Installing SQL Server Sustainably

I heard you were in need of a quick tip to help you install SQL Server on those shiny new VMs you just spun up. Oh? You have 10 to install? Well, thankfully there is an easy way for you to make that happen. It is relatively easy and does not require a third party application. However, the only disclaimer is that your target VMs all have the same resouce setup, as this method only applies when you the target VMs are identical in nature. With that out of the way….

Not Another Install Video

Fire up your install GUI on one of the VMs you plan to install SQL Server on. Go through the GUI completely, but STOP before you hit install. Yes, I get it, you do have to do some work upfront but it will save you plenty of time. I promise. There is a configuration file that is generated once you have made it to the final step before install. This configuration file will contain all the settings from your GUI walkthrough, and also includes some features that are not set by the GUI. Find that config file, copy it somewhere and skim through all the settings to make sure you have everything set.

*This may be a good time too look at some of the settings you do not recognize to become more familiar with them. The good news, however, most of these settings can be changed after install if needed.

So, now, with this config file, if you have not already guessed, you can use to install with the same settings on all of your new servers with ease. The GUI will still load and make you walk through some of the steps, but it cuts down on the time to finish. If you have any AD service users set to run the SQL Server services (which you should anyways as it is BEST PRACTICE), you will need to re-enter the password as the config file does not store the password for security purposes.

Now just do that, about 20 times

And there you have it, a quick tip for installing SQL Server on multiple servers that did not require you to install a third party app in your environment for it to work.