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Argos 7 ships with Microsoft SQL 2008 Express, a free version of Microsoft's SQL platform . Many customers wonder if they should be using SQL 2008 Standard instead of Express, and the answer is that it depends on a number of factors in your environment.

SQL 2008 Express

SQL Express includes all of the features of SQL that are necessary for a complete Argos installation. The main drawbacks are:

  • Only one GB of RAM will be used by SQL Express
  • Only one CPU will be used by SQL Express (however, multiple cores on a single CPU can be used)
  • 10GB maximum database size

The most noticeable limitation of SQL Express is RAM usage. SQL Server does almost all processing within RAM to increase performance. Once the 1GB limit is reached, additional processing occurs on the hard drive, which will slow down performance and put unnecessary usage on your drive hardware. Often the quickest way to increase performance on a server running SQL is to add additional RAM, but with SQL Express, this does not necessarily help.

Because Argos 7 does most of the activity processing at the Communication Service layer, the SQL Server workload is not as high as you might find with other applications. We have found that SQL Express is typically adequate in environments that meet these criteria:

  • Less than 100 interactively tracked users
  • 1-3 remote offices
  • Argos Manager used in same office as SQL Server (remote connections to SQL Server benefit from additional RAM)

If you are currently using SQL Express on your server for another application, we recommend using a separate instance for Argos. The hardware limitations of SQL Express are per-instance; if you have one instance for BackupExec, and one for Argos, each instance can use one GB of RAM and one CPU. If both applications share one instance, they also share the one GB of RAM and one CPU.

SQL 2014 Standard

  • Can use up to 128 GB of RAM
  • Can use 16 CPU cores
  • No database size limit

SQL 2012 Standard

  • Can use up to 64 GB of RAM
  • Can use 16 CPU cores
  • No database size limit

SQL 2008 R1/R2 Standard

  • Can use up to 64 GB of RAM
  • Can use four CPUs
  • No database size limit

Other SQL Versions

The following additional versions are also supported:

  • SQL 2005/2008/2012 Enterprise (overkill for most Argos environments)
  • SQL 2012 Business Intelligence
  • SQL 2005 Standard, with latest Service Packs installed

The following versions are not recommended, and/or not supported:

  • SQL 2005 Express
  • SQL Workgroup Edition
  • SQL Web Edition
  • SQL Compact Edition
  • SQL Developer Edition
  • Any SQL 2000 or earlier version

Upgrading from SQL Express to SQL Standard

If you are unsure whether SQL Express will meet your needs, you can start with Express, and if there are noted performance issues,  upgrade to SQL Standard at a later date. Microsoft supports direct upgrade of SQL Express to Standard. Alternately, the Argos database can be migrated to another server that already hosts SQL 2008 Standard.

Still have questions? Sepialine Support can help you determine the best SQL version for your environment.