Microsoft SQL Server Requirements

Before registering each SQL server in ECX, ensure it meets the following requirements.

Microsoft SQL Server Configuration Requirements

Microsoft SQL Server Configuration Requirements

Database Versions/Types and Operating Systems Server Types Storage Systems Storage Configuration
  • SQL 2008 R2 SP4 on Windows Server 2008 R2 [1]
  • SQL 2008 R2 SP4 on Windows Server 2012 R2

  • SQL 2012 on Windows Server 2008 R2 [1]
  • SQL 2012 on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SQL 2012 SP2 on Windows Server 2016
  • SQL 2014 on Windows Server 2008 R2 [1]
  • SQL 2014 on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SQL 2014 on Windows Server 2016
  • SQL 2016 on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SQL 2016 on Windows Server 2016

Standalone, SQL Server Failover Clustering, and AlwaysOn configurations are supported for SQL 2008 R2 SP4, SQL 2012, SQL 2014, and SQL 2016.[2]

Note: It is highly recommended to install the latest SQL Server patches and updates in your environment.

Physical [7] [8] [9] [10]
  • IBM Spectrum Accelerate 11.5.3 and later:
    • IBM FlashSystem A9000/A9000R
    • IBM XIV storage systems
  • IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software 7.3 and later:
    • IBM SAN Volume Controller
    • IBM Storwize
    • IBM FlashSystem V9000
  • Pure Storage running Pure APIs 1.5 and above:
    • FlashArray//m
    • FlashArray 4xx series
  • Fibre Channel
  • iSCSI

(VMware) [3]

  • DellEMC Unity
    • EMC Unity 300, 400, 500, 600 (All-Flash and Hybrid Flash)
    • EMC UnityVSA
    • EMC VNXe 1600 running version 3.1.3 +
    • EMC VNXe 3200 running version 3.1.1 +
  • IBM Spectrum Accelerate 11.5.3 and later:
    • IBM FlashSystem A9000/A9000R
    • IBM XIV storage systems
  • IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software 7.3 and later:
    • IBM SAN Volume Controller
    • IBM Storwize
    • IBM FlashSystem V9000
  • NetApp ONTAP storage systems running the following versions:
    • Data ONTAP 8.1.0, 8.2.0 and later in 7-mode
    • Data ONTAP 9.x
    • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 and later
  • Pure Storage running Pure APIs 1.5 and above:
    • FlashArray//m
    • FlashArray 4xx series

Note: VM Replication restore jobs can be run to store off-host copies on the storage systems listed above.

  • iSCSI disks attached directly to guest operating system [4]
  • pRDM [4]
  • vRDM [5]
  • VMDK [6]

[1] Windows Remote Shell (WinRM) must be enabled. By default, WinRM is not enabled in a Windows Server 2008 R2 environment. To ensure services in a Windows Server 2008 R2 environment are able to receive connections, perform the following procedure: Run winrm quickconfig, then select Yes to make changes. This adds a listener for port 5985. To ensure the listener is available, enter the following command: winrm e winrm/config/listener.

[2] Note that Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) are not supported.

[3] See System Requirements for supported VMware vSphere versions.

[4] Select the Physical provider type when registering the provider in ECX. Recoveries require direct access to storage. Note that NetApp ONTAP and DellEMC storage systems are not supported.

[5] vRDMs are supported through VM Replication jobs.

[6] Independent disks are supported only if the underlying storage utilizes supported storage systems. Register the SQL resource as Physical when configuring the provider in ECX. Note that independent disks do not allow snapshots to be taken in VMware virtual scenarios. The above listed IBM Spectrum Accelerate, IBM Spectrum Virtualize, and Pure Storage FlashArrays are supported for physical registration.

[7] When registering physical SQL servers it is recommended to register via the DNS server. The ECX appliance must be resolvable and route-able by the DNS server; the physical SQL server will communicate back to ECX through DNS.

[8] Recovery for target servers registered as Physical provider types requires direct access to storage.

[9] Any Windows node with iSCSI or Fibre Channel access to the storage can be selected as a proxy server, provided that the node is not part of the original cluster. It is recommended to select a standalone virtual or physical Windows node as a proxy server.

[10] Note that for physical SQL servers, you must allow outgoing connections to port 8443 on the ECX appliance from the SQL server.

SQL servers residing on any storage can also be protected to supported storage systems through VM Replication jobs.

For both physical and virtual SQL environments, point-in-time recoveries beyond the last snapshot taken are incompatible with workflows utilizing more than one Site. In a virtual environment, the SQL server, associated vCenter, and storage must be registered to the same site. In a physical environment, the SQL server and storage must be registered to the same site.

For more information about Microsoft SQL Server requirements, see Microsoft SQL Server Support FAQ.

SQL Support for VMware Virtual Machines

UUID must be enabled to perform Microsoft SQL-based backup functions. To enable, power off the guest machine through the vSphere client, then select the guest and click Edit Settings. Select Options, then General under the Advanced section. Select Configuration Parameters..., then find the disk.EnableUUID parameter. If set to FALSE, change the value to TRUE. If the parameter is not available, add it by clicking Add Row, set the value to TRUE, then power on the guest.

The virtual machine must use SCSI disks only, dynamic disks are not supported.

The latest VMware Tools must be installed on the virtual machine node.

In-Memory OLTP Requirements and Limitations

In-Memory OLTP is a memory-optimized database engine used to improve database application performance, supported in SQL 2014 and 2016. Note the following ECX requirements and limitations for In-Memory OLTP usage:

  • The maximum restore file path must be less than 256 characters, which is a SQL requirement. If the original path exceeds this length, consider using a customized restore file path to reduce the length.
  • The metadata that can be restored is subject to VSS and SQL restore capabilities.

SQL Server Failover Clustering Requirements for Windows Server 2008 R2

The Failover Cluster Manager Snap-In must be imported and configured before running ECX Backup and Restore jobs. To import, run Windows PowerShell in Windows Server 2008 R2 and enter the following command: import-module failoverclusters

For more information, see

Registration and Authentication

Register each SQL server as a provider in ECX by name or IP address. When registering a SQL Cluster (AlwaysOn), register each node by name or IP address. The fully qualified domain name and virtual machine node DNS name must be resolvable and route-able from the ECX appliance.

The user identity must have sufficient rights to install and start the ECX Tools Service on the node. This includes "Log on as a service" rights. For more information about the "Log on as a service" right, see

The default security policy uses the Windows NTLM protocol, and the user identity format follows the default domain\Name format.

Kerberos Requirements

Kerberos-based authentication can be enabled through a configuration file on the ECX appliance. This will override the default Windows NTLM protocol.

For Kerberos-based authentication only, the user identity must be specified in the username@FQDN format. The username must be able to authenticate using the registered password to obtain a ticket-granting ticket (TGT) from the key distribution center (KDC) on the domain specified by the fully qualified domain name.

Kerberos authentication also requires that the clock skew between the Domain Controller and the ECX appliance is less than 5 minutes. Note that the default Windows NTLM protocol is not time dependent.


On the SQL server, the system login credential must have public and sysadmin permissions enabled, plus permission to access cluster resources in a SQL AlwaysOn environment. If one user account is used for all SQL functions, a Windows login must be enabled for the SQL server, with public and sysadmin permissions enabled.

Every SQL instance can use a specific user account to access the resources of that particular SQL instance.


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