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(Optional) Set Up Database Clustering and Storage for Windows

Setting up SQL Server Failover and setting up a separate storage device for the data files and log files are optional steps. Many institutions will not need to set up SQL Server Failover or to set up the data files and log files on a separate storage device.

Setting Up SQL Server Failover

Blackboard Learn can be run using database clustering for redundancy. Database clustering instantly transfers database requests to an identical server if the database server fails.

Blackboard Learn is designed to work with Microsoft SQL Server Failover clusters. SQL Server Failover provides added fault tolerance to the database by using another database in the cluster in the case of an error that causes the production database to fail.

A SQL Server Failover cluster is based on the same design as a Windows cluster. A group of servers are joined to provide continual service in the event of an outage or failure. When SQL Server is forced to shut down, another server steps in to handle requests.

The process for setting up a Microsoft SQL Server failover cluster is done at the operating system and database level before installing Blackboard Learn.

  1. Set up the Microsoft server cluster.
  2. Install SQL Server and configure the failover cluster.
  3. Install Blackboard Learn.

The following is a list of tips for setting up SQL Server failover.

  • Use four public IP addresses: node 1, node 2, Windows cluster server, and virtual SQL server.
  • The local disk of each node must be attached to a separate SCSI controller. It should not use the same one that is attached to the RAID system.
  • The RAID SCSI controller IDs of the two nodes must be different.
  • RAID SCSI BIOS must be set up to enable cluster (shared bus).
  • The names of the network cards cannot contain spaces or special characters.
  • Do not use the default instance name for installing SQL server on a virtual server. The instance name must not include any underscores, spaces, or punctuation. Use only alphanumeric characters.
  • MSDTC service must be running before starting SQL server setup.

To learn more about installing and configuring a Microsoft SQL Server failover cluster, see Microsoft TechNet at While Blackboard supports SQL Server failover with Blackboard Learn, Microsoft is the best resource for information about installing and configuring a Microsoft SQL Server failover cluster.

Setting Up a Separate Storage Device for the Data Files and Log Files

The Installer will prompt for the directory where the database data files and log files should be stored. Consult the Microsoft SQL Server documentation for information about storing these files on a separate device. Keep in mind that the storage device should have a dedicated, high-bandwidth connection to the database server.