Add SQL Server Availability Group to Exiting Failover Cluster Instance–Part1 of 2


Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn provides flexible design choices for selecting an appropriate high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) solution for your application. Building on that fact I will be providing a posts that provides a step-by-step configuration for extending a 2 Node SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance with a 3rd Node that host AlwaysOn Availability Group (This scenario is also known as FCI+AG). For more information about SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn high availability and disaster recovery design patterns, see SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn High Availability and Disaster Recovery Design Patterns.


This posts assumes a basic knowledge of failover cluster instances (FCIs), availability groups, high availability, and disaster recovery concepts. For more information about the full AlwaysOn solution feature set, see the Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery white paper.


In this scenario I will be using a preconfigured FCI with 2 Nodes, and will be walking through the activities needed for adding a 3rd Node as a DR Server with the following software setup:

  1. Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. All servers are joined to the domain

To make the scenario simple I will be using a Domain Account that has a Local Administrator Permission on All Nodes. In addition, the configuration below will be using a combination of PowerShell Scripts (that will be running as Admin) and GUI so let’s get started:

1. Installing SQL Server on DR Node

We need to install a New Standalone Instance on the DR Node. I will do that using the below sample unattended SQL Setup Script:


2. Installing Windows Failover Cluster on DR Node

Login to the DR Node and run the below script using PowerShell:

Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering –IncludeAllSubFeature
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools

3. Add DR Node to Existing Windows Failover Cluster

Login to the Active Node on the FCI >> Open “Failover Cluster Manager” and Right click on “Nodes”, Then click on “Add Node”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

User keyboard to Enter server name: in “Add Node Wizard” then click on “Add” in “Add Node Wizard”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Select “No” for Validating Cluster and Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Unselect “Add all eligible storage to the cluster. (check box)” in “Add Node Wizard”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Make sure that the new node appears in the list of nodes.

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