Windows Web Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005

One of the things I'm most excited about Windows Server 2008 is the new Web-focused version of Windows called Windows Web Server 2008.  It is a special, low-priced version of Windows (only $469 retail, half the price of Standard edition and available anywhere Windows Server is sold) that is focused exclusively on Internet-based Web serving. 

With Windows Web Server 2008, we have greatly expanded the capabilities of this Windows SKU based on customer feedback about Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. We have enhanced the supported hardware configurations supporting up to 4 sockets and up to 32GB of RAM on x64 installations, exactly the same as Windows standard server. In addition to the expanded hardware configurations we also support Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Media Services and SQL Server installations for use with local web applications. The new Windows Web Server 2008 also supports the server core installation option.

One of the most requested features on Windows Web Server 2008 was SQL Server support for local web applications. When SQL Server 2008 ships later this year, it will automatically install on Windows Web Server 2008.  For anyone who wants to use SQL Server 2005, you can do that today but you will first need to install a patch (download details can be found here: SQL Server 2005 Installer Hotfix for Windows Web Server 2008 x86/x64) on Windows Web Server 2008.

Installing SQL Server 2005 on Windows Web Server 2008

Today, the SQL Server 2005 installer blocks on Windows Web Server 2008 but we are providing a patch that will allow you to proceed with the installation. Before attempting to install SQL Server 2005, please download and install the patch from the Download Center page found at: SQL Server 2005 Installer Hotfix for Windows Web Server 2008 x86/x64.

For more information about the hotfix, please consult the KB Article found at


  • Why does it block SQL 2005 in the first place?

  • By "local", you mean that another server cannot access that instance of SQL Server?

    Also, what's with the 10 file connection limit? Does this mean that if I have a NAS with WSS that the Web Edition can only have 10 simultaneous connections to it? Is that 10 connection limit per server, or is that a global limit?

  • Hi Scott -

    Windows Web 2008 doesn't block SQL server...but unfortunately SQL 2005 has a block in place during setup to prevent it from installing. The patch we are providing works around that block so that you can still use the same SQL 2005 setup DVD or install package you have. The only alternative would have been to re-release SQL 2005 with a modified setup, which would not have been very convenient for customers. :)

  • Hi Foobar -

    By "local" database, I mean the database can be used for Web applications that are running on the same server. Windows Web 2008 is not meant for use as a database server, which accepts database connections from other remote servers.

    I'm not sure what 10 connection limit you are referring to?

  • Bill, thank you for your answers.

    As for the 10 file connection limit, I can't seem to find it anymore on the Windows Server website. I guess I was imagining things :)

  • Is it possible/allowed to have 2 windows web server 2008 each running sql server have a mirrored database?

  • Jack: yep, to the best of my knowledge that does meet the licensing requirements.

  • To answer the 10 connection limit. I can`t speak for 2008 but 2003 had this same limit. It`s for *incoming* file connections only and is implemented to stop people using the server as a file server to users over the file system and does not affect connections to and through IIS.

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