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SQL Server 2008 & Windows Server 2008 RODC

SQL Server 2008 & Windows Server 2008 RODC

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One of the many interesting new features in Windows Server 2008 is the Read Only Domain Controller (RODC).  Simply put , the RODC can only be updated by another Domain Controller i.e. NOT directly.  It is designed for the branch office and caches the credentials of the users in that branch and saves users then having to round trip to the main domain controllers back at head office. This really comes into when the link to Head office breaks as the local users can still login using the RODC. 

In the same way these branch offices often need to run SQL Server locally, this might then have replication set back to head office to give maximum local performance when the links to head office are slow and/or unreliable.

There is some debate at the moment about the need for SQL Server 2008 will be supported on Windows Server 2008 when it runs the RODC role.

I am using the word supported here in the Microsoft sense of the word i.e. if it’s broken Microsoft will fix it and support you in the process.

In my opinion SQL Server 2008 needs to be supported on an RODC as you really only want one server in the branch.  One way to shoehorn all of a branches applications onto physical server would be to use Hyper-V i.e. to create a virtual machine on top of the physical RODC server with all the application stuff. Virtualising SQL Server in a production environment is a frequently debated topic in its own right, but might work in this scenario as SQL Server is unlikely to be maxed out in this scenario.

So if branch offices figure in your SQL server estate, please let me know what you think about any of this.

  • I am the ATS for Commonwealth Bank of Australia.  CBA have 1,100 branch servers currently running W2K3, SQL 2K and acting as DC's.  They would like to migrate to W2K8, SQL 2K8 and RODC's - but can't.

    Are there support plans for SQL2K8 on RODC's?

  • Michael

    No there aren't our advice is to run windows server 2008 hyper-v at each branch with a vm for the RODC and another for SQL Server 2008.  You can then quickly deploy/patch these VM's to each branch.


  • I'm install Sql Express 2008 r2 on RODC 2008 r2. Before install i'm create manually group SQLServerMSSQLServerADHelperUser$ServerName.

  • I'm install SQLExpress 2008 R2 on RODC 2008 R2. Before install I'm create manually group SQLServerMSSQLServerADHelperUser$ServerName.

  • Here is manual (in russian) how to install SQL 2005 on RODC

  • Evilleo, yop it's easy to do in any lnaguage - it's just not a supported sceanrio and that matters to a lot of customers who want support from Microsoft

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