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Planning and Installing SQL Server 2012 (part 2) - Installing SQL Server Evaluation Edition - Planning Tab, Installation Tab

6/19/2013 7:52:15 PM
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3. Installing SQL Server Evaluation Edition

In this section, we will perform the initial install of SQL Server, which simply installs the support files, including the .NET Framework and SQL Server Installation Center. If you already have SQL Server installed or choose not to install SQL Server at this time, you can skip this section.

Note Developer and Enterprise editions provide the same capabilities as the evaluation edition. If you have either Developer or Enterprise edition available to you already, you can go ahead and use it rather than installing the evaluation edition.

Step 1: Downloading SQL Server Evaluation Edition

You can download the evaluation edition from When you navigate to this link, you will have the option to download a 32-bit or 64-bit version.

You can download either a DVD image of the product or a single executable. Either one will work, and for the sake of simplicity, I’ll assume you chose the x64 executable. Once a selection is made, the download begins, and depending on your Internet connection speed, you may want to consider grabbing a drink. The download is more than 1GB.

Once you have your own copy of the 1GB executable, you are ready to run it. Upon execution, you are asked for a folder name. Once you provide this folder path, the installation application will take about five minutes to extract all the files within the single file archive and re-create the entire SQL Server installation directory structure. When this process is complete, you will be greeted with a simple Extraction Complete dialog box.

It is at this point where you are ready to actually run the installation of Setup.

Step 2: Understanding the SQL Server Installation Center

If you look at the files that are contained on the SQL Server setup media, you can see a readme.htm file. Readme files are provided with every release of the product and contain a lot of valuable information.

At this point, you are ready to begin installing SQL Server. As with most Microsoft products, a setup.exe executable is located in the root folder of the SQL Server media. This program will first verify that you have the correct .NET Framework version installed as well as other prerequisites. If it is determined that you are missing any of these prerequisites, setup.exe will install them for you at this time. You may be required to reboot the machine depending on which operating system and which prerequisites you have already installed.

Once the prerequisites are installed, running the setup.exe program will simply launch the SQL Server Installation Center dialog box. This small application is the graphical launch point for all kinds of setup tasks. Here, you can install a stand-alone instance of SQL Server or even add a node to an existing SQL Server cluster. The installation center consists of seven tabs, each providing values to an aspect of installing SQL Server. Let’s take a look at each of these tabs in more detail.

Planning Tab

The Planning tab (see Figure 2) is the first tab that is displayed when the SQL Server Installation Center is started.


Figure 2. Planning tab of the SQL Server Installation Center

The Planning tab helps you plan your installation of SQL Server by making it easy to quickly access this kind of information. This tab also provides links to other important information, such as online release notes and online installation help. In addition to hyperlinks, there are two tools within this tab, the System Configuration Checker and the Upgrade Advisor. The System Configuration Checker (see Figure 3) will check the state of your server and determine whether Setup can proceed. Examples of these tests include determining whether your server needs to be restarted or whether you meet the minimum operation system version to install SQL Server.


Figure 3. System Configuration Checker

There are other times within Setup where this System Configuration Checker will run for you. For example, when you are installing a stand-alone instance of SQL Server, this utility will be run at the beginning of that task.

The other tool on the Planning tab is the Upgrade Advisor. Use the Upgrade Advisor when you have an existing SQL Server installation and want to upgrade it to SQL Server 2012. The tool will check, from a syntactical standpoint, the integrity of your SQL Server installation. For example, if your application has referenced a deprecated stored procedure or function, this tool will tell you. Knowing and acting on this information before actually upgrading the server can save a lot of time and pain.

One of the last links on the Planning tab is the “How to get started with SQL Server 2012 Failover Clustering” link. Clustering is a big deal in most enterprise environments, and this link is an effort to help users with installing SQL Server on clustered servers.

Installation Tab

The Installation tab (see Figure 4) provides a series of wizards to help users install or upgrade SQL Server.


Figure 4. Installation tab of the SQL Server Installation Center

The Setup experience with SQL Server contains a lot of wizards in key areas. On the Installation tab, you can see links to launch wizards that help users. The first option, “New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation,” is self-explanatory. The next option is “New SQL Server failover cluster installation.” The act of setting up and configuring a clustered SQL Server has traditionally been a tedious process. This version of SQL Server relieves some of the frustration by providing easy-to-use wizards to help the process along. Even common tasks, such as adding a node to a cluster, can be done using the “Add node to a SQL Server failover cluster” link, which also launches a wizard. There is even a wizard that will walk you through an upgrade of SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008 R2. This would be, you probably guessed it, the “Upgrade from SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2” link.

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