Recently I ran into an unexpected problem where I tried to install multiple instances of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) on one server. After installing the first SSRS instance successfully, I attempted to install the second instance. Only, I couldn’t see where or how to install the second instance.
It turns out, since SSRS 2017, only one instance of SSRS can be installed on a server. This is very briefly confirmed, in Microsoft’s documentation on working with multiple instances.
The options the SSRS installer gives you when you try install a second instance are just the typical Upgrade/Repair/Uninstall options. No install options available like the good ole days.
So, if you’re wanting to install multiple instances of SSRS 2017 or higher on a single server, you’ll need to rethink that strategy. The alternative is to build multiple servers each with their own SSRS instance installed on them. Yes, depending on your SQL licensing plan, this could mean extra SQL Server licensing costs and all the other licenses you might need to pay to have an extra server including Windows Server, Anti-Virus, backup tools etc. Then of course there are the indirect costs of extra CPU and memory required to run an extra server.
If it is any help, you can still have multiple ReportServer databases (the internal SSRS databases) on a single SQL Server instance. Meaning your second SSRS instance, on your separate server, doesn’t need to have a SQL Server instance installed on it. Instead you can point that SSRS instance back to the SQL Server instance on your first SSRS server, or any other SQL Server instance for that matter. That may not help SQL licensing costs, but it might mean you can lower the CPU and memory requirements for the second server.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, this is the same for PowerBI Report Server.