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Database Engine Configuration - Data Directories

Use this page to specify the installation location for SQL Server Database Engine program and data files. Based on the type of installation, the supported storage may include local disk, shared storage, or an SMB file server.

To specify an SMB file share as a directory, you must manually type the supported UNC path. Browsing to an SMB file share is not supported. The following is a supported UNC path format of an SMB file share: \\Servername\ShareName\....

Stand-Alone Instance of SQL Server

The following table lists the supported storage types and the default directories for a stand-alone instance of SQL Server that are user configurable during SQL Server Setup.

Description

Supported Storage Type

Default directory

Recommendations

Data root directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\

SQL Server Setup will configure ACLs for SQL Server directories and break inheritance as part of configuration.

User database directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

Best practices for user data directories depend on workload and performance requirements.

User database log directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

Ensure that the log directory has adequate space.

Temp DB directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

Best practices for the Temp directory depend on workload and performance requirements.

Temp DB log directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

Ensure that the log directory has adequate space.

Backup directory

Local Disk, SMB File Server, Shared Storage 1

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Backup

Set appropriate permissions to prevent data loss, and ensure that the user account for the SQL Server service has adequate permissions to write to the backup directory. Using a mapped drive for backup directories is not supported.

1 Although shared disks are supported, it is not a recommended practice for a stand-alone instance of SQL Server.

Failover Cluster Instance of SQL Server

The following table lists the supported storage types and the default directories for a failover cluster instance of SQL Server that are user configurable during SQL Server Setup.

Description

Supported Storage Type

Default Directory

Recommendations

Data root Directory

Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

SQL Server Setup will configure ACLs for SQL Server directories and break inheritance as part of configuration.

User database directory

Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

Best practices for user data directories depend on workload and performance requirements.

User database log directory

Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

Ensure that the log directory has adequate space.

Temp DB directory

Local Disk, Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

Ensure that the specified directory is valid for all the cluster nodes. During failover, if the tempdb directories are not available on the failover target node, the SQL Server resource will fail to come online.

Temp DB log directory

Local Disk, Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Data

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

Ensure that the specified directory is valid for all the cluster nodes. During failover, if the tempdb directories are not available on the failover target node, the SQL Server resource will fail to come online.

Backup directory

Local Disk, Shared Storage, SMB File Server

<Drive:>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\Backup

TipTip

If shared disk was selected on the Cluster Disk Selection page, the default is the first shared disk. This field defaults to blank if no selection was made on the Cluster Disk Selection page.

Set appropriate permissions to prevent data loss, and ensure that the user account for the SQL Server service has adequate permissions to write to the backup directory. Using a mapped drive for backup directories is not supported.

Security Considerations

Setup will configure ACLs for SQL Server directories and break inheritance as part of configuration.

The following recommendations apply to the SMB file server:

  • The SQL Server service account must be a domain account if an SMB file server is used.

  • The account used to install SQL Server should have FULL CONTROL NTFS permissions on the SMB file share folder used as the data directory.

  • The account used to install SQL Server should be granted SeSecurityPrivilege privileges on the SMB file server. To grant this privilege, use the Local Security Policy console on the file server to add the SQL Server setup account to the Manage auditing and security log policy. This setting is available in the User Rights Assignments section under Local Policies in the Local Security Policy console.

Notes
  • When adding features to an existing installation, you cannot change the location of a previously installed feature, nor can you specify the location for a new feature.

  • If you specify non-default installation directories, ensure that the installation folders are unique to this instance of SQL Server. None of the directories in this dialog box should be shared with directories from other instances of SQL Server. The Database Engine and Analysis Services components within an instance of SQL Server should also be installed to separate directories.

  • Program files and data files cannot be installed in the following situations:

    • On a removable disk drive

    • On a file system that uses compression

    • To a directory where system files are located

    • On a mapped network drive on a failover cluster instance