The new SQL Server installation is so different, I thought I would take a second to write about it. For starters, the whole thing is now called the SQL Server Installation Center.
This tool is broken down into seven sections which include the following:
- Planning - This section gives you access to documentation and allows you to run the upgrade advisor.
- Installation - This is where the rubber meets the road. You can install stand-alone instances, clusters, add-nodes to existing clusters, and even start upgrades from 2000 or 2005.
- Maintenance - Here you can change your edition of SQL Server (that's right - change - did you install developer edition on production by accident, here you can change to to enterprise), repair an installation, or remove a node from a cluster.
- Tools - Access to a few handy tools such as the System Configuration Checker, a report to tell you what SQL Server features are installed, and an SSIS upgrade wizard.
- Resources - Links to helpful documentation on SQL Server
- Advanced - This section lets you install SQL Server based on a configuration file, perform advanced cluster prep, or complete a cluster from already cluster-prepared SQL Servers.
- Options - Allows you to specify the architecture (x86, x64, or ia64) and the location of the install media.
Enough about the Installation Center, let's take a look at the stand alone installation. I am not going to walk through step-by-step, I just want to highlight some of the new features that I think are pretty cool. This is the face of the new instillation wizard.
The first few screens are just some checks and then the installation of the prerequisites. After that's done we get to the meat of the installation. Even here, the first few screens are pretty straight forward asking if you are installing a new instance or changing an existing instance and another screen allowing you to enter you product key. The first screen that grabbed my attention was the Instance Configuration. Here you not only specify and instance name, but you an also specify the instance ID. The instance ID is used in folder naming instead of random numbers. By default the ID will be the name of your instance.
The next few screens are your standard drive space overview and service account set up, nothing really new here. Ah, but then we get to the Database Engine Configuration screen which abounds with new options for security, file locations, and the new FILESTREAM type. The first tab, shown below, lets you set the authentication mode and set up accounts that will be administrators of SQL Server. Gone are the days of BUILTIN\Administrators and here are the days of telling SQL Server who you want to be administrators.
The second tab, Data Directories, allows you to set up the default locations of some common files used by SQL Server. This really gives you a level of control that was previous a registry hack, done manually, or done after the installation was complete. You can set up individual locations for the following:
- Data Root
- User Database Files
- User Database Log Files
- Temp DB Data
- Temp DB Log
- Backup Files
Last but not least, the third tab allows you to enabled FILESTREAM for T-SQL access. I won't get into FILESTREAM here, but it is a feature of SQL Server 2008 worth your further investigation.
That's the bulk of the installation....one more check to look for problems that might cause the installation to fail and your off and running.
I know the installation wizard isn't the sexiest new thing in SQL Server 2008, but there are some neat new things that made me happy so I wanted to share my rather geeky bliss.