SCCM 2012 R2 deployment - Full SQL with DBA needed?

We're looking to re-deploy a fresh setup of SQL 2012 (latest builds of course) in our environment, since we currently have 2012 RTM (19 versions behind), and it's really all messed up.
The easiest way since we're not dependent on SCCM for anything currently, in my opinion, would be to start over with an internal team from scratch. I've deployed it in previous environments too so I'm familiar with the install/config process.

What I'm looking to find out, however, is if we really need a "SQL Database guy" who needs to run maintenance or anything on it.
He's a DBA and is insisting that for our SCCM, we should deploy to a full SQL database that he has access to.

Since this is a small organization of 500 computers, I'm wondering if that is really necessary, and if we'd be best off just using SQL Express locally and make sure nobody even thinks about touching or messing with the database.
I'm worried if someone has access to the database for "maintenance" (whatever that entails-- I don't know) then we could have more margin for error and make backups/restores more difficult.
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Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

ConfigMgr is my day job and has been for a few years. This means I read as many blogs, books and videos as I can.

I remember reading words to the effect that CM is not just a normal SQL DB, so don't let your DBAs strong arm you into treating it like one. I can't quite remember where I read this but I found an excellent list by someone who quotes MMS with more info on top. The biggest points from the list are:

Not a traditional SQL database. Very high SQL load from constant queries from all clients
Use a LOCAL SQL install on your SCCM server (STRONG RECOMMENDATION!!!! Strongly Microsoft recommended
Pre-create the DB

Full info:

This advice is repeated by Kent Agerlund and Johan Ardwidmark, two leading MVPs.

I don't think SQL Express is supported so I would read up on the precise instructions of pre-creating and size the DB. Kent even has a DB sizing spreadsheet to use.

I would start from scratch, follow Kent's rules and when you're happy it's performing decide if you want to let your DBA do backup and maintenance plans. CM does have it's own internal maintenance rules so letting someone try on top may be overkill, for your environment.

500 machines is quite small potatoes but tuning etc is a good habit to start.

NB: Don't turn on software inventory thinking you need it to list software. It will kill performance and is not needed. Hardware inventory collects *all* installed apps already.

Good luck


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garryshapeAuthor Commented:
Good details, thanks for the feedback/advice.
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