Configuring the #Azure ILB in ARM for SQL Server FCI or AG using Azure PowerShell 1.0

In an earlier post I went into some great detail about how to configure the Azure ILB in ARM for SQL Server AlwaysOn FCI or AG resources. The directions in that article were written prior to the GA of Azure PowerShell 1.0. With the availability of Azure PowerShell 1.0 the main script that creates the ILB needs to be slightly different. The rest of the article is still accurate, however if you are using Azure PowerShell 1.0 or later the script to create the ILB described in that article should be as follows.

#Replace the values for the below listed variables
$ResourceGroupName ='SIOS-EAST' # Resource Group Name in which the SQL nodes are deployed
$FrontEndConfigurationName = 'FEEAST' #You can provide any name to this parameter.
$BackendConfiguratioName = 'BEEAST' #You can provide any name to this parameter.
$LoadBalancerName = 'ILBEAST' #Provide a Name for the Internal Local balance object
$Location ='eastus2' # Input the data center location of the SQL Deployements
$subname = 'public' # Provide the Subnet name in which the SQL Nodes are placed
$ILBIP = '10.0.0.201' # Provide the IP address for the Listener or Load Balancer
$subnet = Get-AzureRMVirtualNetwork -ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroupName | Get-AzureRMVirtualNetworkSubnetConfig –name $subname
$FEConfig=New-AzureRMLoadBalancerFrontendIpConfig -Name $FrontEndConfigurationName -PrivateIpAddress $ILBIP -SubnetId $subnet.Id
$BackendConfig=New-AzureRMLoadBalancerBackendAddressPoolConfig -Name $BackendConfiguratioName
New-AzureRMLoadBalancer -Name $LoadBalancerName -ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroupName -Location $Location -FrontendIpConfiguration $FEConfig -BackendAddressPool $BackendConfig

The rest of that original article is the same, but I have just copied it here for ease of use…

Now that the ILB is created, we should see it in the Azure Portal if we list all the objects in our Resource Group as shown below.

The rest of the configuration I’m sure can also be done through PowerShell, but I’m going to use the GUI in my example. If you want to use PowerShell you could probably piece together the script by looking at the article Get started configuring internal load balancer using Azure Resource Manager but honestly that article gives me a headache. I’ll figure it out some day and try to document it in a user friendly format, but for now I think the GUI is fine for the next steps.

Follow along with the screen shots below. If you get lost, follow the navigation hints at the top of the Azure Portal to figure out where we are.

Click Backend Pool setting tab and selects the backend pool to update the Availability Set and Virtual Machines. Save your changes.


Configure Load Balancer’s Probe by clicking Add on the Probe tab. Give the probe a name and configure it to use TCP Port 59999. I have left the probe interval and the unhealthy threshold set to the default settings, which means it will take 10 seconds before the ILB removes the passive node from the list of active nodes after a failover, meaning your clients may take up to 10 seconds to be redirected to the new active node. Be sure to save your changes.

Navigate to the Load Balancing Rule Tab and add a new rule. Give the rule a sensible name (SQL1433 or something) and choose TCP protocol port 1433 (assuming you are using the default instance of SQL Server). Choose 1433 for the Backend port as well. For the Backend Pool we will choose the Backend Pool we created earlier (BE) and for the Probe we will also choose the Probe we created earlier. We do not want to enable Session persistence but we do want to enable Floating IP (Direct Server Return). I have left the idle timeout set to the default setting, but you might want to consider increasing that to the maximum value as I have seen some applications such as SAP log error messages each time the connection is dropped and needs to be re-established.

At this point the ILB is configured and there is only one final step that needs to take place. We need to update the SQL IP Cluster Resource just the exact same way we had to in the Classic deployment model. To do that you will need to run the following PowerShell script on just one of the cluster nodes. And make note,SubnetMask=“255.255.255.255” is not a mistake, use the 32 bit mask regardless of what your actual subnet mask is.

