Kronos: One Server or Two?

This is another "Best-of" reposting from our older website. I should add an clarification that by "server" we mean physical boxes and not virtual machines on the same physical server. The original post is here.

Here is an easy-to-implement suggestion to optimize your setup right out of the gate: SQL Server runs best on a computer by itself, with Workforce Central® running on a separate physical computer.

Why separate servers?

The short answer—because it will make your life easier. The long answer—for these reasons:

  • · RAM
  • · Updates
  • · Hard disk configuration
  • · Security
  • · Hardware upgrades


SQL Server has its own memory management that pages database resources from the hard disk into RAM. This is because the more data cached in the RAM, the faster SQL Server can respond. For an enterprise application like Workforce Central®, SQL Server will effectively use all available RAM on the computer, paging the most-often accessed data off of the hard disk.


In addition, running SQL Server on a separate computer lets you apply Windows updates and SQL Server patches on the computer separate from the Workforce Central® application. Based on requirements from Kronos®, the hotfixes and updates might need a different deployment schedule than the one SQL Server follows. We’ll have more information about Windows updates in a later post.

Hard disk configuration

SQL Server makes extensive use of the hard disk, and we’ll cover configuring the hard disk arrays to work with SQL Server in a post down the road. However, running SQL Server on a separate computer reduces the complication of monitoring and tuning the hard drive configuration.


Running SQL Server on a separate computer can reduce the attack surface of the computer, creating a more secure database. Depending on your security environment, you can lock down the computer that is running SQL Server with different requirements from the servers that are running Workforce Central®. Locking down the database server might be as simple as restricting access by domain accounts to who has access to log on, or restricting what ports are exposed for data access. Port restrictions are greatly simplified with a single-purpose computer.

Hardware upgrades

Having SQL Server on its own computer allows you to have separate hardware upgrade paths from Workforce Central®. Depending on your organization, the database size might grow disproportionally from the data access requirements. Separating the servers allows you to scale the database independently—either upgrading it entirely in the future or adding more RAM.