using SQL on a regular computer

we have a single windows 2003 server running SQL server. we are currently using gmail for our network users to individually administer (and backup) their email.

we are looking to upgrade our server now, and I understand that it is not recommend to run SQL server on the same server as exchange.

this is only a relatively small network with around 10 users, and we would like to have control over our own mail server.

is it possible to have SQL server running on a stand alone workstation, rather than on our server? if this would be possible, we could then install sbs2011 and have SQL server on our network?

if the answer is yes, how would this impact performance and things like backing up the SQL server.

would you recommend against it, or do you have any other suggestions.

we would ideally like to have exchange and SQL server running on the same server, as we don't want to have to fund a second server for SQL, but we like the idea of having everything centrally located for administration and backup purposes.

your comnents and advice would be much appreciated,

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
I would strongly recommend AGAINST running SQL and Exchange together. One only has to look at how often sysadmins complain about SBS 2011 performance to see how delicate the resource balance can be thrown off. And SBS has Microsoft's developer team hand massaging those limits, and it STILL can be easily broken. Without SBS, getting those two products to run together isn't a solution for mere mortals.

With only 10 users, the solution I'd use is pretty straightforward. Buy one copy of 2012 R2 essentials AND one copy of 2012 R2 Standard, standard gives you 1+2 virtualization rights so with both licenses, you can run three VMs on one piece of iron.

1 VM running essentials as your DC and point of management
1 VM for exchange
1 VM for SQL

I have variations of this setup running in several small businesses that weren't quite ready to give up exchange for O365, and even for very small (40 user) businesses, it works well.

As an aside, don't run SQL on a workstation. Something will go wrong and your disaster recovery will be a nightmare.
so to clarify you're killing off the current win2003 server?
if you can have 1 server in your network with sbs2011 and it has the correct specs it will run exchange + sql fine and support 10 users.  i administer a heap of this type of setup.
with sbs server you can only have member servers in the same domain.  sbs server needs to be the 1 and only domain controller.

dont bother runnnig sql from a workstation.  it will struggle to support 10 users.
you'd probably want at least 16GB Ram in the server with sbs2011 installed.  put in as much as you can up to 32gb.
you'll also want the sbs2011 with the premium add on, as this has the sql2008 r2 component.
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
I, too, think you'll be OK in this case running SQL with Exchange, provided you have enough RAM and don't run too many (big) reporting queries: naturally lots of reporting on a lot of history would hammer the box.

For safety, I'd consider 32GB to be the minimum.  More RAM might or might not help, depending on how much data you have and the specific activities you do.

Disclaimer: I'm a SQL DBA and have almost no knowledge of Exchange.  Check with an Exchange person to know if Exchange itself will have issues in this setup.
nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
Many thanks.
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