Accidental sharepoint admin here trying to get familiar and fix some issues. Here is a pic from servers in our Farm screen. I'm noticing that we have two sharepoint foundation server databases? Is this a no no? Should we remove one of these databases? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks! enter image description here

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As one is named "DEV", you probably only have one for your production SharePoint. We would need to know more about your system to understand its setup.

In general, multiple databases can be a good thing:

  • Each web application will have its own database. If you have one web application for internal sites, one for internet facing sites and one for the My Sites, you will have three databases and each can be backed up and restored without impacting the other applications.
  • A single web application can have multiple databases to avoid creating a database too large to practically backup. If you created three databases for your internal web application, site collections will be created "round robin" across the three databases. Site collection 1 will be in DB1, Site Collection 2 will be in DB2, Site Collection 3 be in DB3 and Site Collection 4 will be in DB1 ... Now instead of one very large database to backup, you have three smaller and easier to manage databases.
  • A single web application might have two databases to isolate content for legal, business or backup/restore reasons. All of the general team sites go in DB1 and all of the financial sites go in DB2.
  • Companies with tens of thousands of employees and MySites might have a large number of databases just to keep the backup size small. If you estimate 2TB of total content, and want to keep the databases under 200GB, then you would use ten or more databases.

So... it depends on your business and database maintenance requirements.

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There are reasons this both SQL server showed up there.

  • If you create / attach a content database / Service / Config database then that server will be listed here.
  • Sometime, Admin for testing purpose connect a content database from different sql server and later remove the database from the farm. But this will not delete the server from server list.

How this impact the farm.

  • It will not impact your farm but it is more annoying why a dev sql server showing here and confused the new admins.
  • SharePoint farm can have multiple SQL servers, like you have large farm where single SQL server not fullfill the storage requirement then you add another one or so forth. There is limit of number of databases not the server (but less is better). In one of my farm we have 4 SQL servers which are hosting the content databases.

Now what you can do.

  • Check the farm, if it using that Sql server. You can run Get-SPdatabase | Select Name, Server This will list all the database in the farm, Now you can check if any of the database from that SQL server attached to the farm.

    • If yes then you cannot remove this server. 1st you have to decide what you want with the database.
    • If no database is being used from that server in this farm then you can remove it by clicking remove server link in front of that Dev SQL server. If you are not seeing that link, you need to login with farm admin account.

    • If you add a new database from that sql again, this SQL server will be listed here again.


Looks like you have only 2 content database Wss_content and SharePoint_Admin_.. while all other are services database.

Now why you are seeing the server name differently: It is not SQL rather SharePoint, SharePoint store the Database server name like this "Server Name= Ice" for all the services related databases. This is expected and default behavior while for content database it store it as "ICE". run below script to get the data in a clean way.

$db = get-spdatabase
foreach($d in $db)
  write-host "Database Name=" $d.name "Server Name=" $d..Server.Name
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  • Thanks. I ran the command and added a pic to the question. Do you know why some of the Servers return "SPServer Name=ice" and some just return "ice" as a hostname? I know that another admin had renamed the server hostname but didn't change the sql server instance. If I run @@ServerName in sql, it shows "ice" even though the hostname is "ice2". This is a fairly small install so we want to try and consolidate all DB's onto one sql server. – cspell Mar 16 '18 at 16:32
  • check my updated answer, what you are seeing is expected behavior – Waqas Sarwar MVP Mar 16 '18 at 17:23
  • Awesome info thanks! I'm going to be tasked with moving the databases off sql-dev which is a dev server and has caused issues having these db's on it. I'm going to open a case with MS for this but at least I have some basic info now. – cspell Mar 16 '18 at 18:52
  • One last question: As you can see, there are 3 service databases on sql-dev which appear to be reporting services but I checked the sql-dev server reporting services configuration and there are none? How can I tell what server is running the sharepoint integrated report server? Thanks! – cspell Mar 16 '18 at 19:12
  • from your DB screen shot and CA screen shot, it is clear that reporting service is configured in your SharePoint 2013 and Server name "SharePoint". go to manage Service application on central admin and see if you really provisioned that service application and using it? – Waqas Sarwar MVP Mar 16 '18 at 19:27

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