Data Storage Location Options in Windows EBS

Applies To: Windows Essential Business Server

We recommend that you store application data and executable files on separate system volumes. During software installation, you can select the volumes on which these files are stored, or you can choose to store all of the files on the system volume. The application data files in Windows EBS include the following:

  • Active Directory Domain Services logs

  • Active Directory Domain Services database (NTDS.dit)

  • Active Directory Domain Services SYSVOL file

  • Microsoft SQL Server® database for System Center Essentials

  • SQL Server database for Windows Server Update Services

  • SQL Server database for Administration Console

  • Microsoft Exchange Server database

  • SQL Server database for Forefront TMG

For increased performance and easier backup and restoration, consider placing your system and data partitions on separate physical drives. At a minimum, you should create one volume or partition for the operating system and applications and a separate volume or partition for data on each server.

For more information about the hard disk drive and other hardware requirements for Windows EBS, see the Microsoft Web site (

If you need to format hard disk drives or create partitions during installation, the Windows EBS Installation Wizard provides an option to do that by using Disk Management in Windows Server.

As an option, you can use redundant storage technologies to help protect your system and applications data partitions. You can also use network storage technologies, such as a storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage, for your data storage. As you prepare your hardware for installation, choose how to partition the drives on each of your servers.


During the installation of Windows EBS, you can temporarily access the server operating system to perform additional configuration tasks. For example, you may need to load a driver for an adapter that connects to a SAN, or you may need to run configuration software for the external storage arrays.

For more information about accessing the operating system, see the Microsoft Web site (


After you partition your drives, make sure that drive compression is turned off. Several of the Windows EBS applications install and write to SQL Server database files on the data partitions. These databases are not supported on compressed drives, and they may generate errors if an attempt to perform read or write operations on a compressed drive is made.