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I'm in the process of upgrading our small SQL databases to SQL Server 2012. We have at least 3 instances, (1) Critical work databases, (2) low-importance System Maintenance databases, (3) WSUS.

Can I specify a priority with which these instances run?

ie, the Critical databases should run at normal priority. During resource contention they should respond the fastest at all times.

The System Maintenance databases don't include anything the user directly sees, ie system reporting, anti virus, outbound e-mail relay, and should have a Below Normal priority. I don't care if sql queries take twice as long, I don't want it to compete with the critical databases.

Ditto WSUS.

What's the best way to implement this?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Not to have different instances. Run it all from one instance.

Then use the ressource governor to distribute available capacity.

Sadly that means getting a real database - not express.

There, sadly, there is not a lot you can do. But seirously, given the size and performance of even a lot end server (assuming that is around 32-64gb memory) and by putting everything on SSD (trivial given the tiny size your database MUST have due to Express size limits) there is no need to prioritize.

If that is not a possibility, then the only way is to get another small server and put the critical stuff there.

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Hmm, that's disappointing. – Dom Jan 13 '13 at 10:35

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