We're at the end of a VDI deployment and have a new requirement to install SQL Server Developer Edition (2008) on the virtual desktop clients.

The DBA's were invited late to the party and subsequently tasked with finding out if this is possible.

Apparently the VDI implementer we hired was advising our management that running SQL Server Desktop was impossible under VDI, but did not elaborate as to why (at least to my knowledge).

Can anyone provide some information whether this is true or not? Is it possible to run SQL Server Desktop Edition (2008) on a Xen VDI client?


If the guest OS is running Windows, then yes SQL Server can be installed in the virtual OS. For good performance you'll need to meet the same requirements as if it was installed on a physical machine. RAM usage and disk IO all stay the same in a virtual environment.

  • Thank you Denny, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
    – m4rty
    Jul 6 '11 at 14:53
  • No problem, happy to help out.
    – mrdenny
    Jul 7 '11 at 0:55

Short answer; Yes you can run it.

Long answer: Should you run it? Sure, as long as you properly setup the system before hand. The SQL Daemon can grow to consume huge volumes of memory very quickly if not kept under control; so your VM host may become unstable with numerous users building data.

  • Thank you for the information, I appreciate it very much. The intent is for developers to have their own Developer edition installed so that they may design and prototype locally on their instance and then promote up to the shared development environment.
    – m4rty
    Jul 6 '11 at 14:51
  • I understand the intent and fought to have full SQL installed on my workstations for my team, but you really just need to watch the resources on a VM/Host, since the shared resources vanish quick.
    – D.E.Wright
    Jul 6 '11 at 16:01

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