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Configuring SQL Server 2012 Always On Lab- Part 3

In my last article I talked about setting a domain for my lab environment for a SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Group.

This is the third of a 4 part series that covers the entire process.

  1. Initial Setup
  2. Domain Setup
  3. Cluster (Shared nothing) Setup
  4. SQL Install

One of the really cool new features is the ability to remotely manage a bunch of servers from a central place. Instead of logging into each and every server, I can install cluster manager and Windows backup features from a single location. It is not installed on Windows 8 Clients by default, so you will need to install it from here. Then you will need to open it, by clicking on the start menu and then typing Server Manager, as seen below:


I take this moment to right click on it to pin it to both the start menu and the task bar. Now I can click on Add other servers to manage:


Now I can add all 3 servers at the same time, by typing the beginning of their names (SMLW12) and then add each server with the > and then click OK:

Now I see all 3 servers listed below:

Now you can right click each server and then click on Add Roles and Features

The default screen shows up for the wizard, (which allows you to skip it in the future) just click next

Now select a Role based or featured based installation


Select a server from the pool


First, the roles will show up, but in this round we can just select next


Now, Features will show up and we can choose Failover Clustering


Now, the installer will detect that other features need to be added and will prompt you


I would also recommend Windows Server Backup


When you click next, you will see a review of the roles/features you selected, if all is ok, then click next


It will show you a progress bar of the installation


The installation was successful


Now that the role is installed, it is time to setup the cluster. In Server Manager under tools, you will need Failover Cluster Manager


Right click on Failover Cluster Manager and then click on Create Cluster


Now it brings up the Create Cluster Wizard (which you can skip by default in the future)


Now you can select the servers that will be a part of these clusters by clicking on browse


In this search, you can type just part of the name


Now, you can select many nodes at the same time and then click OK


Now you can see that you selected all the nodes and then click OK


Verify all nodes are selected and then click OK


Now, comes the part where you can validate the cluster to get support from Microsoft if you run into issues


It will bring up the Validate a configuration wizard


Since, we are creating a share nothing cluster (no shared storage) we can run only selected test


Since we are not setting up shared storage, we can skip those tests


Click Next to run the tests and validate the cluster


Here is a view of the progress with these tests


When it is completed, it will let you know that it is validated


Highly recommend that you save the report, in the event you need support from Microsoft


If you are curious, you can take a look to see all the tests that it run and the results


Now, it is time to name the cluster and assign an IP address for the resource


At this point, it will allow you to add all the nodes and if applicable add storage (which in our case is not applicable so we uncheck it)


Progress bar


Success, we are live with the cluster! (You could view the report) Click finish


Now, you can verify in Failover Cluster Manager that all nodes were added


Now, we are ready for the next stage and can install SQL Server.

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  1. Configuring SQL Server 2012 Always On Lab- Part 3 - SQL Server - SQL Server - Toad World - May 28, 2014

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