Best configuration for IIS and SQL2005

Posted on 2008-06-15
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I know you can safely run IIS6 and SQL2005 on the same server but is there an optimum way to configure them.
Would there be a big improvement in performance if these were on separate servers?
Question by:mike4ql
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 21788685
It depends how many users you expect your websites to be receiving, and how powerful the server in question is. If it's only an internal site and the server is reasonably high spec, then I wouldn't see a problem leaving SQL Server on the IIS server. The only time I would actually split the SQL server role off the IIS server is when you've got a public site receiving thousands of hits a day - in that case, you would see a performance gain by running it on two servers.

LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 21789275
Is it exposed to the outside would ? If so, would be inclined to seperate and hide the sql server allowing only secured connections to it... If internal, then not quite as important, and likely OK to be on same machine. Memory management will be the key - they are both reasonably memory intensive with IIS wanting to cache, but more likely to swap memory if dealing with differing requests, where as sql likes to use as much as it can get and sit on it... So, could also depend on how big the database, the nature and type of queries. Ideal would be to split the servers...
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 21794294
That's a good idea actually Mark, which must be taken into consideration when you spread the roles out between servers. We are assuming that by placing both on the same machine, Microsoft have patched up any potential security holes in the software - and that's a BIG assumption!
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 21794400
@tigermatt : Thanks, been caught out with that assumption before, and the the increase of SQL injections, kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy...

Author Comment

ID: 21794605
Thanks for these comments.  Obviously you prefer to seperate the SQL and IIS machines.  

It would be good to find something a bit more quantitative.  The web service in question has about 40 public websites divide between 2 servers, one with 1GB RAM and other 2GB.  Hits are in the 100s per day.  Each website has its own database running on SQL Express.   Tne database sizes are typically 50 - 100MB.    Typical queries are select statements return < 20 rows from 2 - 4 tables.   It seems fine at the moment.

Putting securitty on one side for the moment, at what size of database, type of query or number of hits would there be a performance benefit from running all the databases on one server with all the websites on the other?

My quandary is if I split the functions each website needs 2 machines to be operational whereas if I don't they only need one.   Theoretically improving the reliability.  (Not that either machine has ever failed.)
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Mark Wills earned 125 total points
ID: 21795148
It would be noce to be more quantitative, but it is a bit difficult - lots of factors to consider...

SQL Express is not going to use all that much resource. It has limits imposed on it, so, the real measure will most likely come from the user experience. If it < 20 rows from 2 - 4 tables, then that is negligible. And it really does depend on what your site is offereing, and what the users can do...

I would say that Express would give up before the server - that is when your users will start to complain about response times.  If that is the case then maybe next time you go to look at it, it might then be time to upgrade to a dedicated SQL Server, have the two webservers feed from it, and possibly the licensed versions to enable more performance...

There is a great word doc :
with a variety of measure to look for... Suggest you periodically check some of the more obvious measure just as a health check.

As for IIS performance, have a look at :

LVL 58

Assisted Solution

tigermatt earned 125 total points
ID: 21795289
If you're managing to run the sites on SQL Server Express, then there probably isn't that much actually being processed by them which would warrant a separate server specifically for SQL Server. You would have to be careful with the RAM availability in each server - I have known SQL Server Express to use it up as quickly as you can add more.

Perhaps in this case, you would only want to separate the SQL Server role elsewhere if you really feel the server can't run it or the performance will be degraded. If the SQL Server isn't being accessed by lots of users simultaneously throughout the day, doing lookups across thousands of rows in hundreds of tables, then it probably doesn't need it's own server.

There is always going to be room to expand to another server if necessary, don't forget.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31467354
Thanks experts,  
That has told me what I needed to know and given me a way to assess my future needs.

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