Installation of SQL Server 2012 RTM on Windows Server 8 Beta (.NET 3.5 explained)

I made my first attempt to install SQL Server 2012 RTM on Windows Server 8 Beta on 07.03.2012 and as you may remember from that post, it failed on .NET Framework 3.5. I tried to install it again after having enabled .NET Framework 3.5 in Server Manager and this time it worked like charm. My conclusion is – check the prerequisites before and install all the missing ones in advance, don’t just rely on setup program to do it all for you. So this leaves me with two more tests to do:
1. Install SQL Server 2012 RTM on a fresh Windows Server 8 machine – to replicate the problem.
2. Install SQL Server 2012 RTM on a fresh Windows Server 2008 R2 machine – to see if it’s related to OS feature detection – if so -> Connect.

Now the general feeling of using SQL Server 2012 RTM is not much different from Denali CTP3 or 2012 RC0, I’m just having a very hard time getting used to Metro interface in Windows Server 8. For start – after installation of Master Data Services, SQL Server Data Tools, Data Quality Services and Database Engine I have two screens full of icons scattered all around instead of nice grouping. And – bad luck – SSMS is on the second screen 馃檪

SQL Server 2012 feature selection on Windows Server 8 Beta

So, for the test #1: In Windows 8, when you select Database Engine at the Feature Selection dialog you have following information:

  • Power Shell 2.0 already installed – quite obvious
  • Visual Studio 2010 Shell and .NET Framework 4 to be installed – by SQL Server installer
  • .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows feature to be turned on

The installer does not check for .NET 3.5 availability in your system until actual installation, so you will complete whole setup wizard and聽get an error at the very end.

As far as test #2 is concerned – if you install SQL Server 2012 RTM on Windows Server 2008 R2 and you forget to enable .NET Framework 3.5, the installer will stop right after Feature Selection asking to fulfill the software requirements. Apart from .NET 3.5, any existing Visual Studio 2010 installation must be upgrade to SP1 to allow SQL Server 2012 to continue.

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And if you go back to SQL Server 2008 R2, it will not even launch the setup landing page if you have .NET Framework 3.5 missing.

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Trial installation of Windows Server 8 and SQL Server 2012 – failed

As I stated yesterday evening, trial installation of Windows Server 8 followed by SQL Server 2012 was about to happen.
And it did. Without much success, though.
Windows Server 8 installation – no problem, 30 minutes and you’re done (I am using standard Toshiba Satellite L650-1NT laptop – Core i5 560, 4GB RAM, standard 250 GB HDD).
Sysprep and VM start after sysprepping – no problem as well, you’re set after 10 minutes.
SQL Server 2012 RTM – installation looks no different than SQL Server 2008/R2 or Denali. But… error occured during actual installation – no .NET Framework 3.5. How come? The previous installer used to detect missing .NET 3.5 and enable it. The setup continued till the end, but neither DB engine nor management tools have been installed.

So it’s a point to be validated – either new installer doesn’t check it and you have to enable .NET 3.5 prior to installation(which you should, BTW) or it’s a case of Windows Server 8 that does not get it’s features recognized (that would be a shame). More tests to come.

Windows Server 8 Beta available for download

Microsoft released public beta of Windows Server 8 just yesterday. It is available for download here in two flavours (DVD ISO image and ready-to-go VHD). I downloaded both, but for obvious reasons I chose VHD for start. It allows you to have new server running in less than 10 minutes thanks to native VHD boot features in Windows 7. Keep in mind that a disk you download is an expandable one with maximum of 40 GB and it is expanded on boot to it’s maximum – if you don’t have enough free space, you will encounter the revamped BSOD.
The features look pretty amazing. Storage engine has completely been redesigned with SMB 2.2, transparent failover, deduplication, new file system and lots of other interesting features (check for example this article). Not to mention Hyper-V 3.0 with extended resource support (256 CPUs and 2 TB of RAM per machine – not that easy to spare at the moment, but don’t forget Moore’s Law!), enhanced clustering capabilities (up to 4000 machines per cluster, no shared storage required) and redefined Live Migration. And BTW, the interface has been modified – since it’s Windows 8, it’s Metro, with the Server Manager being the core of server operations, now allowing for multi-server administration (looks pretty cool, but couldn’t get it to work yet).
All I am waiting for now are few hours of spare time to play with it a little bit more, perhaps install SQL Server 2012 RC0 (already done by Aaron Bertrand – read the full story here) and try some clustering to take advantage of simplified storage provisioning.