Introducing TEH UNKNOWN

You would think I would have this down by now…

I’m in the process of puting up our second SQL Server 2008 cluster (on Windows Server 2008 of course) and once again issues are encountered.  As assuredly as the constancy of the superiority of bacon as the perfect protein on this blue-green planet for non-vegans so is the fact that the issues I am encountering were not the same ones I faced during my first SQL2K8/Win2K8 cluster I posted up this Summer.

Alpha Cluster was where I encountered the DTC-clustering resource and the SKU-Not-Valid issues.  Both of these had ample online coverage for resolutions, and slipstreaming the Cummulative Update 1 for SQL Server 2008 RTM solves the later.  Of course I did not do that *this* time around either, but I knew how to resolve it easily.    The former was easily solved by enforcing the need for my Server Engineers to do their tasks and have the operating system clustered properly and completely, and turned-over to the DBA Team in a state that I can immediately proceed with installing and clustering SQL Server 2008 on the first node.  This is usually where our little system encounters the first cobblestone on the bumpy road to completion.  Usually I can expect that the DTC resource is not created or clustered, the IP resource group is either not created, or in the case of SQL Server 2005, already created.  Don’t you love how our technology livelihood is based upon the concept of Consistent Inconsistency?

This time around the issue appears to be far worse and one we SQL Professionals Database Professionals encounter far too frequently:  TEH UNKNOWN…

The first node appeared to install correctly, with one little exception, it was not able to come online.  Encountering an error message (or even error log file) is always a step into the looking glass though, you can never tell whether you should take the error text at face value (rarely) or if the error message is of a general nature.  You SQL DBAs all know what fun the …a connection can not be established to …. this could be due to the fact that remote connections are not enabled… message is to deal with still to this day, right?  The message I received was vague enough to ensure that, upon resolving the matter, I can not tell if the install is now considered successful.

In this case, I think the issue was resolved by my verifying that our Server Engineer did not have a static IP configured for the IP resource associated with SQL Server resource group.  By altering the IP resource to a static IP I was able to bring SQL Server online on the first node.  I could also connect to this instance from an SSMS session on my local laptop 60 miles away.  Success, right?


I blissfully moved onto the next node in the cluster to add it to the SQL cluster.  I hit the  Cluster Node Configuration screen and it was populated with the SQL Server Instance Name, Cluster Network Name, and Node from the install on the first node in the cluster.  Having a warm feeling of contentment in the core of my chest I click Next>


“TEH UNKOWN here.”

“Um, Hello TEH UNKNOWN; who invited you?”

“No one invites TEH UNKNOWN.  TEH UNKNOWN not welcome.  TEH UNKNOWN come in sleep on couch for week at time.  TEH UNKNOWN eat last Oreo out of bag, put bag back in Oreo cookie drawer.  Eat Cheesy Poofs in your bed when you not looking.  TEH UNKNOWN leave toilet seat up and when does go potty in bathroom leaves door open.”

“What do you want?”

“TEH UNKNOWN want tell you that teh SQL Server Setup has enountered the following error: Failover instance ‘MSSQLSERVER’ cluster group not found..”

Loving the runaround.  Gray Areas ROCK!

“That sounds remarkably like you quoted what just came up on my screen TEH UNKNOWN.  How could that be, when the SQL Server install process just showed me it saw it?”

 “Ha!  That is TEH UNKNOWN’s favorite tricksy!  Make you think unicorns then gives you donkey-ass with paper towel roll duct-taped to forehead.  White house paint on donkey-ass what sells it.”

“So what am I supposed to do?”

“TEH UNKNOWN usually suggest panic.”

“Nope, I’m a SQL Professional.  This is where I repetitively try different things that I would expect would work and then when that fails I rally my Junior DBA Bing, Google for her ideas.”

“Then you panic?”

“It depends.”

This is where I am at now.  A sloppy, Oreo-dust-crusted ambiguous problem taking up space on my basement couch, rendolent of body odor, processed cheese, chocolate, and fail.  I need to get him out of my house.  I’m a SQL Professional; I expect to see TEH UNKNOWN show up every once in a while, but I also have history with eventually kicking him out the door through various means.  It never comes down to panic, but stress is almost a certainty.