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I have a small user site of about 6 users. They have two servers a SBS 2008 box and a server 2008 terminal server. I would like to know where the best place is to install SQL server. I know that it is not considered best practice to install SQL on the SBS box but isn't it a better solution to installing SQL on a terminal server box?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd really consider adding a third server for this. Sql Server does much better when you can give it dedicated hardware. And when you add that server you're right on the cusp of where you might also want to consider putting things inside virtual machines for redundancy and simplified management. It's amazingly cool the first time you avoid a prolonged outage after a hardware failure because you just spin up a copy of your vhd on one of the other machines until the part arrives.

If you can't do this, you'll want to look at load and place your database on the server with the lowest load. Especially consider disk io here. Depending on how you use terminal server, my preference would be that the sbs server is likely your better choice, but you'll need to measure to know for sure.

And thinking about it, my favorite two-server option involves removing terminal services and giving that box primarily to sql server. Then install hyper-V or vmware on both boxes and have a terminal services instance running in each, to split the load to which ever server can handle it. You can set some users to connect to one terminal server and send the rest of your users to the other server.

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Yes hyper-v would be better. Sadly I am not the tech in charge of the servers. I am a developer supporting our product. I am trying to convince the tech to move SQL from the terminal server to the SBS box as we are running into issues with it setup like that. – Steve Nov 29 '10 at 1:31

I have a setup in the exact same scenario you're in.

I chose to install the SQL server on the same server as the Terminal Server, for a few reasons:

  1. The SBS server was running near to capacity for RAM and HDD space
  2. The TS had lots of excess RAM and HDD space
  3. I had < 10 users

Ultimately it doesn't really matter though, as Microsoft do support installing SQL Server on the SBS box, or on a seperate box, so it comes down to where you have the most free resources. If your SBS server has a lot of spare resources, then install it there, same vice versa.

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