SQL Server 2016 Requirements

The system requirements for SQL Server 2016 for the best performance are:

  • 6GB of Disk Space in the NTFS file format
  • .NET Framework 4.6 or later
  • 1GB of Memory
  • 2.0 GHz or faster 64 bit processor
  • A Compatible Windows Server OS

Let’s discuss each requirement in more detail:

Hard Drive Requirements

MS SQL 2016 requires a minimum of 6 GB of available hard drive space. Different configurations of the server software will have different hard drive requirements. Make sure to check how much hard drive space the version of MS SQL you’re installing requires. We always recommend a Solid State Disk be used if possible on a database server to ensure peak database performance. Using the NTFS drive format is also recommended by Microsoft.

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.NET Framework

You’ll need to have .NET Framework 4.6 or later installed to be able to run MS SQL 2016. The SQL server software will usually prompt you to install the framework if you haven’t already. You can also download the Framework installer if you haven’t already.

Windows 8.1 or later and Windows Server 2012 R2 are also necessary for running .NET Framework 4.6 or later.

Memory Requirements

The absolute minimum amount of RAM is 512MB for the Express version of SQL Server 2016. To adequately meet the needs of all other editions for SQL server hosting, 1GB of more RAM is recommended. Most production servers will have at least 4GB of RAM available, and that would be an optimal amount to have in case the server has any bursts of activity.


x86 processors are no longer supported by SQL Server 2016, therefore the SQL Server requirements call for a 64 bit processor. While the server can run on a minimum of a 1.4 GHz processor, 2.0GHz or faster is the recommended speed for best performance.

Compatible Operating Systems

In order to setup SQL Server hosting, you’ll need a compatible Operating System. SQL Server is supported on Windows Server 2012 Standard / Datacenter editions as well as Windows Server 2016 Standard / Datacenter.

Network Software

OS supported by MS SQL 2016 feature dedicated network software. Installing an MS SQL 2016 server supports TCP/IP, named pipes, shared memory, and VIA transfer protocols.

How Much Does SQL Server 2016 Licensing Cost?

There are 4 versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2016. The Express and Developer editions are both extremely limited but are available as a free download. The Standard edition is $3,717 per CPU core and the Enterprise edition is $14,256 per CPU core.

SQL Server Setup Recommendations

If you’re planning on hosting your own SQL server there are a few other things you’ll need to keep in mind.

Each database will need to be running the same version of SQL Server. The SQL Server collation setting must be configured correctly for each database, as well.

Full-text search is mandatory for both the operational database as well as the warehouse server.

Only use Windows Authentication for the computer hosting the operational database. Do not use Mixed Mode Authentication, which is a mixture of Windows Authentication and SQL Server Authentication. Mixed Mode Authentication is optional for the operational database but all contact is done via Windows. You’ll have to stick with the Windows Authentication.

Deploy Your Next SQL Server 2016 Server

If you have any questions about database hosting or want to discuss your unique requirements, consider booking an expert server consultation. We’ll review your business goals and help you select a server that will meet your database hosting needs.