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A few days ago, I freshly installed SQL Server 2019 Evaluation Edition using the media downloaded from the Microsoft's website, and subsequently noticed that a Windows service named "CNG Key Isolation" service was listed as a dependency, required for running our newly installed SQL Server instance:

Service Dependencies for our freshly installed SQL Server 2019 Evaluation Edition

Interestingly, I can not see the above to be a dependency for running prior versions of SQL Servers (certainly not for the versions of up to 2016), not even for the Enterprise Editions:

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What does "CNG Key Isolation" service do for SQL Server 2019, that was not needed in 2016 or earlier versions? Note that being a dependency for SQL Server service means that SQL Server instance cannot be started up if this service is not running first - for example, if it is disabled. What makes this service so vital for running SQL Server 2019 and yet, not at all needed in previous versions?

PS: note that we do not have SQL Server 2017 anywhere in our environment so I could not check 2017. However, I was able to check versions 2016, 2014, 2012 as well as 2008 R2 and observe this service was NOT a dependency in these older versions.

Thanks!

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  • I would guess it has to do with the fact you're running Evaluation Edition, but Microsoft would be able to best answer this.
    – J.D.
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 12:43
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    @J.D. Evaluation Edition is in use temporarily. We will upgrade to paid edition in couple of months. I will write an update once that is done.
    – RGO
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 0:16
  • I don't have any data as to why, but yes this is what happens. It's not related to being evaluation edition; upgrading a SQL instance from 2017 to 2019 will add this dependency as well. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 7:18

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CNG Key Isolation service will store a wireless network key or the required cryptographic information for a smart card.

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  • Used by hackers black hat hackers
    – G Holland
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 19:03
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    Please edit your answer to add more information. And this only answers the what not the why. You could improve your answer by doing that and by citing a refetence. Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 20:28

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