SQL Server 2016 – installation process notes

It is the usual thing in the tech world to start any product evaluation with the installation of the product and composing a blog post about the installation experience. We wait for new product releases, expect new awesome features and, sometimes, just “cannot wait”. I have been somewhat SQL Server addicted for a long time (more than 15 years so far), and of course, could not restraint from diving into new features. So, today I’m sharing my notes on most noticeable things that grabbed my attention at the very start of my journey – SQL Server 2016 Installation Process.

1. SQL Server 2016 Installation guidance

As usual, the installation process is very well documented at MSDN and TechNet (though the SQL Server section is no longer called “Books Online”), and I had no need to search for any blog posts to resolve any issues. All error and warning messages have links which take you to relevant troubleshooting articles. The only thing I can complain about – it is not obvious how to copy a link from the error dialog (hint – use Ctrl-C).

2. Tools are NOT included

This can be noted at the very start of the process – the installation center contains two extra link – one for SQL Server Management Tools and another for SQL Server Data Tools

SQL Server 2016 Installation 001

At the same time, features do not list any management tools (neither complete nor basic) in the list of shared features. As for me, I do not regret of not having them there – there is absolutely no reason to copy unnecessary bits to every single server.

SQL Server 2016 Installation 002

3. Some features are open-source dependant

Yes, they are! Considering Microsoft’s aggressive offer for those who use Oracle, this message looks a little bit surrealistic:

Rule “Oracle JRE 7 Update 51 (64-bit) or higher is required for Polybase” failed.

This computer does not have the Oracle Java SE Runtime Environment Version 7 Update 51 (64-bit) or higher installed. The Oracle Java SE Runtime Environment is software provided by a third party. Microsoft grants you no rights for such third-party software. You are responsible for and must separately locate, read and accept applicable third-party license terms. To continue, download the Oracle SE Java Runtime Environment from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=526030

4. There are manual post-install steps

I’ve got this warning because of “Advanced Analytics Extensions” feature:

Rule “Post-installation steps are required for Advanced Analytics Extensions” generated a warning.

The feature Advanced Analytics Extensions requires some post-installation steps after completing SQL Server setup. Please follow the steps outlined in the link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=724391

The guide lists several manual steps, and I skipped them for now, so this part will be covered in a separate post later.

5. Tempdb can be configured during installation – finally!

Tempdb recommended configuration and performance optimization has been an overlooked area for many years. (Here are just some old articles on that: Optimizing tempdb Performance at TechNetBrent Ozar’s TempDB Performance and Configuration). Now the installation dialog pays your attention that even new box should have more than 1 tempdb data file:

SQL Server 2016 Installation tempdb configuration 003

Last, but not least

My overall impression on SQL Server 2016 installation process is quite positive: all warnings and error messages are quite informative, the process is well documented, and the user experience hasn’t changed in comparison with previous releases. Of course, some can complain about the old-school design of installation dialogs, but for me, it really doesn’t matter.

What’s next? Cannot wait to dive into new and promising features. SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services is at the top of my list.

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