With the release of Windows Server 2012 I thought I would take the opportunity to look at running SQL 2012 Core on Windows Server 2012. This blog will be part of a series which will initially look at the configuration of installing SQL 2012 Core on Windows Server Core, and then finish with adding AlwaysOn functionality to the environment.
For this blog series the following servers are being used within the environment:
DCPurpose: Domain ControllerOS: Windows Server 2012 Standard with GUIRAM: 512MbStorage: 30GbIP: 10.x.x.2
SQL2012-01Purpose: SQL ServerOS: Windows Server 2012 Standard CoreRAM: 1024MbStorage: 30Gb, 5Gb, 5Gb, 5Gb, 2GbIP: 10.x.x.4
SQL2012-MGMTPurpose: Remote Management ServerOS: Windows Server 2012 Standard CoreRAM: 512MbStorage: 30GbIP: 10.x.x.3
IMPORTANT: It is important to highlight that there are particular requirements for installing SQL Server on Windows 2012 and those are available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2681562/EN-US. For SQL 2012 the RTM release is supported on Windows 2012 however you should always refer to the official MSDN documentation to verify your hardware and software requirements (for SQL 2012 see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506.aspx). It is also important to note that this work is out of pure interest within an isolated LAB environment and does not represent any official supportability of this configuration, it is based on my experience when configuring the environment and you should verify the suitability and supportability of such configuration within your own environment.
Step 1 - Build the Remote Management Server (SQL2012-MGMT)
For the purpose of this blog I will be skimming the obvious steps but from a high level here is how I prepared the server:
Step 2 - Create the SQL Server with Windows Server 2012 Core
Step 3 - Configure the Firewall between the SQL Server and Management Server
Before being able to remotely manage the Windows Server 2012 Core install we need to configure the firewall on both the SQL Server and also the Remote Management Server.
NOTE: This will not allow access to Device Manager, as you can only allow a Read-Only view I am not going to turn that on in my lab. However if you require something like that in your environment then check out some of the other blogs which explain what Local Security Policy setting needs to be changed such as Brad Rutkowski's blog post http://blogs.technet.com/b/brad_rutkowski/archive/2007/10/22/unable-to-remotely-manage-a-server-core-machine-mmc-wmi-device-manager.aspx
Step 3 - Remote management of Windows Server 2012 Core
Now that the server is installed you still need to configure aspects like Storage and to do this it will involve remotely managing the server from the Management Server. This is where some of the new features in Windows 2012 really make this easier.
TIP: I recommended that you use a server with either Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 OS for your Remote Management Server as the Server Manager console has been upgraded in the Windows Server 2012 release and therefore you cannot manage a Windows Server 2012 Core install from Windows 7 using Server Manager. However you can still use individual snap-ins via the mmc console. This is why within my environment I am using a server running the Windows Server 2012 OS as the Remote Management Server.
Step 4 - (Option A) - Disk Configuration (via Command Line on Server Core)
Now that the server is installed you still need to configure aspects like Storage, there are two methods which you can use to achieve this. My preference is through the DiskPart Command-Line tool via the console of the Server Core install, however you can also use the GUI via the Remote Management Server (those instructions are below) and this is where some of the new features in Windows 2012 really make remote management easier.
Step 4 - (Option B) - Disk Configuration (via GUI on Remote Management Server)
At this point the Remote Management Server (SQL2012-MGMT) and SQL Server (SQL2012-01) are now configured enough where the SQL install can be commenced. This will be covered in Part 2 of this series.