So here I was a few days ago, minding my own business, when Microsoft announced that they were releasing SQL Serve 2016 CTP2 to the public. It takes me a while to get to know new versions, and it was shaping up to be a miserable spring weekend, weather wise. What else could I do but download and start installing it? Challenge accepted!
First things first. Here’s where to download the CTP from. It’s probably a good idea to also download and read the datasheet to see what the new features are going to be.
For this test I’m installing SQL 2016 on a Hyper-V virtual machine that I provisioned with a single CPU and 4 GB of memory, and it’s not part of a domain. It’s running Windows Server 2012 R2 with all updates as of May 30th, 2015. The host is my laptop running Windows 8.1 with 16 GB and a 1 TB SSD drive.
After mounting the .iso file I launched setup. The first screens haven’t changed, you’ll go through the same steps as earlier editions, going through the rules, checking for updates, etc. You won’t see anything different until you get to the screen where you choose what features you want to install.
Under Instance Features is the new PolyBase Query Service for External Data. PolyBase will allow you to query Hadoop or Azure blob storage from within SQL. It’s not really new as you could get it if you were running SQL on a Parallel Data Warehouse. You can read up on it here.
I chose to install all features.
If you look at the Prerequisites for selected features on the right you’ll notice that the 4.6.NET Framework is needed, for Management Tools. More on this later. Continuing the install I came to the Feature Rules screen, showing that I was missing Oracle JRE 7 Update 71.
I cancelled the install, downloaded and installed the file from Oracle, then restarted the SQL installation. I continued to set up the services, and since I chose to install PolyBase I’ll need to configure those as well.
Next up is the database engine. There’s an interesting change on the Data Directories tab. In addition to setting the default directories you can now specify how many files to use for tempdb. The recommendation is number of cores on the server, up to 8.
Since my virtual server only has a single core I left it at 1.
In SQL 2012 and 2014, if you wanted to install PowerPivot, you needed to install it in a separate instance. In 2016 it’s an option on the Analysis Services Configuration screen. I’m sticking with the Tabular Mode for this instance.
I completed the rest of the configuration screens and started the installation. Remember the 4.6 .NET Framework I mentioned above? It did cause a server reboot. However when my server came back up the installation didn’t resume. I started setup again, and this time it showed that only some of the shared components were installed and none of the instance features.
At this point I restored my virtual server and started from scratch. This time I pre-installed the Oracle component, then just installed all of the shared components. My server did not reboot after installing .NET 4.6 this time but I did manually, then installed the all of the instance features as the default instance.And no more hiccups.
I’m not sure what happened during the first install after the server restart, I neglected to check the logs afterwards. You may not see the same behavior. But this is a CTP after all, not the final release. I also didn’t pay attention to how long it took (this was on the weekend after all), my impression is that it was similar to other SQL installs I’ve done on this pc.
Now that it’s running I’m going to start poking around a bit.