Installing SQL Server 2014 Reporting Services on Failover Cluster in already clustered instance

If you want to install the Reporting Services in failover cluster you must install them in separate SQL Server instance on each subsequent node. Funny thing, you can install the Reporting Services on the first cluster node normally. This “feature” was first introduced in SQL Server 2008 and it remains the same till today – check my previous posts about SQL 2008 and SQL 2012. What I needed was highly available Reporting Services and I didn’t want to manage multiple SQL Server instances side by side. There are scenarios when you should or want to use multiple instances, but not always and the use of existing instance seemed logical. Reporting Services are not cluster aware – this means that RS will be running on each cluster node all the time and they are not visible in Failover Cluster Manager.

When you run SQL Server setup to add other nodes to cluster you can not install Reporting Services – option is grayed out. If you run the setup again to add features on the second node and select the Reporting Services, the SQL Server setup rule “Existing clustered or cluster-prepared instance” will fail.

RS2014-P2441-01

The solution is to run setup with option to skip check if Reporting Services are being installed in already clustered instance. Run the SQL Server setup, this time from Command Prompt:

Setup.exe /SkipRules=StandaloneInstall_HasClusteredOrPreparedInstanceCheck /Action=Install

RS2014-P2441-03
Now you will be able to install Reporting Services.

RS2014-P2441-04

RS2014-P2441-05

RS2014-P2441-06

 

After installing Reporting Services on failover cluster please keep in mind:

  • Reporting Services running on an Active-Passive cluster handle requests on each cluster node on which the service is deployed.
  • Report server must be configured to use SQL failover cluster virtual name to connect to the report server database. This is because it is hosted on a SQL Server that is part of a failover cluster. If not, the report server will be unable to connect to the report server database if a failover occurs.

This solution provides the highly available Reporting Services with default SQL server instance and uses already deployed hardware. It is not substitute for a true Scale-out deployment of the Reporting Services, but a way of achieving high availability (we just used the existing high availability platform).