Supported SQL Server versions for System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Each System Center Configuration Manager site requires a supported SQL Server version and configuration to host the site database.

SQL Server instances and locations

Central administration site and primary sites:
The site database must use a full installation of SQL Server.

SQL Server can be located on:

  • The site server computer.
  • A computer that is remote from the site server.

The following instances are supported:

Secondary sites:
The site database can use the default instance of a full installation of SQL Server or SQL Server Express.

SQL Server must be located on the site server computer.

Limitations to support
The following configurations are not supported:

  • A SQL Server cluster in a Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster configuration
  • A SQL Server cluster on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV)
  • SQL Server datbase mirroring technology, and peer-to-peer replication

SQL Server transactional replication is supported only for replicating objects to management points that are configured to use database replicas.

Supported versions of SQL Server

In a hierarchy with multiple sites, different sites can use different versions of SQL Server to host the site database so long as the following are true:

Unless specified otherwise, the following versions of SQL Server are supported with all active versions of System Center Configuration Manager. If support for a new SQL Server version or service pack is added, the Configuration Manager version that adds that support will be noted. Similarly, if support is deprecated, then look for details about the affected versions of Configuration Manager.

Support for a specific SQL Server service pack includes cumulative updates to that service pack, unless a cumulative update breaks the backward to that base service pack version. When no service pack version is noted, the support is for that version of SQL Server with no service pack. In the future, if a service pack is released for that version, a separate support statement will be declared before that new service pack version is supported.

Important

When you use SQL Server Standard for the database at the central administration site, you limit the total number of clients that a hierarchy can support. See Size and scale numbers.

SQL Server 2016 SP1: Standard, Enterprise

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2016: Standard, Enterprise

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2014 SP2: Standard, Enterprise

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2014 SP1: Standard, Enterprise

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2012 SP3: Standard, Enterprise

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3: Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter

This version of SQL Server is not supported beginning with version 1702.
This version of SQL Server remains supported when you use a version of Configuration Manager prior to 1702.

When supported by your version of Configuration Manager, you can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A central administration site
  • A primary site
  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2016 Express SP1

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2016 Express

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2014 Express SP2

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2014 Express SP1

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A secondary site

SQL Server 2012 Express SP3

You can use this version of SQL Server with no minimum cumulative update version for the following:

  • A secondary site

Required configurations for SQL Server

The following are required by all installations of SQL Server that you use for a site database (including SQL Server Express). When Configuration Manager installs SQL Server Express as part of a secondary site installation, these configurations are automatically created for you.

SQL Server architecture version:
Configuration Manager requires a 64-bit version of SQL Server to host the site database.

Database collation:
At each site, both the instance of SQL Server that is used for the site and the site database must use the following collation: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

Configuration Manager supports two exceptions to this collation to meet standards that are defined in GB18030 for use in China. For more information, see International support in System Center Configuration Manager.

SQL Server features:
Only the Database Engine Services feature is required for each site server.

Configuration Manager database replication doesn't require the SQL Server replication feature. However, this SQL Server configuration is required if you use database replicas for management points for System Center Configuration Manager.

Windows authentication:
Configuration Manager requires Windows authentication to validate connections to the database.

SQL Server instance:
You must use a dedicated instance of SQL Server for each site. This can be a named instance or the default instance.

SQL Server memory:
Reserve memory for SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio and setting the Minimum server memory setting under Server Memory Options. For more information about how to set a fixed amount of memory, see How to: Set a Fixed Amount of Memory (SQL Server Management Studio).

  • For a database server that is installed on the same computer as the site server: Limit the memory for SQL Server to 50 to 80 percent of the available addressable system memory.

  • For a dedicated database server (remote from the site server): Limit the memory for SQL Server to 80 to 90 percent of the available addressable system memory.

  • For a memory reserve for the buffer pool of each SQL Server instance in use:

    • For a central administration site: Set a minimum of 8 gigabytes (GB).
    • For a primary site: Set a minimum of 8 gigabytes (GB).
    • For a secondary site: Set a minimum of 4 gigabytes (GB).

SQL nested triggers:
SQL nested triggers must be enabled.

SQL Server CLR integration
The site database requires SQL Server common language runtime (CLR) to be enabled. This is enabled automatically when Configuration Manager installs. For more information about CLR, see Introduction to SQL Server CLR Integration.

Optional configurations for SQL Server

The following configurations are optional for each database that uses a full SQL Server installation.

SQL Server service:
You can configure the SQL Server service to run using:

  • The domain local user account:

    • This is a best practice and might require you to manually register the service principal name (SPN) for the account.
  • The local system account of the computer that runs SQL Server:

    • Use the local system account to simplify the configuration process.
    • When you use the local system account, Configuration Manager automatically registers the SPN for the SQL Server service.
    • Be aware that using the local system account for the SQL Server service is not a SQL Server best practice.

When the computer running SQL Server doesn't use its local system account to run the SQL Server service, you must configure the SPN of the account that runs the SQL Server service in Active Directory Domain Services. (When the system account is used, the SPN is automatically registered for you.)

For information about SPNs for the site database, see Manage the SPN for the site database server in the Modify your System Center Configuration Manager infrastructure topic.

For information about how to change the account that is used by the SQL Server service, see How to: Change the Service Startup Account for SQL Server (SQL Server Configuration Manager).

SQL Server Reporting Services:
SQL Server Reporting Services is required for installing a reporting services point that lets you run reports.

Important

After you upgrade SQL Server from a previous version, you might see the following error: Report Builder Does Not Exist.
To resolve this error, you must reinstall the reporting services point site system role.

SQL Server ports:
For communication to the SQL Server database engine and for intersite replication, you can use the default SQL Server port configurations or specify custom ports:

  • Intersite communications use the SQL Server Service Broker, which uses port TCP 4022 by default.
  • Intrasite communication between the SQL Server database engine and various Configuration Manager site system roles use port TCP 1433 by default. The following site system roles communicate directly with the SQL Server database:

    • Management point
    • SMS Provider computer
    • Reporting services point
    • Site server

When a computer running SQL Server hosts a database from more than one site, each database must use a separate instance of SQL Server. Also, each instance must be configured to use a unique set of ports.

Warning

Configuration Manager doesn't support dynamic ports. Because SQL Server named instances by default use dynamic ports for connections to the database engine, when you use a named instance, you must manually configure the static port that you want to use for intrasite communication.

If you have a firewall enabled on the computer that is running SQL Server, make sure that it is configured to allow the ports that are being used by your deployment and at any locations on the network between computers that communicate with the SQL Server.

For an example of how to configure SQL Server to use a specific port, see How to: Configure a Server to Listen on a Specific TCP Port (SQL Server Configuration Manager) in the SQL Server TechNet library.

Upgrade options for SQL Server

If you need to upgrade your version of SQL Server, we recommend the following methods, from easy to more complex.

  1. Upgrade SQL Server in-place (recommended).
  2. Install a new version of SQL Server on a new computer, and then use the datbase move option of Configuration Manager setup to point your site server to the new SQL Server.
  3. Use backup and recovery.
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