What are the minimum hardware/software requirements for SQL Server?

A. A. That depends on whether you mean SQL Server "server" - i.e. the database itself, or SQL Server client tools to setup/maintain the database. The below table lists the requirements for both.

To just access SQL Server itself as a client then the only requirement is to be able to run a db-lib/odbc/ole-db driver. These are available for just about any platform - for non-Microsoft platforms you would need to get 3rd party drivers.

General notes on table :-

Where no hardware is mentioned then any hardware that runs the relevant version of the NT operating system will also run SQL Server.

Unless otherwise specified SQL will run on any type of NT - workstation, server, EE, etc. - though there may be licensing implications that you should check first. With SQL 7.0 Microsoft are checking licensing restrictions in the SQL setup program for the first time - e.g. you are unable to install the Server edition onto NT workstation.

References to NT 5.0 are now replaced with Win2000.

If you run SQL Server on NT workstation then you are restricted by the maximum number of incoming connections that NT allows. If you run SQL Server on a connection-limited or evaluation copy of NT then SQL Server will suffer the same restrictions.

Systems Software requirements table

SQL 1.1 Server OS/2 1.30
SQL 1.1 Client Tools Dos, OS2, Win3x, Win9x, NT

SQL 4.20 Server OS/2 1.30, NT 3.1/3.5/3.51
SQL 4.20 Client Tools Dos/OS2/Win3x/Win9x/NT 3.1/3.5/3.51

SQL 4.21a Server NT 3.5/3.51
SQL 4.21a Client Tools Dos/OS2/Win3x/Win9x/NT 3.1/3.5/3.51

SQL 6.0 Server NT 3.51
SQL 6.0 Client Tools Win9x/NT 3.51

SQL 6.5 Server NT 3.51/4.0/Win2000 (2)
SQL 6.5 Client Tools Win9x/NT 3.51/4.0/Win2000

SQL 7.0 Server "Desktop" Win9x/NT 4.0/Win2000 (1) (3)
SQL 7.0 Server "Server" NT 4.0 Server/Win2000 Advanced Server (1) (3)
SQL 7.0 Server "Enterprise" NT 4.0 EE/Win2000 DataCentre Server (1) (3)
SQL 7.0 Client Tools Win9x/NT 4.0/Win2000 (4)

(1) SQL 7.0 requires a Dec Alpha or 100% Intel PENTIUM compatible. It will not run on 486 machines or some AMD/Cyrix/IBM processors - it needs to support CMPXCHG8B (Compare and Exchange 8 bytes) and RDTSC (Read Time-Stamp counter) instructions. SQL 7.0 WILL run on Pentiums slower than 166Mhz, but Microsoft do not "officially" support it. However, they are unlikely to refuse to take your fault call and fix the problem, unless it is directly performance related.

The following quote is from Cyrix - "Recently an issue with SQL Server 7.0 has been discoverd with the non-MMX Media GX and the 6x86 processors. A fix for this issue can be obtained from Cyrix technical support at: [email protected]"

(2) DUMP/LOAD DATABASE fails with SQL 6.5 under Win2000 unless you have applied at least 6.5 SP5

(3) SQL 7.0 requires NT4 SP4+ or Win2000 Beta2+. It also requires IE 4.01 SP1+.

(4) SQL 7.0 tools require IE 4.01 SP1+.

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