Step by Step Installation of SQL Server 2014 on a New Failover Cluster

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We have completed the prerequisites and required pre-checks including cluster validation in this previous tip. Now we will begin the installation of SQL Server 2014 on the two node cluster and this tip will explain the steps to install SQL Server.


The process of SQL Server cluster installation involves two stages, one is to install SQL Server on one node and once this installation is successful then you need to install SQL Server on the other nodes of the cluster by launching the SQL Server setup on the other nodes.

For our example, we have a two node cluster based on the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system where we will be installing SQL Server 2014. The name of the nodes are SQL-NODE1 and SQL-NODE2. We need a unique and unused IP address and SQL Server Network Name to complete this installation. We will use MSSQLCLUSTER as the network name and the IP address 10.2XX.XX2.1X. (note: X represents a numeric value, I put X because I do not want to disclose my IP address due to security reasons). So let's start the SQL Server installation on node SQL-NODE1. Before we begin, make sure the cluster resources (like the shared drives) are accessible by SQL-NODE1.

SQL Server 2014 cluster Installation

Step 1: Go to the SQL Server setup file location. Right click on setup.exe and choose "Run as administrator". The SQL Server Installation Center will appear on your screen as shown in the screenshot below. Select the "Installation" tab from the left pane and click on "New SQL Server failover cluster installation" from the right pane.

SQL Server Installation Center

Step 2: Once you click on "New SQL Server failover cluster installation", the SQL Server installation window will appear and it will ask you to enter your product key for SQL Server. Enter the key or if it is an evaluation version choose the first option. Sometimes the product key option will be grayed out, so in that case you can just click the Next button.

Install a SQL Server Failover Cluster

Once you click on Next, another window will load and ask you to click on the check box to accept the license terms and conditions for the SQL Server product. Click on the Next button after accepting the license terms.

License Terms for SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 3: After accepting the license terms, SQL Server will start checking the global rules and display the status of all the rules. If any rule fails, setup will not proceed further and you need to first fix the issue. You can see below the rules are successful, so click on the Next button to proceed.

Global Rules Check for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 4: The next window will ask you to check for Microsoft Updates for Windows and SQL Server 2014. I have not checked this option, but if you want to check for updates from Microsoft you can click on the check box in the below screenshot.

Microsoft Updates Configuration for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Once you click on the Next button of the above screen, the Product Update window will appear. As I have not chosen Microsoft updates in last window, the error is indicating that "SQL Server could not search for updates..." as shown in the below screenshot. Click on the Next button to proceed.

Windows Update Service Error during a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 5: The next window will check failover cluster rules. We can see all rules have been checked with both successful and warning results. We can skip warnings at this point in time as we can fix them post installation. Click on the Next button to proceed with the installation.

Failover Cluster Rules Check during a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 6: The next interface is the setup role window, where you choose the installation features. You will find two options on this page. One is to configure SQL Server feature installation and another is to configure SQL Server PowerPivot for SharePoint. Since I have to install the SQL Server database engine, I will choose the first option. Once you choose your setup role, click on the Next button.

SQL Server Feature Installation of PowerPivot for SharePoint

Step 7: The next step in the process is for feature selection. Choose the features you want to install on your cluster server. Do not select all features if you will not use them, as this will use server resources that could be used by the SQL Server database engine or Windows. I have selected the SQL Server Database Engine along with a few shared features as shown in the below screenshot. You can also change the root directory for each of the selected features and for the SQL Server binaries.

Feature Selection during a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Click the Next button after selecting the features you want to install. Another window will check the feature rules. Once every rule is checked, you can proceed again by clicking on the Next button.

Step 8: Our next interface is the Instance Configuration window. This is an important step because in this step you enter the SQL Server Network Name along with the Instance ID. I have chosen "MSSQLCLUSTER" as network name and default instance (MSSQLSERVER) as the instance id. Now click on the Next button to go to the next window.

Instance Configuration during a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 9: Next window is for cluster resource group. You can change the cluster resource group name, but I have kept it as and clicked on the Next button to proceed.

Cluster Resource Group during a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 10: The Cluster Disk Selection window is where you will see the list of all shared disks that you can include in the SQL Server cluster resource group. I have selected all three shared disks and clicked on the Next button to proceed. If you have multiple shared disks, make sure to select only those that will be part of this cluster.

Cluster Disk Selection for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 11: Next window is to configure the cluster network. Here you need to enter your unique and unused IP address in the address column as shown in below screenshot. This is the same IP address which I talked about in the beginning of this tip. Enter the IP address and click on the Next button.

Cluster Network Configuration for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 12: Once you click Next in the above step, it will ask you to enter the SQL Server service accounts and their passwords to run the SQL Server services. I used two service accounts, one for SQL Server and another for SQL Server agent. Enter the credentials and click on the Next button to go to the database engine configuration page.

