Will SQL Server be able to serve workstations over a WAN?

I'm talking about the kind of WANs that a very large organisation (such as a large company or government department) would utilise to create a network between different buildings in the same town.


Yes. It will run over any TCP/IP network. Even the internet. I've seen it operate over 1.5Mb links and for doing basic stuff it's just fine (maintenance, etc).

It may however be unreliable or slow, but that entirely depends on the network itself and is not a byproduct of SQL Server.

I wouldn't want to run a heavy application over it though.

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  • It's actually one of the supported ways to use SQL Azure. I routinely connects to it over WAN with the management studio. – Stephane May 11 '12 at 7:39
  • I was only talking about it actually serving workstation applications. I imagine maintenance would not require a strong connection. Do large organisations these days routinely put SQL Servers in different buildings to the workstations who will be connecting to them? – CJ7 May 11 '12 at 8:00
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    @CraigJ More often than not they don't, particularly because app developers are rather optimizing for application run times (tested on a LAN) than SQL result set size. Very large result sets with the client processing and filtering them would not work well over WANs. But then again it would entirely depend on the behavior of the application and the WAN capacity if it would work out for you. The best way to get to know is to try by yourself - just use a router with Linux netem or BSD dummynet to emulate the characteristics of your WAN and run tests over it. – the-wabbit May 11 '12 at 8:38

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