Microsoft CRM 3.0 and SQL Clustering…

So who can tell me what clustering is? Who can tell me which types of clustering there are for SQL, what they mean, support and do? It isn’t that easy is it?. I found a great site with a nice explanation and some images to make it all clear to you guys. I copied some info from them and pasted it below:



Clustering can be best described as a technology that automatically allows one physical server to take over the tasks and responsibilities of another physical server that has failed.

Active / Passive SQL Clustering
An Active/Passive, or Single Instance cluster, refers to a scenario where only one instance of SQL Server is running on one of the physical node in the cluster, and the other physical node does nothing, other then waiting to takeover should the primary node fail, or a manual failover for maintenance.

Active / Active SQL Clustering
An Active/Active SQL Server cluster means two separate SQL Server instances are running on both nodes of a two-way cluster. Each SQL Server acts independently, and users see two different SQL Servers instances. If one of the SQL Servers in the cluster should fail, then the failed instances of SQL Server will failover to the remaining server. This means that then both instances of SQL Server will be running on one physical server, instead of two.



You might think why do we need this info, or why is this guy typing information I already know? Well I have noticed that a lot of people don’t know the facts and mix up things easily. This info will be important when you want to deploy Microsoft CRM 3.0 on for example an Active/Active SQL Cluster. You have to know if this configuration will be supported or not before deploying. So here is the one and only correct answer:


We only support Active/Passive SQL Clustering with the default instance..!!!
Does this mean we dont support named instances at all?

Yes, you thought right we dont!

Do I like this?

No I dont!!!!!

Comments (12)
  1. Ralf van Gellekom says:

    Hi Menno

    I read everywhere that CRM on a SQL Cluster is not tested yet. Is your comment here a formal one? Meaning: Is Active/Passive Clustering really supported by Microsoft or is it just because you know it does work?

    I don’t want to advise my customer to go ahead and install against their cluster without having formal Microsoft support in this.

  2. mennotk says:

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 supports Active/Passive clustering with the default instance.

  3. Neno says:


    I am installing CRM 3.0 Server on Small Business Server 2003. I have

    followed all the instructions written in Microsoft CRM 3.0 Implementation

    Guide. Before the end of instalation i recieve an error message : "Action

    Microsoft Crm.Setup.Server.RSConfigureSharePointAction failed. Windows

    SharePoint Services stsadm.exe utility failed with the exit code -2130256315

    and message: cannot connect to the configuration database."

    Does anyone know what is the problem? Can somebody, please, help me?

  4. says:

    My understanding is that MSCS on W2K3 (Ent and DC) can run SQL as ‘virtual servers’.

    Thus, in a two node cluster running two ‘virtual servers’, one on each node, with each ‘virtual server’ having only a default instance of SQL Server,  wouldn’t MSCS will fail the ‘virtual servers’ between physical servers and CRM should be none the wiser?

    Would this work?

  5. mennotk says:


    I am not sure what you are trying to explain me, but i would love to help. Could you explain the problem or question in a more detailed way?

    My story is about non virtual environments though.

  6. Alex says:

    I’m confused.

    You wrote "We only support Active/Passive SQL Clustering with the default instance".

    However, an article on says: "Microsoft CRM Server will operate with a Microsoft SQL Server cluster that is configured either as an active-active or active-passive cluster".

    The article is here:

  7. mennotk says:

    Hi Alex,

    My point of view is still that Active/Passive with the default instance is the only supported way as of now. The setup wont even proceed if you would be using a named instance for example. I have reported this issue to the team and i think they will look into this matter. As for now my advice is active/passive


  8. Jason says:

    Even though the installation does not "support" named instances, is it possible to use an alias for the SQL server while installing CRM? Also, would it be possible to use the SQL server’s IP and port rather than name "/" instance name (, 1500)? I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. We have not tested this but plan to do so later this afternoon.

  9. mennotk says:

    Jason, there is a way to install Microsoft CRM on a named instance of SQL Server. I have done this and i am testing it right now and we strive to get it supported and fixed in new rollups of Microsoft CRM 3.0

    Using something else than the servername results in a setup error.

  10. Antonio says:

    How i can install on a named istance?



  11. Ann Smith says:

    We bought and installed microsoft crm 3.0 and customization is not going well. Is there a class/book or some knowledgeable authority who can help through this. We came from ACT/Goldmine/ and understand CRM’s but this is getting puzzling.

  12. mennotk says:

    Ann, would you please send me an email via the emailbutton at the top left of the page. Please state if you are a customer or partner and what your specific problems are. Thanks!

Comments are closed.

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