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What's the difference between installing a "Default Instance" vs a "Named Instance"?

    Question

  • What's the difference between installing a "Default Instance" vs a "Named Instance"? How do I make decision on which to do? Thanks.


    System configuration: Winndows 7 RTM, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L motherboard, Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6300 Wolfdale @ 2.8GHz, 4GB PC-1066 DDR2 Patriot Viper Memory, 500 GB Western Digital Hard Disk, GeForce 8800GT Videocard
    Monday, October 26, 2009 10:11 AM

Answers

  • What's the difference between installing a "Default Instance" vs a "Named Instance"? How do I make decision on which to do? Thanks.

    You can install only only one default instance but can install multiple named instances.  It is best to install only a default instance unless you have a special need to install multiple SQL Server instances on the same host, such as running differrent versions concurrently or other isolation requirements.  These additional instances must be named.

    The underlying difference between a default and named instance is mostly a matter of network connectivity.  Clients can connect to the default instance using only the host name over the well-known 1433 port.  To connect to a named instance, clients specify the host and instance name (e.g. "MyHost\My_Instance") and the SQL Server Browser service returns the port the named instance is listening on.
    Dan Guzman, SQL Server MVP, http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/dang/
    • Marked as answer by LekssEditor Monday, October 26, 2009 5:07 PM
    Monday, October 26, 2009 11:49 AM
  • Hi Bradley,

    There's no major difference.  The benefit of the default instance is that you connect just by specifying the server name (eg, MYSERVER), whereas a named instance will require an instance name as well (eg, MYSERVER\SQL2005).

    If you're only going to install one version of SQL Server on this machine, go with a default.  If you're planning on multiple instances on this machine, it's up to you whether you want one named and one default, or both named.



    • Marked as answer by LekssEditor Monday, October 26, 2009 5:07 PM
    Monday, October 26, 2009 10:40 AM

All replies

  • Hi Bradley,

    There's no major difference.  The benefit of the default instance is that you connect just by specifying the server name (eg, MYSERVER), whereas a named instance will require an instance name as well (eg, MYSERVER\SQL2005).

    If you're only going to install one version of SQL Server on this machine, go with a default.  If you're planning on multiple instances on this machine, it's up to you whether you want one named and one default, or both named.



    • Marked as answer by LekssEditor Monday, October 26, 2009 5:07 PM
    Monday, October 26, 2009 10:40 AM
  • Also, if you use a named instance you will either need to have SQL Browser running or explicitly give port information in the connection information.
    Monday, October 26, 2009 11:21 AM
  • What's the difference between installing a "Default Instance" vs a "Named Instance"? How do I make decision on which to do? Thanks.

    You can install only only one default instance but can install multiple named instances.  It is best to install only a default instance unless you have a special need to install multiple SQL Server instances on the same host, such as running differrent versions concurrently or other isolation requirements.  These additional instances must be named.

    The underlying difference between a default and named instance is mostly a matter of network connectivity.  Clients can connect to the default instance using only the host name over the well-known 1433 port.  To connect to a named instance, clients specify the host and instance name (e.g. "MyHost\My_Instance") and the SQL Server Browser service returns the port the named instance is listening on.
    Dan Guzman, SQL Server MVP, http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/dang/
    • Marked as answer by LekssEditor Monday, October 26, 2009 5:07 PM
    Monday, October 26, 2009 11:49 AM
  • All good answers. Thanks for the replies.


    System configuration: Winndows 7 RTM, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L motherboard, Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6300 Wolfdale @ 2.8GHz, 4GB PC-1066 DDR2 Patriot Viper Memory, 500 GB Western Digital Hard Disk, GeForce 8800GT Videocard
    Monday, October 26, 2009 12:17 PM
  • Guys,

    I have some questions regarding this topic.

    What is the unnamed instance?

    When I install Standard Edition, the default is unnamed, when I install Express the default is SQLExpress?

    Why I can´t use Server\MSSQLServer to connect to MSSQLServer instance?

    TIA


    MarcosGalvani

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:52 PM
  • >What is the unnamed instance?

    That is the default instance, same name as the computer, for example LONDONPROD.

    Express is a named instance: LONDONPROD\SQLEXPRESS



    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect T-SQL Scripts at sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Exam 70-461 Bootcamp: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012


    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:30 PM