What components do I need in SQL Server?

I was asked the following questions by many people personally and I see this question appear over forums repeatedly.

When I install an additional instance of SQL Server on the same machine, what options do I need to select? What components need to be installed to use basic SQL Server while learning (sometimes at the job too).

Well it always depends on what one needs on his/her system that decides what needs to be installed. I would make a general assumptions and give the suggestions.

A user can choose to install multiple instances of SQL Server on a single machine, but every instance need not have all the components installed. For example when the first instance was installed only Database Engine was chosen since there was no necessity for the Analysis and Reporting Servers at that point. When the need for either of these arises, an additional instance can be installed and only that component can be selected to install, choosing Database Engine is not mandatory here.

Similarly when installing Database Engine, Replication and Full Text Indexing are not mandatory, you need to choose them if only you need those.

And then finally there are somethings that are Instance aware and Instance unaware. Let me explain that..

Instance aware components are those that can be installed with each instance on the machine and are independent from the other instance, such as Database Engine, Reporting Server and Analysis Server. An instance of a database engine can run while another instance is stopped, in that way they are independent.

Instance unaware are those which can be installed only once per a machine and cannot be installed additionally along with a new instance, such as Integration Services, SQL Server Browser, Books Online, Management Studio, BIDS and client components etc. When these options are chosen to be installed with a newer instance, you are give with a message that they will not be installed and the Installation process moves forward..

One additional point, it is possible to have multiple versions of SQL Servers running concurrently on the same machine.

— Bru Medishetty

Certification Exam – Second Shot Free offer is back !

One of the popular offers I always liked while pursuing a Microsoft Certification is once again back. The second shot offer gives the candidate an opportunity to have a second shot of the same exam at no additional cost (if the candidate could not successfully pass in the first attempt).

I am planning to take the MCITP : Database Developer 2008 exam and hope to use this offer as it gives me a cushion (If I cannot successfully pass at the first instance).. So I am rushing for a coupon…, remember the coupons are available for a limited time only. The offer is valid up to June 30, 2010. for more information visit promteric web site Here or Microsoft website Here

— Bru Medishetty

Side by Side Installation of SQL Server

Many SQL Server users (starters and intermediate level users) have a common doubt about the possibilities of installing multiple SQL Server instances on a same physical server. The answer is a cautious yes; the reason for being cautious is, not being sure about the behavior of the application(s) using the previous version of SQL Server.  Such a setup is called Side-by-Side installation. It is possible to have multiple Versions of SQL Server Instances on the same machine and also multiple editions of same version of SQL Server.

In the picture below you see that on the same machine, 4 SQL Server instances have been installed and 3 of them are SQL Server 2005 and the other being SQL Server 2008. Each one of the Instances is different from the other.

I used multi-server querying capabilities in SQL Server 2008 to find the information of all the servers in a single query. Coming to Side by Side Installations, it must be noted that this might be required when performing an upgrade on the same machine as the current one. This requires no additional hardware for setting up another system, but on the other hand, there is a risk factor in this, if the installation of the newer instances is unsuccessful and the system becomes unstable or the newer version of executables have known / unknown issues with respect to the working applications.

The decision to go for a Side by Side Installation or a new installation on a seperate system, varies. If it is being performed on a test server for some testing additional functionalities or features it would be a worth a try.  Whereas performing this on a system which cannot have downtime, it is not worth a risk to take.

–Bru Medishetty