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Professional Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Administration by Steven Wort, Ross LoForte, Wayne Snyder, Ketan Patel, Brian Knight

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20.8. Troubleshooting Cluster Problems

Troubleshooting cluster-related issues is not for the faint of heart or the beginner. It requires a lot of fortitude, persistence, experience, and a support contract with Microsoft Technical Support. The problem is that clustering is very complex and involves your node hardware, shared array, hardware drivers, operating system, clustering services, and SQL Server 2008. Any problem you are having could be caused by any one of them, and identifying the exact cause of a problem is often difficult.

Another reason cluster troubleshooting is difficult is that the feedback you get, in the form of messages or logs, is not always accurate or complete, assuming you get any feedback at all; and when you do get feedback, the resources for identifying and remedying problems are minimal.

Because of all of this, if you have a cluster, you should plan to purchase Microsoft Technical Support for your cluster. This is a very good investment, and one that will pay for itself. We have used Microsoft Technical Support many times, and in most cases they have been able to help. You don't need to automatically call support as soon as you have a problem; always try to identify and resolve problems on your own if you can. But at some point, especially if your cluster is down and you need help getting it back up, you need to be able to recognize when you can't resolve the problem by yourself and when you need outside help.

In this section we have included some general ...

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