I just spent an entertaining hour trying to get a 2005 Reporting Services web farm operational. It's up now, but I'm a tired, broken man. Here are the mistakes I made:

 

On certain 2005 SKUs, the Remote Connection property for your database engine is set to accept local connections only -- which essentially will prevent (among other things) you from configuring new report server nodes to share an existing reportserver database. Use the Surface Area Configuration tool to accept remote connections from BOTH named pipes and sockets on the box hosting the reportserver database, and you’re golden.

 

I'm posting this so I can spare some other poor soul the feeling of intense inadequacy/stupidity I now am dealing with :)

 

Here are some errors I saw...hopefully they'll get indexed by various search engines, and you can say, "Thank you Russell, you gave me back two hours of my life":

 

With no remote connections accepted:

 

(Trying to use "Database Setup" inside the Reporting Services Configuration Manager to point to the remote ReportServer database):

 

A connection could not be established with the information provided. Hit OK to change your connection settings.

 

A connection was successfully established with the server, but then an error occured during the login process (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error 0 - No process is on the other end of the pipe.)

 

Interestingly enough, if I try to do the same thing with RSConfig.exe, it doesn't throw any errors, but I get the following error after launching Report Manager..it  finally pointed me in the right direction:

 

The report server cannot open a connection to the report server database. A connection to the database is required for all requests and processing. (rsReportServerDatabaseUnavailable) Get Online Help An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)

 

After using the Surface Area Configuration tool to allow remote named pipes connections, rsconfig still doesn't throw an error, but you continue to see the same error as above.

 

After named pipes is on and you use the Reporting Services Configuration Tool to set the database location, it now throws a different error for the  "Setting Connection Info for Reporting Server" task:

 

ReportServicesConfigUI.WMIProvider.WMIProviderException: The report server cannot open a connection to the report server database. A connection to the database is required for all requests and processing. (rsReportServerDatabaseUnavailable)

   at ReportServicesConfigUI.WMIProvider.RSReportServerAdmin.ThrowOnError(ManagementBaseObject mo)

   at ReportServicesConfigUI.WMIProvider.RSReportServerAdmin.ListReportServersInDatabase(RSReportServerInfo[]& serverInfos)

 

Finally, turn on remote TCP/IP connections at the primary server and everything works: You can change the database you’re pointing at, the remote node gets initialized, and Report Manager is able to connect once more. Feh!