Administer multiple servers using Central Management Servers

Applies to: SQL Server

You can administer multiple servers by designating Central Management Servers and creating server groups.

What is a Central Management Server and server groups?

An instance of SQL Server designated as a Central Management Server maintains server groups that contain the connection information for one or more instances. You can execute Transact-SQL statements and Policy-Based Management policies at the same time against server groups. You can also view the log files on instances managed through a Central Management Server.

Basically, a Central Management Server is a central repository containing a list of your managed servers. Versions earlier than SQL Server 2008 (10.0.x) cannot be designated as a Central Management Server.

Transact-SQL statements can also be executed against local server groups in Registered Servers.

Create Central Management Server and server groups

To create a Central Management Server and server groups, use the Registered Servers window in SQL Server Management Studio. Note that the Central Management Server should not be a member of a group that it maintains, to prevent accidental audit policy application that could interfere with the CMS itself. SSMS enforces this by preventing a server of the same name as the Central Management Server from being added to a group.

Central Management Servers are also available in Azure Data Studio.

For how to create Central Management Servers and server groups, see Create a Central Management Server and Server Group (SQL Server Management Studio).

Next steps