Choose the Database Used for WSUS
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server Update Services
You do not need to be a database administrator or purchase database software to use WSUS. No matter which version of Windows you install WSUS on, there is a free version of Microsoft® SQL Server™ available. These free versions of SQL Server were designed to require very little management by the WSUS administrator. Of course, if you want more control over the database, you can also use the full version of SQL Server with WSUS.
The WSUS database stores the following types of information:
WSUS server configuration information
Metadata that describes what each update is useful for
Information about client computers, updates, and client interaction with updates
Managing WSUS by accessing data directly in the database is not supported. You should not attempt to manage WSUS in this way. Manage WSUS manually, by using the WSUS console, or programmatically by calling WSUS APIs.
Each WSUS server requires its own database. If there are multiple WSUS servers in your environment, you must have multiple WSUS databases. WSUS does not support multiple WSUS databases on a single computer running SQL Server.
Selecting a Database
Use the following information to determine what database software is right for your organization. Once you have made a selection, see if there are any additional tasks you need to complete to set up the database software to work with WSUS. You can use database software that is 100-percent compatible with Microsoft SQL. There are three options that have been tested extensively for use with WSUS:
Microsoft Windows SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (WMSDE) ships with WSUS. It is available only if you install WSUS on a computer running Windows Server 2003. It is similar to the next option, SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE), but without limitations for database size or connections. Neither WMSDE nor MSDE have a user interface or tools. Administrators are meant to interact with these products through WSUS.
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE) is available from Microsoft as a free download. It is based on SQL Server 2000, but has some built-in limitations that restrict performance and database size to 2 GB. Use MSDE if you are installing WSUS on a computer running Windows 2000. See Appendix B: Install MSDE on Windows 2000 for step-by-step instructions on installing MSDE.
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 is the full-featured database software from Microsoft. WSUS requires SQL Server 2000 with Service Pack 3a. If you use the full version of SQL Server, the SQL Server administrator should enable the nested triggers option in SQL Server. Do this before the WSUS administrator installs WSUS and specifies the database during the setup process. WSUS Setup enables the recursive triggers option, which is a database-specific option; however, it does not enable the nested triggers option, which is a server global option.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is also available if you have installed WSUS 2.0 Service Pack 1. If you use the full version of SQL Server, the SQL Server administrator should enable the nested triggers option in SQL Server. Do this before the WSUS administrator installs WSUS and specifies the database during the setup process. WSUS Setup enables the recursive triggers option, which is a database-specific option; however, it does not enable the nested triggers option, which is a server global option.
WSUS does support running database software on a computer separate from WSUS, but there are some restrictions. See Appendix C: Remote SQL for more information.
Database Software Recommendations by Operating System
Windows Server 2003
If you are installing WSUS on Windows Server 2003 and do not want to use SQL Server 2000, WMSDE is the recommended database software option.
Windows 2000 Server
If you are installing WSUS on Windows 2000 and do not want to use SQL Server 2000, MSDE is the recommended database software option.
Database Authentication, Instance, and Database Name
Regardless of which database software you use, you cannot use SQL authentication. WSUS only supports Windows authentication. If you choose WMSDE for the WSUS database, WSUS Setup creates an instance of SQL Server named server\WSUS, where server is the actual name of the computer. With either database option, WSUS Setup creates a database named SUSDB.