# This script should be run on the primary cluster node after the internal load balancer is created
# Define variables
$ClusterNetworkName = "Cluster Network 1"
# the cluster network name
$IPResourceName = "SQL IP Address 1 (SQLCluster1)"
# the IP Address resource name
$CloudServiceIP = "10.0.0.201"
# IP address of your Internal Load Balancer
Import-Module FailoverClusters
# If you are using Windows 2012 or higher, use the Get-Cluster Resource command. If you are using Windows 2008 R2, use the cluster res command which is commented out.
Get-ClusterResource $IPResourceName
Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{"Address"="$CloudServiceIP";"ProbePort"="59999";SubnetMask="255.255.255.255";"Network"="$ClusterNetworkName";"OverrideAddressMatch"=1;"EnableDhcp"=0}
# cluster res $IPResourceName /priv enabledhcp=0 overrideaddressmatch=1 address=$CloudServiceIP probeport=59999 subnetmask=255.255.255.255

I have just one final note. In my initial test I still was not able to connect to the SQL Resource name even after I completed all of the above steps. After banging my head against the wall for a few hours I discovered that for some reason the SQL Cluster Name Resource was not registered in DNS. I’m not sure how that happened or whether it will happen consistently, but if you are having trouble connecting I would definitely check DNS and add the SQL cluster name and IP address as a new A record if it is not already in there.

And of course don’t forget the good ole Windows Firewall. You will have to make exceptions for 1433 and 59999 or just turn it off until you get everything configured properly like I did. You probably want to leverage Azure Network Security Groups anyway instead of the local Windows Firewall for a more unified experience across all your Azure resources.

Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Configuring the #Azure ILB in ARM for SQL Server FCI or AG using Azure PowerShell 1.0

8 thoughts on “Configuring the #Azure ILB in ARM for SQL Server FCI or AG using Azure PowerShell 1.0

  1. Hello,
    I found your article very helpful. However I am stuck on the very last part with the final step updating the SQL IP Resource. It is possible I have just stared at the screen for far too many hours and am over looking the issue. I pasted my powershell command and error below. Any help would be appreciated!

    # Define variables
    $ClusterNetworkName = “Cluster Network 1”
    # the cluster network name
    $IPResourceName = “SQL IP Address 1 (PISQLCLUSTER)”
    # the IP Address resource name
    $CloudServiceIP = “10.0.0.104”
    # IP address of your Internal Load Balancer
    Import-Module FailoverClusters
    # If you are using Windows 2012 or higher, use the Get-Cluster Resource command. If you are using Windows 2008 R2, use the cluster res command which is commented out.
    Get-ClusterResource $IPResourceName
    Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{“Address”=”$CloudServiceIP”;”ProbePort”=”59999″;SubnetMask=”255.255.255.255″;”Network”=”$ClusterNetworkName”;”OverrideAddressMatch”=1;”EnableDhcp”=0}
    # cluster res $IPResourceName /priv enabledhcp=0 overrideaddressmatch=1 address=$CloudServiceIP probeport=59999 subnetmask=255.255.255.255

    Name State OwnerGroup ResourceType
    —- —– ———- ————
    SQL IP Address 1 (PISQLCLUSTER) Online SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) IP Address
    Set-ClusterParameter : No cluster object was specified.
    At line:12 char:1
    + Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{“Address”=”$CloudServiceIP”;”ProbePort”=”59999″ …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Set-ClusterParameter], ClusterCmdletException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PSArgument,Microsoft.FailoverClusters.PowerShell.SetClusterParameterCommand

  2. You are missing a “|” before the Set-ClusterParameter. Once I fixed that though now I am getting the following error: Unable to save property changes for ‘Cluster IP Address’.
    The cluster IP address is already in use

    1. Sorry, had the wrong name for the cluster resource name. If I set it to the correct value then I get this error:

      Get-ClusterResource : An error occurred opening resource ‘SQL IP Address 1 (SQLCluster1)’.
      At line:19 char:1
      + Get-ClusterResource $IPResourceName |
      + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (:) [Get-ClusterResource], ClusterCmdletException
      + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ClusterObjectNotFound,Microsoft.FailoverClusters.PowerShell.GetResourceCommand

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