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I am setting up a Windows Server 2016 cluster detached from an active directory (so called Workgroup Cluster, i.e. nodes are not added to an active directory). I cannot add a Client Access Point to the cluster. The error is Unable to determine if the computer 'client_access_point_name' exists in the domain 'WORKGROUP'.

How a client access point can be added to the cluster?

P.S.: I need to add a client access point to use it later in SQL Server Availability Group Listener, to use it for auto-failover between mirrors.

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How a client access point can be added to the cluster?

You'll have to use PowerShell. No AD means no AD and you lose all of the great functionality and brevity it offers.

I need to add a client access point to use it later in SQL Server Availability Group Listener, to use it for auto-failover between mirrors.

Between replicas, you mean? Again, you'll need to use PowerShell.

There is an upcoming blog post [(placeholder)] blog post I wrote detailing this. When it is officially published, I'll update the answer with a link. In the interim, here is the basics of what you'll need to do this.

You may want to re-think using clusters like this (workgroup) as this is just the tip of the administrative iceberg you'll be dealing with.

Add-ClusterResource -Name "IPAddress1" -ResourceType "IP Address" -Group "WGAG"
Get-ClusterResource -Name IPAddress1 | Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{"Network" = "Cluster Network 1";"Address" = "20.250.250.9";"SubnetMask" = "255.0.0.0";"EnableDHCP" = 0}
Add-ClusterResource -Name "IPAddress2" -ResourceType "IP Address" -Group "WGAG"
Get-ClusterResource -Name IPAddress2 | Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{"Network" = "Cluster Network 2";"Address" = "30.250.250.9";"SubnetMask" = "255.0.0.0";"EnableDHCP" = 0}
Add-ClusterResource -Name "TestName" -Group "WGAG" -ResourceType "Network Name"
Get-ClusterResource -Name "TestName" | Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{"DnsName" = "TestName";"RegisterAllProvidersIP" = 1}
Set-ClusterResourceDependency -Resource TestName -Dependency "[IPAddress1] or [IPAddress2]"
Start-ClusterResource -Name TestName -Verbose

Updated with comments:

... now we are trying to setup cluster on SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 without AD (just to make everything simplier).

This does not make things simple. It actually creates much more manual of an environment. It is possible to automate things, but most of the common automation tools or powershell scripts aren't going to work as most assume either a standard login on each server (security issue) or implicitly use Windows Authentication which you now, won't have.

Additionally there is the aspect of SQL Server where you'll lose all the support of AD. No Kerberos, all SQL logins (or local windows logins - which are widely not useful in these scenarios) and no groups, etc. Setting up the AG will need to be completed through certificate endpoints if you want to keep things secure and you won't be able to use any GUIs in order to set it up end to end.

To reiterate, it doesn't make anything simple - only more complex. These types of configurations should only be used where they are expressly needed.

If you want to continue going this way, that's your prerogative... I can only give advice and answers.

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  • Thanks, we already have AG auto-failover on SQL Server 2014 under Windows 2012 R2 cluster with AD. And now we are trying to setup cluster on SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 without AD (just to make everything simplier). Once we'll successfully add a Client Access Point we know what to do next and hope it will work in the same way like in 2012 R2. So, as far as I understand from your comment, a Client Access Point is actually a "Network name" cluster resource with attached DnsName parameter?
    – Alexey F
    Jun 13 '17 at 18:48
  • well, now AD forces us at least to have "sysprep"-ed VM images, if we want to setup a new cluster in Azure. Without AD we could just copy our template VHD to spin-up new cluster node VMs. That's why I consider it to be simpler without AD. This Client Access Point is the last thing to do in order to have workable cluster for us. Will we have complexities on SQL Server side using cluster without AD?
    – Alexey F
    Jun 13 '17 at 18:58

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