My Test Environment Setup (Part 3)

Installing SQL 2012 on Windows Server Core

One of the great features of SQL Server 2012 is that it can be installed on Windows Server Core. Not all features are available when running on core, but as I normally only use the database engine this fits my setup nicely. I’m now able to run a separate database server with minimal overhead that I can reuse throughout my different testing scenario’s.

Of course you cannot just start the graphical setup program, so we’ll have to use the command line. This is the syntax I use to setup mine:

Setup.exe /qs /ACTION=Install /FEATURES=SQLEngine /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /SQLSVCACCOUNT="LABsql_db" /SQLSVCPASSWORD="[email protected]" /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS="BUILTINAdministrators" /AGTSVCACCOUNT="LABsql_db" /AGTSVCPASSWORD="[email protected]" /TCPENABLED=1 /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

SQL unattended installation

Patching SQL 2012 Core with a cumulative update

By the time of writing, the first cumulative update for SQL 2012 was already out. You can install such an update in the same way you install the product. Copy the file locally and run the following command:

setup.exe /qs /action=patch /allinstances /iacceptsqlserverlicenseterms

Installing tools to manage AD, DNS & SQL running on Server Core

While running everything but SharePoint on Server Core is nice, but sometimes you just want a graphical interface to quickly change some settings. I install all management tools on my SharePoint box so I can remotely connect to the domain controller and the SQL server.

You can install the AD & DNS tools by running the Add Features wizard in Windows Server 2008 and above:

AD Management Tools

For SQL Server, just run setup just as you would run on a normal installation of SQL Server. Only select the management features appropriate to your installation:

SQL Management Tools

Just don’t forget to run the same cumulative update you ran on your SQL server itself. Maybe this is not really needed, but it’s better to be on the same version, right? Call me a neurotic…