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SQL Server Browser Service

One of the most common questions I get from folks during out quickstart engagements is around a new service in SQL Server called the SQL Browser service. You’ll notice it appears in the SQL Server configuration manager. See below for an example:


The SQL Server Browser Service is designed to listen for income requests and provide information about the instances installed on a server. The services allows for three major pieces of functionality

  1. Browsing available servers
  1. Connecting to the correct server instance
  2. Connecting to DAC (Dedicated Administrator Connections)

Upon startup, SQL Server instances are assigned ports or pipes depending on configuration. The Browser Service reads the registry, finds the ports and instances and stores them. IT then manages any income requests like a traffic cop. Very useful to understand how this works. For more information see the MSDN article here:



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