Server Configuration for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 13: Next window is very important and here setup will ask you to configure the SQL Server database engine. There are three tabs in this window. First is 'Server Configuration', second is 'Data Directories' and third is 'FILESTREAM'. We will start configuring with the first tab that is server configuration. The below screenshot explains this window. We need to select the authentication mode of the SQL Server. I have selected "Mixed Mode" and entered the sa password. Make sure to enter a complex password otherwise it will not allow you to proceed. Now click on "Add Current User" to add yourself as an administrator on SQL Server. You can add other accounts as well which should be admins in SQL Server.

Database Engine Configuration for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Now click on "Data Directories" to configure the data directories where the system and user databases along with backup files will be placed. I have placed system databases except TempDB, user databases and backups on shared disks, but left TempDB on a local drive (C drive).

SQL Server failover cluster installation supports Local Disk only for installing the TempDB files. Make sure that the path specified for the TempDB data and log files exists on all the cluster nodes. If the TempDB directories are not available on the failover target node during failover, the SQL Server resource will fail to come online. Another advantage of placing TempDB on a local disk is that it creates separate paths of traffic by having your data and log files on the SAN while TempDB is on the local disk.

Database Engine Configuration for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

I do not need FILESTREAM to be enabled, so I will not configure it and click Next to proceed. If you need FILESTREAM click on the third tab and follow the process to setup.

Once you click Next, the below screen will appear to have you confirm that you are putting TempDB files on local drives.

Tempdb File Configuration Warning on a Local Disk

Click on Yes and it will check the configuration rules of this installations. Once all rules have passed, click on Next to reach the final installation screen.

Feature Configuration Rules for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Step 14: Here you can check the features and configurations you have selected. You can also see the configurationFile.ini file in the highlighted area that will be used by the setup to install SQL Server.

Ready to install window for a SQL Server Cluster Installation

Now click on the Install button to start the installation process of SQL Server. You can see the installation is running based on the progress in the below screenshot.

SQL Server Cluster Installation Progress

Once the installation successfully completes, you will get the below screen with confirmation that all the features you have selected are installed.

Completed SQL Server Cluster Installation

Validate the Installation

Now we have installed SQL Server 2014 on cluster node SQL-Node1. So let's validate that SQL Server has been successfully installed. You can open the SQL Server Failover Cluster Manager and click on Roles from the left pane. You will be able to see that the SQL Server default instance has been added. You can also see the SQL Server Network Name "MSSQLCLUSTER" along with the IP address in the right pane.

Review the Installation in the Failover Cluster Manager
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About the author
MSSQLTips author Manvendra Singh Manvendra Singh has over 5 years of experience with SQL Server and has focused on Database Mirroring, Replication, Log Shipping, etc.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 10:14:18 AM - khai Back To Top (76639)

 Hi Manvendra,

is possible to change the subnet mask in the cluster network configuration after installation was done. And if yes, can you show me how.





Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 1:35:46 AM - emad Back To Top (75028)

 this is a wonderfull explanation


Friday, July 21, 2017 - 4:51:16 PM - JOHN Back To Top (60021)

 This was really helpful thank you. I was wondering if you have new tips on creating backups for SQL Server 2014 on a failover cluster.


Monday, March 20, 2017 - 11:01:11 AM - shishir Back To Top (51466)

 hi Manvendra


THanks for your post. That was helpful. I want to know whether we can implement clustering to the already existing SQL Server 2014 (Active & Passive).

What are the possible that it can be implemented? ANy post or link that you can share will be very helpful.



Shishir Kumar


Monday, February 27, 2017 - 1:33:59 PM - Sammy Machethe Back To Top (46738)

Hi Manvendra,


This is a post and a half. Short and straight to the point and yet so relevant.

Big up.



Sammy Machethe



Monday, December 19, 2016 - 7:46:29 AM - Vishal Chauhan Back To Top (45000)

Hello Sir,

Great Article. It helped me again!!! 


Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 4:57:47 AM - Nadeem Back To Top (43215)

 HI Manvendra Singh,

Thanks for writing such a usefull information, I amtrying to install the same on a vmWare worksation. however I am getting the error message:

"wait on database engine recovery handle failed"

I googled and most of the people saying its related to the Service Account that is used.


I have tested this option by using a normal domain user, Domain admin and adding the account to local admins  on each node but no luck.

can you please let me know what should I do?




Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 10:04:45 PM - stanley fernandes Back To Top (42991)

 Hi Manvendra

Your article has really helped me.Its explained so nicely.Thanks a lot.

Furthermore could i have your contact as I am based in Singaplore.



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