SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Build (Step by Step) – Part 1: Installing SQL 2012


Recently, my engagements were related to SQL and 2 of which were to build SQL failover clusters on based on Windows 2008R2/SQL 2008R2 SP1 and Windows 2012/SQL 2012 SP1. In this post, I will share with you my SQL Server 2012 Failover clustering experience.

Part 2: Adding a New Node to Cluster

Part 3: Adding a New Instance to Cluster


As displayed in the figure below,

  • The demo cluster has 2-nodes and uses File Server (FS) (Windows 2012) as storage and
  • Each node has at least 2 NIC – one for internal (LAN) and for private (heartbeat) network
  • FS provide 4 disks that are
    • Q: used for Quorum or witness disk (1GB)
    • E: used for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC ) (2GB)
    • I: used for SharePoint 2013 Content databases (30GB), yes, it is low, but I can afford only this muchSmile in my local.
    • H: used for Custom .NET application’s databases (30GB)


Figure1: Windows Server 2012 failover cluster used in the demo

Please note that this is for demo purposes and built in my local environment (Windows 2012, Hyper 2012). My assumptions are:

  • SQL database instances will need database engine feature only and no BLOB type of record expected.
  • The pre-requisites for Windows and SQL failover clustering (storages, network configurations, user accounts, etc.) are already conducted.
  • You logged in Node 1 with cluster admin account.


How-to Build SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Steps

Step #

Screen capture

1- Start your SQL 2012 Server installation media and Click ‘Installation’


2. Click ‘New SQL Server failover cluster installation’


3. OK


4. Provide product key for your media. Then Next

sql 2012 PK

5. Accept License Agreement (and the other check if you would like). Then Next


6. Click Next (No worry, my VM not connected to Internet. Or you could uncheck ‘include SQL Server prod… checkbox )


7. Setup Support Rules

Wait for Rules check. Once done make sure no failed task. Evaluate warnings for your environment (remember the VM is not connected to Internet). Then click Next


8. Next


9. Select Features then Next


10. Make sure feature Rule check complete with no Failed status. Then Next


11. Provide Network and Instance names. The SQL cluster name is CSQLP and my database instance name is WSSDB. MS recommends use of named instances. Then Next


12. Next


13. Next


14. Select Disk needed for the resource group (RG). Then Next


15. Enable IP4 and provide IP address for this RG. Then Next


16. MS recommends to use unique service accounts per each data services. Provide Service Accounts (and Collation if different than default – SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_Cl_AS). Then Next


17. Click on ‘Add Current User’ button. Then click on Data Directories tab menu item. I use ‘I’ labeled clustered disk for WSSDB content. Please consider having different disks for data, log and temp data. Then Next



18. Check the sharing error reports with MS if you would like. Then Next


19. Make sure no clusters rules failed. Then Next


20. Confirm the selection (last chance to edit before installation). Then Install


21. Enjoy your waiting with a coffee. Success!

Click Close to complete the process.

You should see it is reflected on Cluster roles.





In this post, as part of post series of building SQL 2012 Server failover cluster on top of Windows 2012 Server, I have demonstrated installing SQL 2012 Server failover cluster on node 1. In my next posts, I will demonstrate how to add a second node and how to install a new named database instance to the SQL cluster. Hope you like it and stay tuned!

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