Building my System Center SP1 Lab Part 2: SQL Server

I’m building a new lab environment for my System Center stuff. Unfortunately I’m so busy lately, that it took a while to pick up where I left:
Building my System Center SP1 Lab – Part 1: Domain Controller

In this blog post I want to install a SQL 2012 SP1 server on Windows Server 2012. I’ve never installed SQL 2012 so let’s see what happens.

Since I plan to use this SQL server instance as a shared instance for multiple System Center components I will use SQL Server Enterprise Edition to get some advanced stuff in Service Manager and I also need to be careful what collation to install. More about this later…

Why Enterprise Edition?

In general, both editions (Standard and Enterprise) are supported for Service Manager but there are a couple of enhancements which are only available if your Service Manager installation is located on an Enterprise edition. For more information, read this TechNet article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh495585.aspx

Note: The new System Center licensing introduced with System Center 2012 includes all necessary licenses for SQL Standard installations. So if you decide to use SQL Enterprise in your production environment you need to properly license the instance (or install it on an already licensed instance) in order to use SQL Enterprise. To be clear, if you use SQL Standard edition, no licenses are necessary as they all are covered by the System Center license.

Installing SQL Server 2012 SP1

After installing Windows Server 2012, joining the server to my lab domain and installing all available updates, setup.exe on the SQL installation media is opened:

After the prerequisites are checked, you will be asked for the product key. Enter the key (or select you want to evaluate) and click Next:

I’m not really a SQL expert (in fact I’m far away from being anything else as a SQL noob), so the setup is kind of exciting for me. My first pleasant surprise is this nice wizard page:

SQL 2012, will lookup all the updates available online for the version you install and offers you to download and install them right away. After clicking next, the wizard will download the online files (in case you accepted the updates in the previous page) and extracts all the setup files before it will continue:

Ok, enough praise on the setup. I left my windows firewall on and I got the above warning. Nothing wrong with the warning but the message box shown when you click the Warning link is kind of useless because there’s a link in the message which cannot be clicked. I know you can CTRL-C when the message box is focused to get the text into the clipboard but this is just note really user friendly. In addition, I would expect the setup to open all necessary ports (as SCOM is doing) but maybe this is on purpose for security reasons… Let’s check that later and continue.
The next screen asks us for the “Role”. We go with the SQL Server Feature Installation:

On the Feature Selection screen we check the three main instance features (DB Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services) as we use the instance for SCOM and SCSM and maybe other products. Note that the Reporting Services can only be installed and used for one product (either SCOM or SCSM) but not for more than one.

The shared features I selected aren’t mandatory to run the System Center components/products. I chose to have them on board (especially the management tools) for my convenience.
The next screen allows you to configure the instance (name) as well as the default directory paths:

The Disk Space Requirements page will show you a short summary if all components can be installed on the selected/configured drives. If you have enough disk space, click on next to get to the Server Configuration screen. On the Service Accounts tab I leave all configuration as they were, except for the Agent. I prefer to let the agent start automatically. The more interesting stuff is the Collation tab:

Since my Windows OS is using English US locale, SQL setup by default suggests the “correct” collation for my scenario. If you are using only english you can go ahead and use the shown collation to successfully install and use SCOM/SCSM and other SC components on the same SQL instance. For production scenarios you may want to separate the database for SCOM and SCSM because of the workload both systems have on the DB. If you want to run both systems on the same DB, check the following blog post if your language you intend to use on those systems are supported and which collation you need to install:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2012/05/24/clarification-on-sql-server-collation-requirements-for-system-center-2012.aspx

On the next three screens, make sure you leave the default values but also make sure your current user is in the list. Just click the “Add Current User”  button to add your user.

On the Error Reporting page you may choose to report error and usage data to MS. Click on Next, verify if the Installation Configuration Rules are good to go and hit Install.

That’s it for today. I hope the server as configured and install will work for my upcoming installations of SCOM and SCSM.

cheers,
Stefan

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