Should we automatically reboot our SQL Servers on a weekly basis?


There’s a debate going on within our company about whether or not we should automatically reboot our SQL Servers on a weekly basis. We are not experiencing any current problems, but some people are saying that by regularly rebooting, we will prevent future issues. Will doing so help performance or reliability of SQL Server?


There is a common myth among many IS people that Windows Server software needs to be rebooted regularly for it to work efficiently. There may have been a grain of truth to this in previous versions of Windows NT Server (before 4.0), but since 4.0, there has not been any need to reboot Windows Server on a regular basis. I have seen many, many Windows servers that are virtually never rebooted, and they never have any problems due to the OS. On the other hand, I have seen poorly written applications written for Windows Server that have memory leaks that have force the need to reboot the server on a regular basis. But this problem is the fault of the application, not the OS. It is very possible that less knowledgeable IS staff in general have improperly diagnosed the cause of a server’s problem and blamed it on the OS, and not the application as they should, which is perpetuating this myth. Since your SQL Server is not having any problems, leave it alone, and tell the other people on your staff to stop listening to urban legends.


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