The Distributor is a server that contains the distribution database and stores meta data, history data, and/or transactions. The Distributor can be a separate server from the Publisher (remote Distributor), or it can be the same server as the Publisher (local Distributor). The role of the Distributor varies depending on which type of replication you implement, and in general, its role is much greater for snapshot replication and transactional replication than it is for merge replication.
The Distributor uses these additional resources on the server where it is located:
- Additional disk space if the snapshot files for the publication are stored on it.
- Additional disk space to store the distribution database.
- Additional processor time, which is used by the replication agents running on the Distributor. (Remote agent activation can be used to offload agent processing if necessary).
The server you select as the Distributor should have adequate disk space and processor power to support replication and any other activities based on that server.
Select Make server its own Distributor; SQL Server will create a distribution database and log to make the local server the Distributor. Select Use the following server (the selected server must already be configured as a Distributor) and then click on the name of the server to make a remote server the Distributor.
If you want to use a remote server as the Distributor, make sure the remote server is already configured as a Distributor and the local server is enabled as a Publisher on that Distributor. If the server you want to use as a Distributor is not listed, click Add Server to register it in SQL Server Enterprise Manager and add it to the list of available Distributors.