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Background:

We are a smallish company that prefers to keep things simple and not have to manage our Active Directory very much. My company uses a single administrator account to setup and do all the admin stuff that needs to be done. Recently we changed the password on that account and our MSSQL 2008 R2 server stopped working. We found out the issue was that the service related to the MSSQL server was setup to be started and run by the administrator account that was using the old cached password. We changed the password and it started working again.

Related fix for our issue: http://forums.devshed.com/showpost.php?p=301169&postcount=2

My Question:

Should the account used to start the MSSQL service be a domain user account setup in a particular fashion or is ok to select a local account like Network Service or Local System.

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In general, SQL Server should not be run as Domain Admin or any administrative user. Some administrators do run SQL Server as domain admin, so they do not have to register SPN's manually. See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/63749/what-user-account-would-you-recommend-running-the-sql-server-express-2008-servic for discussion on what account to use in lieu of the Domain Admin.

My personal preference is a Domain User account, so that you can still grant permissions on backup shares and other network resources that may be accessed by the Server, but that is by no means a universal reccomendation.

See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191153.aspx for details on registering SPNs so that Kerberos Authentication will work without Domain Admin privelages.

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