Aug 26, 2010

SQL Error: The Given Network Name is Unusable

I was setting up a SQL 2008 R2 Failover cluster the other day in VMWare. We are currently using VMWare 4.0 Update 1. I had previously setup my failover clustering in Windows using my instructions here: (Setup a Failover Cluster in VMWare). After setting that up, I thought everything would be smooth. Well, not so much.

Setting up failover clustering in VMWare isn’t that difficult, but it is time consuming. I thought that with the hard part behind me, installing SQL would be a piece of cake. With Murphy’s law in full effect, I guess i was wrong. You see, while going through the installation wizard for Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 I would get to the Instance Configuration screen and I would get the following error:

The given network name is unusable because there was a failure trying to determine if the network name is valid for use by the clustered SQL instance due to the following error: 'The network address is invalid.'

WTF is that? It turns out the problem is with VMWare tools. in fact, the Shared Folders option in VMWare tools is the culprit here. To fix I I had to cancel the SQL install and do the following on both nodes in the cluster:

  1. Start vSphere Client and connect to either ESX server running the VM or to vCenter server managing the ESX.
  2. Find the problematic VM in inventory and then select Install/Upgrade VMware Tools for the VM
  3. Select Interactive Tools Upgrade
  4. Connect to the console of the problematic VM and run VMware Tools setup from mounted cd-rom
  5. Select Modify program maintenance
  6. Uninstall Shared Folders from VMware Device Drivers (anyway this feature is not used when a VM runs on ESX host)
  7. Restart Guest OS
  8. Install SQL Server 2008 R2 based cluster

After I did that, I was able to install SQL without a hitch!

Did you run into a similar problem? Did you solve it differently? Let us know in the comments!

[Via Andrei Maier]

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