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Install Distributed Replay (Setup)


Install the Microsoft SQL Server Distributed Replay features with the SQL Server 2016 Installation Wizard. When planning where to install the features, consider the following:

  • You can install the administration tool on the same computer as the Distributed Replay controller, or on different computers.

  • There can only be one controller in each Distributed Replay environment.

  • You can install the client service on up to 16 (physical or virtual) computers.

  • Only one instance of the client service can be installed on the Distributed Replay controller computer. If your Distributed Replay environment will have more than one client, we do not recommend installing the client service on the same computer as the controller. Doing so may decrease the overall speed of the distributed replay.

  • For performance testing scenarios, we do not recommend installing the administration tool, Distributed Replay controller service, or client service on the target instance of SQL Server. Installing all of these features on the target server should be limited to functional testing for application compatibility.

  • After installation, the controller service, SQL Server Distributed Replay controller, must be running before you start the Distributed Replay client service on the clients.


To remove or change the Distributed Replay features, use the Windows Programs and Features window in Control Panel. Select SQL Server 2016 in the Uninstall or change a program window, and then click Remove to open the SQL Server 2016 Installation Wizard. On the Select Features page, check the Distributed Replay features you want to remove.


  • Make sure that the computers that you want to use meet the requirements that are described in the topic Distributed Replay Requirements.

  • Before you begin this procedure, you create the domain user accounts that the controller and client services will run under. We recommend that these accounts are not members of the Windows Administrators group. For more information, see the User and Service Accounts section in the Distributed Replay Security topic.


    You can use local user accounts if you are running the administration tool, controller service, and client service on the same computer.

Installation Locations:

Assuming you use the default file locations and a standard installation, the base directory is found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server. Within that, following are where the binaries and assemblies are installed to:

  • On a 32-bit system:


    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Tools

    - OR -

    <Share Feature Directory>\Tools\(user-supplied alternative shared feature directory)

  • On a 64-bit system:


    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server (x86)\130\Tools

    - OR -

    <Share Feature Directory (x86)>\Tools\(user-supplied alternative shared feature (x86) directory)

To install Distributed Replay features

  1. To start the installation of any of the Distributed Replay features, start the SQL Server 2016 Installation Wizard.

  2. The Setup Support Rules page identifies issues that might occur when installing the SQL Server Setup support files. You must correct any Setup support failures before continuing with Setup.

  3. On the Product Key page, select an option button to indicate whether you are installing a free edition of SQL Server, or a production version of the product that has a PID key. For more information, see Editions and Components of SQL Server 2016.

  4. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the license terms and conditions. To help improve SQL Server, you can also enable the feature usage option and send reports to Microsoft.

  5. On the Setup Support Files page, click Install to install or update the Setup Support files for SQL Server 2016.

  6. On the Setup Role page, select SQL Server Feature Installation, and then click Next to continue to the Feature Selection page.

  7. On the Feature Selection page, configure which features you want to install.

    • To install the administration tool, select Management Tools - Basic.

    • To install the controller service, select Distributed Replay Controller.

    • To install the client service, select Distributed Replay Client.

    Important: When you configure Distributed Replay controller, you can specify one or more user accounts that will be used to run the Distributed Replay client services. The following is the list of supported accounts:

    • Domain user account

    • User created local user account

    • Administrator

    • Virtual account and MSA (Managed Service Account)

    • Network Services, Local Services, and System

    Group accounts (local or domain) and other built-in accounts (like Everyone) are not accepted.

  8. Optionally, click the ellipsis (…) button to change the shared feature directory path.

    1. On 32-bit computers, the default installation path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\

    2. On 64-bit computers, the default installation path is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\

  9. When you are finished, click Next.

  10. On the Installation Rules page, SQL Server Setup validates your computer configuration. Once the validation process is completed, click Next.

  11. The Disk Space Requirements page calculates the required disk space for the features that you specify. Then it compares the required space to the available disk space.

  12. On the Error Reporting page, specify the information that you want to send to Microsoft to help improve SQL Server. By default, option for error reporting is enabled.

  13. On the Installation Configuration Rules page, the System Configuration Checker will run one more set of rules to validate your computer configuration with the SQL Server features that you have specified.

  14. On the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install.


    After you install Distributed Replay you must create firewall rules on the controller and client computers, and grant each client computer permissions on the target server. For more information, see Complete the Post-Installation Steps.

These additional topics document other ways to install Distributed Replay:

.NET Framework Security

You must have administrative permissions in order to install any of the Distributed Replay features. Only a SQL Server login having sysadmin permissions can add the client service accounts to the sysadmin server role of the test server. For more information about Distributed Replay security considerations, see Distributed Replay Security.

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