Server Core 2008 – SQL Server not supported

A new feature of Windows Server 2008 is the ability to install the “Server Core”. This minimal server installation supports only the basic server roles like DHCP, DNS, File and Print Services and Active Directory among others. The Server Core user interface is the command-line. This provides a low-maintenance version of the Server with significant savings in disk space and resource usage. But does it support SQL Server?

The Scaled-down Server Core has several advantages in terms of smaller footprint, less disk space and less memory usage as well as a reduced “surface area” on which attacks can be made. Not having a GUI, definitely helps with that.

Since Windows Server 2008 R2 is available, Microsoft has added more Core Server support for instance including support for the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 as well as Hyper-V and ASP.NET with web services through IIS. But where is SQL Server 2008?

I found this reference in “Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008” and in the notes we can see clearly the comment: “SQL Server 2008 is not supported on Windows Server 2008 Server Core installations”. Oh, well….

This is a shame but maybe we’ll just have to wait for R3…



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