I am setting up Test SQL ( 2012) server cluster with always on feature.

Cluster consist of two windows server 2012 R2 servers.

I need to setup SQL service accounts,

Does anyone know if it will be good idea to use same service accounts for both servers in cluster or separate service accounts ?

  • 1
    You need to clarify what you are doing here. AlwaysOn is not a feature, rather a broad marketing term. Are you attempting to setup a Failover Clustered Instance (FCI), or an Availability Group (AG)? – Nic Jul 18 '17 at 14:06

As per Microsoft, having same service account is the prerequisite :

All server instances that host an availability replica for the availability group must use the same SQL Server service account. The domain administrator needs to manually register a Service Principal Name (SPN) with Active Directory on the SQL Server service account for the virtual network name (VNN) of the availability group listener. If the SPN is registered on an account other than the SQL Server service account, authentication will fail.


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  • this is a great article, I will follow the instructions with service account and SPN registration. – Jatin Patel Jul 18 '17 at 15:05
  • Registering the SPN, does this have to be done prior to enabling always on feature ? – Jatin Patel Jul 18 '17 at 15:42

I strongly suggest you to use the same account.

So, at file system level or for shares, and so one you will need to configure permissions for just one user.

Having 2 different accounts coulde raise unexpected problems when your primary istance will change. Imagine for example a bulk on a remote share.

Also, I cant see pros for the 2 different accounts.


Usually in my lab setups, I use separate accounts, but place them into a domain group, and grant any permissions to that group. This can be nice if you want to allow for more fine-grained auditing, or verify that you can properly build such an environment, but from a functional standpoint, using one account will typically get the job done.

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