I just put an install of Desktop 10.3.1 on a new laptop. When I try to create database connections in Catalog I get the following error.
"Unable to connect to database server to retrieve database list; please verify your server name, user name and password info and try again.
Failure to access the DBMS server"
My new laptop is running Windows 10 and the server I am trying to connect to is running Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL 2008 R2, and ArcGIS Server 10.2.1
I also have the SQL Server 2012 install (including the native client)from My ESRI installed on my laptop.
What am I missing here? Seems like it could be something easy or a compatibility issue.
We were getting the same issue and had to disable the 64-bit background processing under geoprocessing options. It seems to be working although I miss not being able to set up multiple geoprocessing tasks while one is processing.
Can you connect or access the server and database from outside of ArcGIS, e.g., can you ping the server, can you login to the database using the sqlcmd utility? There could be lots of issues that have nothing to do with ArcGIS that are causing the error message.
When you say you have "the SQL Server 2012 install" on your laptop, do you mean SQL Server Express that bundled for creating desktop and workgroup geodatabases? If so, can you connect to your desktop or workgroup geodatabase on your machine?