How to create SQL Server 2005 Clustering with Virtual Server 2005 (Part 1)

After delivering SQL Training, I realized that there is a need to write a blog which talks about Installing SQL Server 2005 cluster on Virtual Environment. Many DBA wants to see how Cluster looks like and they don't have capability to buy/see actual cluster.

There is an easy solution to the problem by using Virtual Server 2005.

I will try to be as descriptive as possible. In case something is not clear, please provide feedback.


You also have to download Microsoft Virtual Server (

You also need to download ISO image for SQL Server 2005 evaluation edition (

You should also have virtual hard disk of operating system. (Download available

Above link has three files to download. You have to download all files. Once you download content from above link, you need to extract to a folder in local machine using


. I extracted in (E:\Virtual Server)

Extracted Files

Please refer the readme file in above folder after you download.

NOTE: THIS SETUP WILL WORK ONLY FOR 30 days(depends on Read Me)

One you extracted the files, make three copies of virtual hard disk. One for Domain Controller, second for node1 and third for node2. I have created files as below:

E:\Virtual Server\MyDC\MyDC.vhd

E:\Virtual Server\MyNode1\MyNode1.vhd

E:\Virtual Server\MyNode2\MyNode2.vhd



Once you have downloaded and installed Virtual Server you should see new menu item in Programs.

 Virtual Server Startup


Now, we will configure the Virtual Servers. First we need to Create Virtual Machine so that we have three separate virtual servers available. Make sure you set the Search Path at below screen.

On Left Side Menu choose Virtual Server > Server Properties > Search Path

Search Path


Create Domain Controller


below is the screen shot of "MyDC" setting. Information which I filled in is






Virtual Machine Name MyDC
Memory 256
Use Existing hard disk Use the location from drop down (E:\Virtual Server\MyDC\MyDC.vhd)
Connected To Internal Network




My DC Create Virtual Server

Click on Create.

Now, Go to Master Status and try to "Turn ON" the domain controller (I know its not yet a DC but in next step we are going to make it)

One you log in to MyDC, rename the machine to MyDC (by right click on My Computer > Properties) You need to restart the computer after renaming.

Next step is to run "dcpromo" command to make this machine as domain controller. Start>Run>dcpromo


Accept all settings as default, below are few which you need to modify.

Install DNS on this computer


During setup if it asks for windows installation CD, please point it to C:\WindowsInstallationFiles\I386 folder. Also, when prompted, please provide IP address as You will be prompted to restart the machine.

When you can logon screen after reboot, "Log on to" should have MyCluster selected.

LogOn After Making DC

Now we have one machine ready which will act as domain controller for our cluster setup.

Create Member Servers

You are now having one Domain Controller in your Virtual Network. Now, lets add two member servers in the domain. As we did earlier, we have to add rest two vhd to server. Below screen shot is for Node2.


Node 2 Create Virtual Server

After configuration on Virtual Servers, follow below steps

1. Rename the nodes to MyNode1 and MyNode2 (still in Workgroup).

My Computer > Right Click > Properties > Computer Name

Rename Nodes

Then Restart MyNode1 and MyNode2

2. Disable the Firewall on all three machines.

Control Panel > Windows Firewall


Select "Off" from the UI.

3. Change the IP address of machines.

MyNode1 - (DNS Server

MyNode2 - (DNS Server

4. Join the machine to domain ( Below screen shot.

Join MyCluster

This finishes setup of one domain controller and two member servers.

Now we have to make MyNode1 and MyNode2 as single cluster.

lets move on to Part 2