SQL Clustering–Network Binding Order Warnings

In setting up my Windows 2008 R2/SQL 2008 R2 cluster this week I came across a warning in the Setup Support Rules stating that “The domain network is not the first bound network.”

 Network Binding Order Error


This didn’t make any sense to me as I had been very careful in setting the binding order in the network connections properties:

Binding Order Set


Deciding to look for further information on this I opened up the Detail.txt file from the Setup Bootstrap/Log directory and searched for network binding order:

Binding Order Setup Log


Strangely the first bound network is Local Area Connect* 9. I had no idea what this network was as it was not listed in the network adapter list.

I remembered a discussion on Twitter a couple of weeks ago between Allan Hirt (blog|twitter) and Denny Cherry (blog|twitter) where they talked about this exact problem and the fact that it was a hidden cluster adapter which needed to be moved in the binding order, and that had to be done in the registry.

I opened up regedit and drilled down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesTcpipLinkage and opened up the Bind value:

Registry Showing Incorrect Binding Order


I’ve highlighted the first item in the bind order. The trouble is that this GUID value really means nothing to us…time to crack open PowerShell

gwmi Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration | where-object {$_.IPEnabled -eq "True"} | ft Description, SettingID -auto

List of active adapters


As you can see the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter GUID matches the first bound value. Back to the registry to move that adapter down the list with a quick cut and paste.

*Warning, playing in the registry can cause system instability, BSOD problems, singularities and quantum fluctuations*

Registry with correct binding


Starting up the cluster install again and the Network binding order warning is gone


Hopefully the next releases of Windows and SQL won’t have this problem. In the meantime this is good to know. Thanks Allan and Denny for engaging on Twitter and leading me to the answer to the problem.

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