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Posted May 3, 2002

SQL Server 2000 Administration in 15 Minutes a Week

By Michael Aubert

Welcome to the first article in my series SQL Server Administration in 15 Minutes a Week. In this series we will cover the skills needed to successfully administer a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 machine. This series will also help you prepare for the Microsoft 70-228 exam "Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition." In this initial article we will look at an overview of the options and requirements when installing SQL Server 2000.

- System Requirements
- Available Editions and Scalability
- Instances and Upgrade Paths

System Requirements

Remember that this article is only an overview. We will cover specific system requirements; however, some topics presented are very complex and will be covered later in greater depth. 

In this series I am assuming that you are using the Enterprise Edition or an edition equivalent to Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2000. (We will talk about the different editions of SQL Server 2000 in the "Available Editions and Scalability" section later on.) If you are not using Enterprise Edition you will still be able to do just about everything with a few exceptions. If you don't have any edition of SQL Server 2000, you can download the Enterprise Evaluation Edition from Microsoft's website at: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/trial/2000/download.asp 


Intel-compatible 166MHz or higher


64MB (128MB recommended for Enterprise edition)

Hard Disk

250MB for a typical SQL Server database installation

130MB for Analysis Components

80MB for English Query

Operating System

Windows NT Server 4.0 (With SP5) or

Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition (With SP5) or

Any version of Windows 2000 Server

For a complete listing of the most up-to-date requirements and a listing for all editions of SQL Server, please visit Microsoft's website: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/sysreqs/2000/default.asp

Available Editions and Scalability

In total there are seven different editions of SQL Server 2000 available:

Enterprise Edition - This edition is the complete edition of SQL Server. It is designed for large mission-critical applications including support for Distributed Partitioned Views, log shipping, fail-over clustering, and advanced analysis (OLAP) features. Enterprise Edition can take advantage of up to 32 processors and 64GB of RAM (using Address Windowing Extensions, AWE). The maximum database size is 1,048,516 TB.

Standard Edition - This edition is designed for small to medium-sized businesses that do not require the scalability, availability, or the more advanced features of Enterprise Edition. SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition supports up to 4 processors and 2 GB of RAM. The maximum database size is 1,048,516 TB.

Professional Edition - This edition is based on Standard Edition but is optimized for personal use. Unlike Standard Edition, Professional Edition will run on Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows ME, and Windows 98. Dual processors are supported, but the server is limited to 5 concurrent connections and a maximum database size of 2 GB.

Developer Edition - Same as Enterprise Edition but it has a licensing restriction that it cannot be used in a production environment.

Enterprise Evaluation Edition - Same as Enterprise Edition but only licensed for "demonstration, testing, examination and evaluation" and has a 120-day time limit.

Windows CE Edition - This edition is designed to run on devices that use Windows CE. 

Desktop Engine (MSDE) -- This edition (Microsoft calls it an "edition") is only the database engine of SQL Server 2000. There are no graphical tools provided and the database size and workload are limited. However, this edition has the smallest footprint of all the editions of SQL server.

Support for up to 32 processors, 64GB of RAM, and the ability to use multiple servers make SQL server 2000 a very scalable database system. What determines the maximum number of processors and RAM is the edition of SQL Server and the Operating system you are running. The three tables below show you the maximum number of CPUs and amount of Memory supported on a few different operating systems.

SQL Server 2000 editions running on Windows 2000 Advanced Server:


Max Memory

Max CPUs

Enterprise Editions



Standard Edition



Personal Edition



SQL Server 2000 editions running on Windows 2000 Datacenter Server:


Max Memory

Max CPUs

Enterprise Editions



Standard Edition



Personal Edition



SQL Server 2000 editions running on Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition:


Max Memory

Max CPUs

Enterprise Editions



Standard Edition



Personal Edition



As for hard disk storage, your needs and budget are going to run out a long time before the maximum theoretical NTFS hard drive storage space is reached. Redundancy, acceptable downtime, and speed are all factors in what type of storage solution you will need. The most common storage solution implemented today is RAID, also known as Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. 

