“This is a cloud/virtualization blog, why would you publish an article on how to install Microsoft SQL Server?” That’s a valid question. I am in no way an expert in SQL Server, but I know my way around it. If you follow my blog, you may know I’m a big fan of vRealize Automation. I am working on a vRealize Automation install in my home lab, and this is how this post was born. A Windows domain is mandatory, so I wrote How to Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 R2. SQL Server is another prerequisite for vRA, so here I am documenting how to install Microsoft SQL Server 2017.
When thinking at SQL Server, there are few editions to choose from. If you run production workload, you can choose between Enterprise, Standard and Express editions (each which different price and set of features). If you run a test and development environment, you can choose between Express and Developer editions, both free. Express has few limitations, may be enough for a lab environment, but I decided to go with Developer Edition (full-featured free edition). Developer Edition used to be a paid (and cheaper) version, but since March 2016 Microsoft decided to offer it for free. That’s a nice move Microsoft, I hope you will extend the program to Windows Server as well 🙂
I will now document how to do a basic install of Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition, to be used in a home lab environment. I will also add to the mix SQL Server Management Studio.
As a first step, you need to prepare a virtual machine where you will install SQL Server. There are plenty of supported operating systems, ranging from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2016. In my case, I chose a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition virtual machine with all the normal goodies (latest hardware version, latest VMware Tools, vmxnet3 network adapter, paravirtual SCSI adapter). I installed Microsoft security patches (including the latest ones for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities).
You then need to download Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition and SQL Server Management Studio 17.4.