I bet a lot of IT professionals who are really serious about their work are like me. When they see an error or warning message like this, their first instinct is to find out what the problem is and fix it. That’s what I did when I saw this error while configuring a SQL Server 2012 Availability Group. I searched  blog posts, forum posts, mailing lists, KB articles, and everything I can think of. I’ve seen this error message before and I know exactly what to do. I’ve done this many times. Except this time, I didn’t do what I knew I needed to do.

Understanding the underlying architecture design is key to addressing warning and/or error messages like this. Microsoft KB article 2833122 outlines the different causes of this warning message when you are working with SQL Server 2012 Availability Groups. I knew causes #1 and #2 do not apply to me because I’m already running on Windows Server 2012 with SQL Server 2012 with Service Pack 1. In the past, I had to install the required hotfix for Windows Server 2008/R2 to get this to work. But check this out. If you look closely at causes #3 and #4, and you understand the underlying architecture design, you might miss out the last phrase (emphasis mine.)

…you can safely ignore the warning message.

That’s it. No panicking, no pressing of the emergency button, no dialing 911.  Again, the key thing here is “understanding the architecture design.” In my case, it is a SQL Server failover clustered instance configured with an Availability Group whose standby replica is on a different network subnet. I had to explicitly configure the node weight of the secondary replica to zero (0) because it is on a different network subnet. I do not want that node to affect the SQL Server failover clustered instance that is running in my primary data center. Ironically, I was the one who designed the architecture but was the very first one who panicked. 🙂

So, the next time you see an error message like this, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I know what caused it?
  2. Do I understand the underlying architecture design?
  3. Do I need to resolve it?
  4. Did I have enough sleep last night?