Failed to connect to the configuration database when adding a server to a farm
While adding a new server to an existing SharePoint 2010 farm, to be used as a web front end (WFE) server, I encountered the following error:
Failed to connect to the configuration database. An exception of type System.ArgumentNullException was thrown. Additional exception information: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: service.
I started by checking that SQL was up and running, which it appeared to be as the other servers in the farm were operational. Next I checked the firewall and basic network connectivity but this all checked out too. I made sure I was logged on as a farm administrator and had the appropriate rights on the database.
There was nothing useful in the ULS log but seeing Event ID 5586 logged in the Application Event Log led me to believe that there was something preventing this new server from contacting the SQL server.
I searched for the error and found many blogs that documented the need for a SQL Alias on the new server as the SQL server name had been changed. I didn’t think this would apply to me as I have not changed the SQL server name, and the other servers connect to it just fine. So after hours of getting nowhere I thought I’d try it .. to my surprise it solved the problem! Here is how I added the alias…
1. Run cliconfg on the new server
2. On the Alias tab click Add
3. Enter the name of the SQL server (excluding the instance name) as the alias and then the full server\instance details in the Server name box. Click OK
4. Restart the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard
I don’t yet understand why the alias was required on this server but for me this worked perfectly, the new server is now added to the farm.