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Is there any reason that i cannot use SQL Server 2014 on a 2012 r2 Domain Controller with only 6 users?

Posted on 2016-10-13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-17
I have a client that currently has 6 users.  He has a Windows 2003 server running MS SQL 2008.  We are replacing the server and it has Windows 2012 and will be running MS SQL 2014.  

I have been told that I cannot run the MS SQL 2014 server that is a Domain Controller.  My options are:
1)Install a second applications server to run the SQL.  My client space Is so small that he does not want a second server.  
2) Install the main server as a "Workgroup Server" rather than a Domain Controller.  On that note I have been told maintaining domain rights and rules is a nightmare with a Workgroup server.  

Any suggestions?
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Question by:lorayne912
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Expert Comment

by:Russ Suter
ID: 41842809
Who told you that you cannot? From a technical standpoint there's no reason why you can't. However it's not a good idea. They might be telling you that you can't do this for business reasons rather than technical ones.
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by:pgm554
ID: 41842825
Set up the servers as hyper v.
First 2012 server would be hyper v host.
2nd would be domain controller
3rd would be SQL member server.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41842910
You can run SQL on a DC is is not the recommended practice but in your environment it should be ok
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Expert Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 41842956
for that size environment this lands in the category of SB and when you by SBS version of Windows Server you run all these roles on a single server so in all accounts you are perfectly fine.  Its when you get to Mid-size and larger infrastructures you want to start separate the roles on different servers for performance and security.  

For 6 users I would not be concerned.
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Expert Comment

by:Nakul Vachhrajani
ID: 41843117
At least till SQL Server 2012, Microsoft did not support SQL Server on a domain controller: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2032911

"It is not recommended to install SQL Server on a domain controller....Setup will normally fail....SQL Server is not supported on a read-only domain controller. In addition, SQL Server failover clustering is not supported to install on a domain controller."

The primary reasons they cite for not supporting this configuration are performance and lack of fail-over clustering support.

I was unable to find a similar KB article for SQL Server 2014, but unless explicitly stated by Microsoft, it should continue to be treated as "not-supported".
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Accepted Solution

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Nakul Vachhrajani earned 500 total points
ID: 41843121
I checked further and under "Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2014" (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506(v=sql.120).aspx#DC_support), Microsoft has called out that it won't stop you from installing SQL Server on a DC, but there are various restrictions it imposes on the SQL Server installation and configuration.

Besides, it's a security nightmare - if for any reason your SQL Server is compromised, your entire domain is exposed.

Summarizing, my recommendation is not to install SQL Server on a domain controller.
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Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 41843198
Besides, it's a security nightmare - if for any reason your SQL Server is compromised, your entire domain is exposed.
Also when the DC restarts the chance is SQL Server will start before the DC and then there's no DC to validate the SQL Server account and that will prevent SQL Server service from starting.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lorayne912
ID: 41847054
Thanks Nakul, using the reference materials that you provided helped immensely.
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Author Comment

by:lorayne912
ID: 41847063
Both pgm554 and yo-bee's solutions are ones that I will employ in the future.  Because I already had the hardware and software in place with a install date of 3 days away I chose not to go those routes.  

I chose Nakul Vachhrajani comment as the most helpful because of the attached url's that I could do more research for myself as well listening to his commentary.

Thank you everyone that replied and thanks Experts Exchange for providing the is serviced
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