

    Data Centre #2

    ——————

    Node 3 & Node 4 (with Instance 3 and Instance 4 respectively)

    Cluster #2 –> SQL Server 2005 Geo-Cluster

    ================================

    Data Centre #1

    ——————

    Node 1 (with Instance 5)

    Data Centre #2

    —————–

    Node 2 (with Instance 6)

    So we would have 6 Instances alltogether, 4 in SQL 2008 R2 Geo-cluster, and remaining 2 in SQL 2005 Geo-cluster. We would be using EMC Recovery Point for our SAN replication. I do not have much experience with SAN replication, but here we would have to rely on SAN replication to achieve Geo-cluster failover (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am stuck as neither I have any experience with SAN replication nor do I have hands-on on Geo-Clustering.. which is a problem. Under such scenario, I would have to document the steps needed to build both the geo-clusters as well as the mechanism for failover and failback alongwith DR strategy.. phew!!

    1) I do not know whether SQL 2005 has some issues with its installation on multi-site or do we have to install it differently or not. This is because, your steps show /SKIPRULE switch to skip cluster validation. Do we have to apply any such switch while installing SQL 2005 Geo cluster or can it be done normally?

    2) I do not know the steps to failover/failback, whether they happen automatically in case of (a) Node failure in a Data Centre

    (b) Entire Data Centre failure..do you have this documented in your environment? Could you please share the steps or guide me here? What extra steps would I have to do to take care of failover/failback with SAN replication?

    Please assist me John as without your help this entire project is gonna be a failure!!

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