The software requirements for installing SQL Server will vary according to its intended use and the version you are installing. Consideration must be given to which operating system you require, the file system you will use, and which, if any, service packs and updates must be installed.
The various combinations of operating systems and SQL Server 2000 editions and components are listed in Table 8.6.
Table 8.6. Selection of the Appropriate Operating System
SQL Server can be installed on drives formatted with FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. The NTFS file system is highly recommended for its security and recovery advantages.
When formatting partitions for data storage, additional performance gains can be achieved by using NTFS formatted with a 64KB cluster size, achieving a one-to-one ratio with the SQL Server data extent size.
SQL Server 2000 supports the use of raw partitions for storing database files. A raw partition is a disk partition that has not been formatted with any file system. Rather than specifying a physical filename when creating a database file on a raw partition, you specify only the drive letter of the disk partition. As no filename is specified for files on raw partitions, only one file per partition is possible. The performance advantage of raw partitions over files is slight , and file manipulation operations such as copy, move, and delete are not supported. Additionally, database files on raw partitions cannot be automatically expanded. For these reasons, it is recommended that you use files created on NTFS or FAT partitions instead of raw partitions.
A great new feature for Windows 2000 is the ability to mount partitions to empty folders. By pre-creating a folder structure based on mounted partitions, you can logically group files, while keeping them physically separate to avoid contention . Consider a folder called D:\DATABASE1 with subfolders DATA1 and LOG1. If you were to mount hard drive 2 to DATA1 and hard drive 3 to LOG1, the files would be grouped logically but actually would reside physically on separate drives. The Unix folks have been using mounted disks like this for years .
When installing SQL Server 2000 on any version of Windows NT 4.0, Service Pack 5 or higher must be installed. All installations require at least Internet Explorer Version 5.0 (IE 6.0 is out, so go ahead and move to that version if you can) to support the Microsoft Management Console (MMC); however, if only connectivity is required, IE 4.01 SP2 will suffice. For Windows 95 (connectivity only), the Winsock 2 update must be installed. This is provided on the SQL Server installation disk.