SQL Server 2008 hardware and software requirements

Solutions providers can use this chapter excerpt to learn about the various hardware and software requirements for SQL Server 2008 in 32-bit and 64-bit environments.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

Table 5.3 outlines SQL Server 2008 hardware requirements.

Hardware Minimum Hardware Requirements 32-Bit Minimum Hardware Requirements x64 Minimum Hardware Requirements IA64
CPU Pentium III-compatible processor or faster. 1GHz minimum. Recommended 2GHz or faster. Any Intel EMT64 or AMD x64 chip. Minimum 1.4GHz. Recommended 2GHz or faster. Itanium processor. Recommended 1GHz or faster.
Memory (RAM) 512MB minimum, 2GB or more recommended. Report Server will use a maximum of 3GB (with /3GB switch in boot.ini). 512MB minimum, 2GB or more recommended. Maximum is the OS-specified maximum. 512MB minimum, 2GB or more recommended. Maximum is the OS-specified maximum.
Hard disk space Total will vary depending on selected components. See Table 5.2. Total will vary depending on selected components. See Table 5.2. Total will vary depending on selected components. See Table 5.2.
Monitor VGA or higher resolution. 1024x768 recommended for SQL Server graphical tools. VGA or higher resolution. 1024x768 recommended for SQL Server graphical tools. VGA or higher resolution. 1024x768 recommended for SQL Server graphical tools.
Pointing device Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device. Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device. Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device.
CD/DVDROM CD or DVD drive as needed for given installation media. CD or DVD drive as needed for given installation media. CD or DVD Drive as needed for given installation media.

The following is the terminology used in relation to the 64-bit platform:

  • IA64 refers to Itanium-compatible hardware architecture. This architecture can run IA64 software and 32-bit software using the Windows-On-Windows (WOW64) software emulator. The Itanium CPU cannot natively run 32-bit x86-compatible instructions and uses instruction emulation as a part of WOW64 processing.
  • x64 refers to Extended Memory Technology support-compatible architecture and includes systems based on Opteron, Athlon 64, Intel Xeon EM64T, and Intel Pentium EM64T. x64 architecture can run classic 32-bit x86-compatible instructions natively on the CPU. One of the advantages of this architecture is an ability to support both 32- and 64-bit code. To ease an adoption of the 64-bit platform and optimize a hardware purchase, some companies might first deploy a 32-bit operating system and software on x64 hardware and then upgrade to 64-bit software on the same hardware requirements.

About the book

This chapter excerpt on Reporting Services Deployment Scenarios (download PDF) is taken from the book Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed. This book can help solutions providers to use SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services to deliver business intelligence services to customers, learn about new features in SQL Server 2008 R2, manage report data sources and models and more.

NOTE
System Configuration Check blocks setup from running if the CPU type (Pentium III or higher) requirement is not met. Setup issues a warning, but allows you to proceed, if the CPU speed or minimum memory requirement is not met.

Software Requirements

We recommend installing Reporting Services on Windows 2008. Although Windows 2003 SP2 is a fully supported platform, Windows 2008 reflects the latest technological advances, including enhanced coverage in the areas of security and high availability.

Windows Server 2008 also provides the Hyper-V virtualization systems. SQL Server 2008 and all of its components, including SSRS, are supported in virtual environments created using Hyper-V, provided of course sufficient CPU and RAM resources are allocated to the virtual machine and that the virtual machine runs an operating system supported by SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

Tables 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6 list operating system requirements and additional software requirements for installation of Reporting Services on 32- and 64-bit platforms.

TABLE 5.4 Operating Systems That Can Run 32-Bit Versions of Report Server

  Enterprise Edition Enterprise Evaluation Edition Developer Edition Standard Edition Workgroup Edition
Windows XP Professional SP2 No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows XP SP2 Media Center Edition No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista Ultimate No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista Business No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista Enterprise No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista Home Premium No Yes Yes No No
Windows 2003 SP2 Standard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 2003 SP2 Enterprise Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 2003 SP2 Data Center Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 2008 Standard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 2008 Enterprise Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 2008 Data Center Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

NOTE
Systems that are not explicitly listed in Table 5.4 are not supported by Reporting Services. For example, Reporting Services 32-bit is not supported on Windows 2003 64-bit Itanium.

For situations with heavy memory or I/O requirements, such as heavy graphics and PDF rendering, customers can benefit from deploying SSRS on a 64-bit platform. Table 5.5 outlines SSRS support on a 64-bit platform.

TABLE 5.5 Operating System Requirements, 64-Bit

  Enterprise x64 Standard x64 Workgroup x64 Web x64 Express x64
Windows XP Pro x64 No Yes Yes Yes No
Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 Data Center x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista x64 Ultimate No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista x64 Home Premium No No Yes No Yes
Windows Vista x64 Home Basic No No Yes No Yes
Windows Vista x64 Enterprise No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Vista x64 Business No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2008 Data Center x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

More on SQL Server hardware requirements

Buying hardware for SLQ Server

Top 10 resources for SQL Server 2008 R2 editions and requirements

Buying hardware for virtual hosts running SQL Server  

The following operating systems are supported by SQL Server Enterprise/Developer Edition IA64:

  • Windows Server 2008 64-bit Itanium
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 64-bit Itanium Data Center
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 64-bit Itanium Enterprise

Note that with any 64-bit operating system, management tools may be supported in WOW64. WOW64 allows native 32-bit code to execute natively on non-32-bit systems.

NOTE
Development tools such as Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) are neither installed nor supported on the IA64 platform. For IA64 deployments, use development tools installed on a separate 32-bit or x64 workstation.

Table 5.6 outlines additional software requirements for both 32- and 64-bit platforms and optional software that can be installed to benefit Reporting Services.

TABLE 5.6 Additional Software Requirements, 32- and 64-Bit

Sofware Requirement Notes
.NET Framework Windows 2003 IA63 requires .NET Framework 2.0 SP1.
  Every other version of requires the .NET Framework 3.5.
Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) All versions require MDAC 2.8 SP1 or higher.
Windows Installer All versions require Windows Installer 4.5 or later.


SQL Server Reporting Services deployment scenarios
  SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services for high-availability deployment 
  SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services for Internet deployment 
  SQL Server 2008 hardware and software requirements
  Key features in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services editions

About the authors

Michael Lisin has more than 12 years experience in the software industry with expertise in SQL Server and .NET technologies. Lisin is a regular speaker on SQL Server at various events, including SQL Server PASS and SQL Server User Group meetings.  

Jim Joseph is the co-author of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and is currently employed by Continental Airlines as a SQL Server DBA.  

Amit Goyal is the lead program manager for Microsoft's Reporting Services team and is a known expert on SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.

Printed with permission from Sams Publishing. Copyright 2009. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed by Michael Lisin, Jim Joseph and Amit Goyal. For more information about this title and other similar books, please visit Sams Publishing.

This was first published in November 2009

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