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Running SQL server 2005 and 2008 on same machine ? Is this possible/practicable ?

It's only for developers and not very resource intensive - is there anyone out there who's done it ?

Would be interested to hear of experiences or known gotchas.

(I realise we could use a VM but I'm talking about running it within the same machine)



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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Doing it right now. I have SQL 2005 and two SQL 2008 instances running.

It's easy to do. Just install SQL Server 2005, and when it asks you which instance, make sure you choose "Named Instance", and give it a name you will remember (such as, I dunno, SQL2005?).

Then, install SQL Server 2008. Same thing when it comes to the instance - make sure it's a named instance (Say, SQL2008). In your Services control panel you will see all the SQL stuff duplicated, but it will have the instance name after each entry (SQL2005/SQL2008).

When you need to connect, you connect to machine\instance, so you would connect to localhost\SQL2005 or localhost\SQL2008 as the server name, and off you go.

It is definitely memory intensive, so you might choose to disable them if you're not using them right at the moment. Under idle with nothing happening right after bootup they're using about 150mb each.

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Thanks for your reply. Maybe I could just extend the question ? The 2005 is in place right now and (unfortuately) does use the default instance. The 2008 could be installed (as you suggest) using a named instance. Do you think that would be OK or do you feel that neither could use a named instance ? thanks again for your help. – shearichard Aug 25 '09 at 3:59
Hi southof40. This will be fine. You can mix named instances with default instances, so it will still be ok. – Mark Henderson Aug 25 '09 at 4:01
Be sure to configure maximum memory on each instance; the default is to use all memory available, so the busier instance may grab all the ram and leave nothing for the second instance. – SqlACID Aug 25 '09 at 14:50
Thanks for the further info SqlACID. – shearichard Aug 26 '09 at 4:21

Yes, it's doable and practical. We even have that situation in production with clustered servers. Our biggest issue has been with SSIS. If both versions are installed, you'll need to make sure to specify the path to the right dtexec based on what version the package is.

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Good to hear, thanks. Fortunately we don't need SSIS in this environment so that shouldn't be a problem anyway. As per my comment above to Farseeker is one or your instances a default instance or are both named instances ? – shearichard Aug 25 '09 at 4:00
In our case all are named instances. However, you can install one as a default instance with named instances. That's actually how my laptop is set up now. – K. Brian Kelley Aug 25 '09 at 6:08

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