Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fixing sql server 2012 edition upgrade failed error on azure with SharePoint 2013

I was facing an error "sql server 2012 edition upgrade failed" while trying to setup a SharePoint 2013 farm on a virtual machine in Windows Azure cloud. It would fail when I run the Complete SQL 2012 setup wizard. I followed this article to setup the farm and the domain.

The article was written for an older image of the server  however, I believe the issue is with the latest server image (at the time of writing this) "Visual Studio Professional 2013 Update 3 Windows Server 2012"that I selected. Although it suggests you can run the vm for six months in evaluation mode but SQL server setup would fail if you try to setup the sql instance with  'evaluation' license selected. Also didn't get much help from the Microsoft server setup guides pre-stored on the VM, I think they are outdated now.


Anyways, I thought to use the SQL Server 2012 key from my msdn ultimate subscription ( The key was not available directly and  had to download SQL server 2012 Standard x64 edition  iso image). I downloaded the image directly on the azure server from msdn. I then tried to do the edition upgrade by running the SQL setup from the downloaded iso, edition upgrade was successful but 'Complete SQL server 2012.." wizard would still fail. Tried to setup the whole new sql using the msdn version but it failed too.

Then the last attempt was to run the SQL setup (SQL Server installation centre) from msdn ver, copied the product key from there (Edition upgrade option), ran the 'complete sql server 2012..' wizard (from the very intuitive windows 2012 UI, huh..) and used the key instead of selecting evaluation license.
It worked!

After finishing up SQL setup ran the script ConfigureSharePointFarmInDomain.ps1 and it worked like a charm!
Hope it helps someone as this 15 minute setup took about 4-5 hours of my time (while repeatedly saying why Microsoft why!).

PS: Do you experience degraded performance on Azure VMs? right now running my azure VM with 8 cores and 14GB RAM but I feel my local VM with 4 cores and 5GB RAM performs better than the Azure vm.

Update: I checked with Mitch Denny and acknowledged that he himself had experienced the same and explained the reason is that (which logically makes sense) not all the datacenters have the same/latest hardware, some have got older CPUs etc and it takes time for Microsoft to upgrade the hardware. This is a bit bizarre though as you would pay the same amount but you may get sub par performance form the data-centre closer to you. Furthermore it is an issue in sizing the environment (definitely an issue when I find my 3 years old 4 core 8gig local VM outperforms an azure VM with 8 cores and 14GB ram in Microsoft's Southeast Asia's datacenter). Personally I think there are other contributing factors too like efficiency of Azure in virtualising the hardware for the hosts.