I've just built a virtual SQL Server 2 node cluster using VMWare workstation. The windows cluster has been created, SQL has been installed on both nodes and added to the cluster, all latest updates have been applied, but I'm trying to connect to the Database Engine from my workstation and I just recieve the error:

"A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 2)"

I've added port 1433 as an inbound firewall rule to both nodes, tried disabling the firewall service entirely, and disabled Named Pipes on the MSSQLSERVER protocols for SQL Server Network Configuration, on both nodes. Additinally, if I remote into the active cluster node, I can't connect locally either using SQL Server Management Studio.

Not sure if my issues are cluster related or SQL server related. Am I missing a step here?

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  • You've disabled Named Pipes, and you're still getting an error from Named Pipes Provider? That would seem to suggest you haven't actually disabled Named Pipes... unless that's how your client is trying to connect... I guess. Jul 18, 2012 at 23:03
  • 1
    1. Have you enabled TCP/IP in the configuration? 2. Does the DNS name that you're connecting to resolve to the cluster virtual IP address that's bound to the SQL instance? Jul 18, 2012 at 23:05
  • @Chris McKeown - First time setting up a cluster. I've got the Node1, Node2, WIndowsCluster, and SQLCLuster, and pinging all 4 different resolve to IPS, but how do I know if the SQLCluster resolves correctly?
    – Jeremy
    Jul 19, 2012 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


In the Failover Cluster Manager, you'll have a resource group for your SQL instance. In this resource group should be a name and IP address (i.e. the name and IP address that moves between the nodes of the cluster in the event of a failover).

Your SQL instance needs to be bound to this IP address - open up the properties of the TCP/IP protocol in SQL Server Configuration Manager and ensure that the cluster IP address is enabled for that protocol.

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