SQL SERVER – What is the Maximum Relational Database Size Supported by Single Instance?

I often get asked following question?

“How much data SQL Server can handle?”

Every single time when I get this question – I ask back following question –

“How much data your storage system can handle?”

The reason I ask this question back is because in reality for enterprise systems the limitation of storage is no more an issue. The Matter of the fact most of the database is now a days limited by the size of the storage system. SQL Server is enterprise system and it is very mature product.

Even though if you still want to know what is the actual limit here is the answer.

SQL SERVER - What is the Maximum Relational Database Size Supported by Single Instance? petabyte

SQL Server 2008R2, 2012 and 2014 have maximum capacity of 524 PB (Petabyte) in the Enterprise, BI and Standard edition. SQL Server Express has a limitation of 10 GB due to its nature. I guess, now when you look at my question it will make sense that it is all depending on the size of your storage system.

I personally believe at this point of time 524 PB is quite a huge data, but we never know after 10 years when we read this blog post, we all may think what was I thinking actually.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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11 Comments. Leave new

  • SQL 2012: A database cannot exceed 524,272 terabytes, no single data file can exceed 16 terabytes.

  • hi sir
    i joined as a fresher ..present i need to be work on MS-BI(mainly ssas ).
    please can u give plural sight on demand learning subscription on Analysis services fundamentals?

  • If SQL server can handle so much data, then what is the need for Big data?

  • Hi Pinal.
    This is a good answer but I think that it will be more useful to know how the performance is affected by the size of the DB. Im doing a research before to start designing and I’m planning to have 300Gb DBs and bigger. I’ve read (here that the performance goes down after a couple of hudresds of gigabytes.
    Any suugestions, materials, articles to read will be welcomed.

  • Hi Pinal,
    This is good answer. please give solution of another question. can i define space for a table of sql server 2008 r2,

  • Hi,

    I wanted to develop a local intranet application where the back end is SQL SERVER DEVELOPMENT EDITION. And this application is keeping all the internal employee’s data. In every week new data will be saved into the database. So here I would like to know one thing that what is the maximum data that SQL SERVER DEVELOPMENT EDITION can support. This application I will deploy in my laptop . So is this storage is dependent on my hard disk size of my laptop.

    I am very new in the field of database storage and all.

    Can any one help on this with your valuable suggestions .

    Your timely help is well appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Yes, if you are installing it on your laptop, then you will need space on your laptop for the database. You will also be constrained by performance if you are using your laptop, so you should try to find out how many users you will have, and how active they will be (number of queries) and type of query etc. Recommend that you do some performance testing early in the development cycle (simulate the application and try it out).

  • Enroll to Pragmatic Works courses.

  • The official Microsoft documentation states that the maximum database size for SQL Server is 524,272 terabytes. Would you please clarify the reference you used to mention the figure of 524 petabytes (PB)?



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