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Is there a way to make SQL Backup 6 cluster-aware?

Well, in terms of activation, at least? I have had the product running on a single-instance, active-passive cluster since it was released (in fact, it was upgraded from 5, which was upgraded from 4). For years we have been running actively on one node of the cluster. Several days ago, we had a failover for the first time the backup jobs attempted to run on that physical node for the first time ever. Imagine my surprise today when my backup jobs finished in seconds instead of hours. Initially I thought that my server admins had upgraded our SAN and the standby node while I wasn't looking, but alas this was not the case.

As it turns out, when we failed over to the other node, it turned into a trial, because the passive node had no idea that SQL Backup was activated. When I tried to activate today, I was at my number of servers limit, so that was unsuccessful. I had to go and deactivate the passive node in order to successfully activate on the now active node (another workaround would have been to fail back over, but that is far less customer-friendly).

Of course this means that the cycle will repeat itself the next time we have a failover. If I had activations to spare I would simply activate both nodes, but I don't, and since it is only one instance of SQL Server, I don't think anyone should have to go tell their boss they need to purchase additional licenses to cover standby nodes. Is there some aspect of setup I missed that could have made this installation failover-safe?


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    Hi Aaron,

    I could be reading this wrong, however from your post it suggests that you have a cluster which is active/passive consisting of 2 actual physical machines making up each node.

    If this is correct, SQL Backup has always, as far as I am aware, been licensed on a per machine basis, with you needing a license of SQL Backup PRO for each node of the cluster. Ordinarily, the passive node is charged at a reduced rate since it is passive, however the sales team need to be contacted to arrange this.

    If you had enough activations / licenses for SQL Backup on this cluster, then I believe activation on the active node *would* have activated both nodes of the cluster. I do however believe that we could have done something more to notify you that the passive node of the cluster wasn't activated, rather than you having to realise this upon failover. I have therefore added this as a feature request in our systems under SB-4450.

    Do however let me know if I am misunderstanding your setup Aaron and am completely wrong in what I have said above.

    Peter Peart
    Red Gate Software Ltd
    +44 (0)870 160 0037 ext. 8569
    1 866 RED GATE ext. 8569
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