There are two types of RAID: Software and Hardware. Software RAID is normally slower but is included with Windows NT 4.0 and 2000. Hardware RAID gives the best performance but is more expensive. These two RAID types can then be divided into the different RAID levels. The most common RAID levels are RAID 0 (striping), RAID 1 (mirroring), RAID 5 (striping with parity), and RAID 10 (a combination of mirroring and striping). In a later article we will take a deeper look into RAID and its benefits for your databases.

Clustering is the last topic we are going to discuss in the scalability section. Clustering allows you to use multiple servers to provide redundancy and/or load balancing. Although the cluster may be made up of several servers, the cluster appears as one "virtual server" to the network. SQL Server 2000 is a fully "cluster aware" application that can operate in a clustered environment provided by the operating system. 

NT Server 4.0 introduced clustering with the ability to have a complete duplicate of the server. This provided protection if any portion of the server failed, but there were no load-balancing capabilities. Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Datacenter Server add a "load-balancing" capability to clustering. We will be going into how to design and setup clusters in a later article.

Instances and Upgrade Paths

Before we can talk about upgrade paths we need to discuss default and named instances. When you install more than one instance of SQL Server 2000 you end up with multiple instances that operate independently (for the most part). You can have a maximum of 16 instances, each operating with its own memory space and settings.

The default instance is identified by the computer's network name. SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, and 2000 can all act as the default instance, but only one default instance can operate at a time (this is called "version switching") if multiple versions are installed. An application that uses client software from versions earlier than SQL Server 2000 can access only a default instance.

Named instances are identified by the computer's network name followed by the instance name ( servername\instancename ). Only SQL Server 2000 can act as a named instance, but you can have many named instances operating at the same time. You can also Run SQL Server 6.5 or 7.0 as the default instance with one or many SQL Server 2000 named instances running at the same time. There are a few restrictions on named instance names: 

-- You can't use "Default" or "MSSQLServer"
-- Named instances are limited to 16 characters
-- The first character must be a letter (A-Z, a-z), an ampersand (&), or an underscore (_)
-- You can't use punctuation marks, dashes, asterisks, or spaces
-- The name is NOT case sensitive

Instances Summary Table:


Default Instance

Named Instance

What version(s) of SQL server can run as this particular type of instance?

6.5, 7.0, 2000

2000 only

Can multiple instances of this particular type operate at the same time?



How is this particular type of instance identified?



* You can still have multiple versions of SQL Server (6.5 along side either 7.0 or 2000) installed on the computer, but only one of the versions can operate at a time.

For more information about instances have a look at the following link and its related articles: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/instsql/in_runsetup_2xmb.asp

Once you understand the concept of default instances and named instances, understanding the available upgrade paths to SQL Server 2000 is not difficult. 

- An installation of SQL Server 6.0 can't be upgraded directly to SQL Server 2000 -- you must first upgrade to SQL Server 6.5 or 7.0. Once the databases have been upgraded you can then upgrade to SQL Server 2000 or install SQL Server 2000 along side 6.5 or 7.0

- SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0 can be upgraded directly to SQL Server 2000

- SQL Server 2000 can be installed as the default instance along side SQL Server 6.5 but only a single version can be active at a time. You can use "version switching" to switch between the different versions of SQL Server.

- SQL Server 2000 can be installed as a named instance in addition to the default instance of SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, or 2000 installed on the computer. One default instance and a number of named instances can operate at the same time.

That wraps up the first article. Next week we will take a look at the different installation types and an overview of the installation process. Please send any questions, comments, and feedback to my email. Also check out the 2000trainers.com website where you can find tutorials and practice exams on Windows, SQL Server, and Exchange. I hope you found this article helpful and I look forward to your feedback.


» See All Articles by Columnist Michael Aubert

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