Sysprepping SQL Server

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How do you install your SQL Servers? * Sysprep * Slipstream * Unattended setup * Manually running setup * other imaging tools?

Have you been using the (in itself great) approach of slipstreaming installation of SQL Server 2008 R2 + SP2 + CU3 (or other combinations of them) to ease the time and administrative burdon of throwing in more SQL power to your company? Or haven’t you gotten to that point yet: Still making unattended .ini files? Don’t tell me you sit there and run the setup, watching “paint dry”, pushing “next”, “next”, “next”, , “next”…(loop)…finished? (I even remember having about 25 1.44 discs to install the 4.21 version on os/2 1.3) – 1.44 discs? you say? OK, “I’m getting too old for this”… 🙂

Well, now you don’t have to go with the above approaches, there is another better way: Like you have been able to do with Windows now you can Sysprep the SQL Server as well. You simply create an image of the op sys making it include an unconfigured SQL Server installation in the first phase. Then there is a second phase after putting up the win+sql image and that is putting in the accounts and other configuring stuff that “personalize” the SQL Server instance. After configuring a new windows you just use the “Complete Image” wizard to configure the SQL Server part. All SQL Server 2008 R2 editions support this new sysprep functionality. Of course it has some drawbacks as well. Nothing is perfect 🙂

– If you have clustering scenarios go back to earlier approaches. It cannot be used for clustering scenarios * Do you have IA64 system or WOW64. Sorry. Not supported.

– As the installation media needs to be available when you prepare and configuring the image – if you have SQL Server Express – to sysprep it you would need to extract the files to the local machine and then prepare the image.

– Planning on setting up your analysis services farm? Nope. Only the database engine and reporting services supports Sysprep

/Jonas Bergström