Deploy a Virtual Machine that will work as a Domain Controller for the cluster that is going to be deployed. This step can be skipped if there is a Domain Controller already configured.

Follow these steps to setup an Active Directory Domain Controller:

  1. In Server Manager choose Add roles and features.

  1. Choose ​Role-based or feature-based installation.

  1. Select the server by highlighting it and click Next.

  1. Choose Active Directory Domain Services and click Next.

  1. Click Add Features​. This will install the Active Directory Features chosen earlier on to the server.

  1. Click on Next un​til the last window and then click Install​.

  1. Once the installation is complete, the server needs to be promoted to a domain controller. Click on the yellow exclamation mark in the upper-right corner of the Server Manager and click on Promote this server to a domain controller​.

  1. Select Add a new forest and enter your custom domain name.

  1. Enter your password for DSRM then click Next.

  1. Click Next ​on all subsequent windows then click ​Install ​on Prerequisites Check screen.

  1. The server will automatically reboot once the installation process is complete. Once the reboot completes, log back in with domain credentials. To verify the install, from the Server Manager select Tools -> Active Directory Users and Computers​.

  1. Click and expand (which is the root domain) and click on DomainControllers.

The Domain server will be displayed and is now deployed. The cluster nodes are added to the same domain controller.

Provisioning the Two Cluster Nodes

Using the Azure Portal, provision VM-1 and ​VM-2​ in the same way. There are numerous options to choose from including instance size, storage options, etc. This guide is not meant to be an exhaustive guide to deploying Servers in Azure.Availability Zones. It is important that both ​VM-1​,and ​VM-2​ reside in different Availability Zones. For the sake of this guide we will assume Window 2016 and will use a Cloud Witness for the Cluster Quorum.

By putting the cluster nodes in different Availability Zones we are ensuring that each cluster node resides in a different Azure datacenter in the same region. Leveraging Availability Zones rather than older Fault Domains helps protect the cluster from the possible outages.

Add each cluster node to a different Availability Zone. If a File Share Witness is leveraged, it should be provisioned in the 3rd Availability Zone.

Static IP Address

While each VM is getting provisioned, make sure to change the settings so that the private IP is Static. If they are not changed to Static, the private IP addresses of the cluster nodes will change during subsequent reboots which leads to undesirable results.


Refer to ​Performance best practices for SQL Server in AzureVirtual Machines for more information on storage. At least one additional Managed Disk needs to be added to each of cluster nodes. DataKeeper can use Basic Disks, Premium Storage or multiple disks striped together in a local Storage Space. If a local storage space is desired, storage space should be created BEFORE any cluster configuration is done. This is due to a ​known issue​ with Failover Clustering and local Storage Spaces. All disks should be formatted NTFS.


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