Error 87 when installing SQL Server Failover Cluster instance


When trying to install a SQL Server Failover Cluster instance, the installer fails with error 87. Full error message from the summary log:

Feature: Database Engine Services
Status: Failed
Reason for failure: An error occurred during the setup process of the feature.
Next Step: Use the following information to resolve the error, uninstall this feature, and then run the setup process again.
Component name: SQL Server Database Engine Services Instance Features
Component error code: 87
Error description: The parameter is incorrect.

And from the GUI:


This is an error I have not come across before.

The SQL Server instance is kind of installed, but it is not working, so you have to uninstall it and remove it from the cluster to try again. This is rather common when a clustered installation fails though.

As luck would have it, the culprit was easy to identify. A quick look in the cluster log (the one for the SQL Server installation, not the actual cluster log) revealed that the IP address supplied for the SQL Server instance was invalid. The cluster in question was located in a very small subnet, a /26 subnet. The IP allocated was .63. A /26 subnet contains 64 addresses. As you may or may not know, the first and last addresses in a subnet are reserved. The first address (.0) is the network address, and the last address (yes, that would be .63) is reserved as the broadcast address. It is also common to reserve the second or second to last address for a gateway, that would be .1 or .62 in this case.

Snippet from the log:


Allocate a different IP address. In our case that meant moving the cluster to a different subnet. as the subnet was completely filled to the brim.

Action plan:

  • Replace the IP on node 1
  • Wait for the cluster to arbitrate using the heartbeat VLAN or direct attach crossover cable.
  • Add an IP to the cluster goup resource group and give it an address in the new subnet.
  • Bring the new IP online
  • Replace the IP on node 2
  • Wait for the cluster to achieve quorum
  • Remove the old IP from the Cluster Group resource group
  • Validate the cluster
  • Re-try the SQL Server Failover Cluster instance installation.