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Are there any known issues with SQL and Terminal server running on the same machine?

I have a ML 370 with 4 GB mem and 1 TB of disk space.  I will be running SQL 2005 with Terminal server for a custom application.  My question is: are there any known issues with running SQL and Terminal Server on the same box?
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rcjax
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rcjax
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Bill BachPresidentCommented:
The biggest issue with any shared environment is the allocation of resources.  Unfortunately, you didn't provide much  information about either environment, so you may just have to guess.

In short, Microsoft does NOT recommend running *ANY* back-end processes on a Terminal Services server.  This is not just because they want to sell more operating system licenses, but mainly because each session will utilize a fairly large chunk of memory, leaving less RAM available for other purposes.  Since SQL Server tends to also be a memory hog, grabbing large chunks and not releasing it, this is probably not a good idea.  With 4GB, you'd probably be fine for a smaller environment, but if you're looking at 10+ users with lots of SQL access, then I'd guess that you'd need to have a lot more RAM.  

Further, a Terminal Services box is usually optimized to run CPU-heavy operations and actually favor the TS sessions, which could lead to a reduction in available CPU time for background processes, such as SQL Server.  You may be able to modify it, but if you did, I would expect that the TS users could see a noticeable decrease when heavy SQL queries are running.  With really simple queries and light access, you might be OK.

So, in short, the answer is likely to be a Qualified YES: If you have a small environment and a few TS users, go ahead & use the same box.  Otherwise, split them into two boxes.  In you do decide to do it all in one, I'd recommend looking at a Win64 box with more memory -- perhaps 16GB as a starting point.  Of course, your performance will vary...
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rcjaxAuthor Commented:
Here is the specs on the server: HP ProLiant ML370 G5 2xQuad Core Pentium processors 3.2GHz Dual-core Xeon, 4GB Cache, 1333 MHz FSB Memory. 10/100/1000 Dual internal NIC, Smart Array P400 SATA/SAS Controller, (16) 2.5" Hot-swap drive bays.  

There will be about 8 users logging into the server.  I have a custom application that requires Terminal server which will be accessed by the 8 users. The server is configured the first 4 bays is being used by the OS and the application and the rest as a storage location.

I hope this helps.
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Bill BachPresidentCommented:
Storage won't likely be a problem, although if you plan on filling a significant portion of the TB with SQL data, then it will impact CPU performance, to be sure.  You probably won't know for sure until you actually get it loaded up.  

If you do get stuck, though, I would recommend first expanding memory to 8GB (if you have 2003 Enterprise -- with 2003 Standard, you'll max out at 4GB).  Otherwise, just plan on budgeting for a second box, and if you don't need it, don't buy it!

Performance is, of course, relative.  "Good" performance for one user (used to slow computers) may be "awful" for another.
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rcjaxAuthor Commented:
It is my opinion that this recommended configuration having both Terminal Services and SQL Server installed on the same server will not encounter resource or performance issues.  I am basing this on the knowledge that this site will have a limited number of user sessions accessing the server at any one time and the number of input/output transactions in SQL, i.e., exam/images being inserted into the database or accessed from the database, will not be an extremely large number either.  Furthermore, based on my real-world experience regarding the configuration of SQL Server, I would recommend allocating a specified maximum amount of memory to SQL Server to further alleviate the impact on server resources.  If my customer still have concerns regarding this configuration, it would be my recommendation to implement the use of a 64-bit server with more than 4 GB of RAM installed.

Based on the advice you gave me Bill, would I be correct with this recommendation? Also if you know of any Microsoft links you can point me to regarding this subject I would greatly appreciate it. What"s your opinion, I would like to know.  Thanks in advance.

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Bill BachPresidentCommented:
I concur with this recommendation.  You should definitely lock down the memory maximum for SQL Server, but I would also recommend a periodic monitoring of the server's resources as it ramps up, just to be sure.  Again, if it is already Windows 2003 Enterprise, then upgrading to 8GB of RAM may provide sufficient headroom, too.

As for other links, there are a few that I've found with a brief search:

http://www.sql-server-performance.com/tips/gen_tips_p1.aspx:
"Don't run SQL Server on the same physical server that you are running Terminal Services, or Citrix software. Both Terminal Services and Citrix are huge resource hogs, and will significantly affect the performance of SQL Server. Running the administrative version of Terminal Services on a SQL Server physical server, on the other hand, is OK, and a good idea from a convenience point of view. As is mentioned in other parts of this website, ideally, SQL Server should run on a dedicated physical server. But if you have to share a SQL Server with another application, make sure it is not Terminal Services or Citrix. [7.0, 2000, 2005] Updated 5-7-2007"

I would suspect that manuals for both products may offer some additional insights.
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rcjaxAuthor Commented:
Thanks Bill for all your help.
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