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What are the typical uses of service accounts in running SQL Server components?

Service accounts are all about security and access. So, for example, SQL Agent runs as a service and it can be configured (should be) to run under a service account. Let’s assume that you use Agent to run backups. Let’s also assume you backup to a shared file location on your network that’s not local to the machine you’re running SQL Agent on. You’ll need to ensure that the account configured for SQL Agent has access to that shared file location. While this may seem like work, what it in fact is doing is following the method of least access. That service account has to have access to that share, but it doesn’t need access to other file locations on your system, so you only give it what it needs and nothing more. Same thing applies to the other services and service accounts.

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