Category Archives: Cluster

SQL Server Reporting Services scale-out cluster problems

I’ve been trying to get an SSRS scale-out cluster working the past few months.  I’d given up today and resorted to calling MSFT support.  I’d read all the manuals and supplemental articles like a proper admin should.  I’d posted questions on the MSFT forums to no avail.  Time to bite the bullet and sit on the phone with an expert.

I was getting 401 errors with not much help from the error logs.  A 401 is a security error.  The problem was intermittent, sometimes happening, sometimes not.  The problem always went away when a node was removed from the load balancer rotation.  Major hint there.  When you connect to the load balancer, you are routed to the same SSRS node – until you time out at 10 minutes – this is called “Sticky Sessions”.  The SSRS servers also got this treatment from the load balancer – and that was the problem.

The tech and I went through hours of checking configurations until he asked me to add an entry to the hosts file for the F5 name which reporting services was using.  This would make node 1 always request data from SSRS on node 1 and node 2 always request data from node 2.  Fixed the issue.  I imagine we can configure this on the load balancer as well, which I will probably have done.

The many caveats of installing a cluster

There are quite a few things to remember when you are installing a clustered instance of SQL server.

For 2005, you need to remember a few things

  • Global groups for your accounts.
  • Service accounts to go in those groups.
  • Rights to add those accounts to those groups during the install.
  • Set up MSDTC as a clustered resource.
  • Get your IP address from the network admin and ensure your SQL virtual name is not used.
  • Get your drives set up properly and make sure to test failover before you begin.
  • Make sure you are logged out of node 2 and have the task scheduler service running.

So I thought I had everything gathered up and ready to go tonight.  Nope.

Near the end of the install I see this:

remote setup failed

After a moments google I find this: , which gets me to the task scheduler log on the remote machine.

Unable to load task.
The specific error is:
0x80070002: The system cannot find the file specified.

I found a suggestion from a MS MVP saying that you need to make sure your install account has access to the install files. I figured that had to be it – so I moved them to the c:\temp directory and voila, a good install.

Evidently, whatever account the install was running under couldn’t access my desktop – but I did enter MY domain account to start the account, so maybe it switched to the SQL service account to do the install? Doesn’t make sense to me.

The lesson I learned to day is to never install from a network share or a user directory – put the install files on a drive which has an admin share and this shouldn’t happen.