Windows Server 2012 Impressions, Part 2

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I’ve been doing some testing with Windows 8, and after fighting with VMWare for a while yesterday, I was able to get a SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Instance up and running on two nodes. All in all, the process wasn’t that different from building a cluster in Windows 2008R2, but there are a couple of things to note.

One of which is that the new Windows file system ReFS, which Denny Cherry blogged about here, is not supported for SQL cluster disks—I had my data disk formatted using ReFS, and the SQL installer showed the dreaded red X for shared disks. When I reformatted the same disk under NTFS, everything worked fine. I’m not sure what will happen if you try to do a standalone SQL install to an ReFS disk, I’ll try that later.

The major issue I ran into was getting .net 3.5 installed, so the SQL installation could complete successfully. This has been well documented by Aaron Betrand (b|t) here and by Allan Hirt (b|t) here.

When trying to add the feature from Server Manager, the following error occurs:

“.NET Framework 3.5” feature the installation fails with the error message “The source files could not be downloaded.”

The workaround for this is to run the following command (assuming your Windows 8 media is mounted under D:\)

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /all /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:d:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

Aside from those two minor issues, the install went pretty well, and everything worked as expected.

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