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Default database file sizes

T-SQL Tuesday It’s Chris Yates (b/t) birthday! (I think he just tured 19.) And in honor of his birthday we are writing blog posts! Well, technically it’s T-SQL Tuesday again, but we can pretend we are writing for Chris’ birthday. In fact that’s the subject he’s selected. “Give yourself a birthday present.” Since my birthday is in October I’m just going to call this a birthday present for Chris.

Default database file sizes have been updated!

The other day I noticed there was an #AskSQLTiger hash tag on twitter, so I thought I would ask about database defaults. For years they have been pretty unrealistic.


No one is going to use a file size of 3mb (data) and 1mb (log) unless it’s a very very simple test. And the autogrowth of 1mb (data) and 10% (log) has caused me more grief than you would believe. I mean by the time you are working with multi gb files these growth patterns just don’t work anymore. Just think about the number of growths at 1mb at a time it would take to get to a 10gb data file.

The Tiger team responded.


Well what do you know! SQL 2016 not only goes faster it has lots of awesome new changes too.

New default changes

New database file defaults

Now 8mb initial 64mb growth still isn’t all that big. Perfect for testing, or small lab environments, but not big enough for live databases in my opinion. But guess what? The awesome doesn’t stop here!

The default file sizes didn’t used to come from the Model database. This is no longer true!

Change the Model database file defaults.

Change the Model database file defaults.

And now the default for new databases has changed.

And now the defaults for new databases have changed.

To be fair when you are creating a new database you should pay attention to file sizes and file growth. On the other hand mistakes happen, people are lazy, etc. It’s nice to know that the safety net (defaults) have been updated to be a bit more realistic.

Filed under: Microsoft SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication, System Databases, T-SQL Tuesday Tagged: database files, default settings, microsoft sql server, model database, SQL 2016


My name is Kenneth Fisher and I am Senior DBA for a large (multi-national) insurance company. I have been working with databases for over 20 years starting with Clarion and Foxpro. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 12 years but have only really started “studying” the subject for the last 3. I don’t have any real "specialities" but I enjoy trouble shooting and teaching. Thus far I’ve earned by MCITP Database Administrator 2008, MCTS Database Administrator 2005, and MCTS Database Developer 2008. I’m currently studying for my MCITP Database Developer 2008 and should start in on the 2012 exams next year. My blog is at www.sqlstudies.com.


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