How to Resolve: The feature “Scale-out deployment” is not supported in this edition of Reporting Services

Under certain circumstances, when upgrading SQL Server Reporting Services Standard Edition, for example from SSRS 2012 or 2014 to SSRS 2017 or 2019, you might get the following error message when trying to start the Reporting Services service: “The feature “Scale-out deployment” is not supported in this edition of Reporting Services“. But first, let’s discuss how you can typically upgrade your SSRS instance.

 

How to Upgrade/Migrate an old SSRS Instance to SSRS 2017 or SSRS 2019

Since you cannot perform an in-place upgrade of SSRS, you will need to perform a series of manual migration steps, which of course, need to be thoroughly tested on a Test environment first:

  1. Take note of any custom configurations including service credentials, email or file share settings, or report server URLs.
  2. Backup your ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases and store the backups to a safe place.
  3. Backup the encryption key of your SSRS instance and store it along with the password you have specified to a safe place.
  4. Uninstall SQL Server Reporting Services.
  5. Install the new instance of SSRS (i.e. SSRS 2017 or 2019) and ensure it works properly (i.e. services, reports portal, etc.).
  6. Backup the new ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases.
  7. Backup the encryption key of the new SSRS instance.
  8. Restore the ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB originally backed up in Step 3.
  9. Restore the encryption key backup.
  10. Recreate all of the custom configurations noted in step 1.
  11. Optional/If Required: Restart the SSRS instance

 

Post Upgrade Considerations and the Root Cause of the Issue

Now that you have upgraded your SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to a modern version, you need to take into consideration the below.

In older SSRS versions, i.e. SSRS 2012 or 2014, you might see that the SSRS instance name is “MSSQLServer”.

However, in these newer versions of SSRS, the default instance name changed and it is “SSRS”.

This fact, that is the different SSRS default instance name, under certain conditions (i.e. if you are using a Standard Edition of SSRS/SQL Server) might become the root cause of the error message: “The feature “Scale-out deployment” is not supported in this edition of Reporting Services“.

 

What Does the “Scale-out deployment” Error Message Mean?

The error message, means that you are trying to use the scale-out deployment feature on a edition of SSRS/SQL Server that does not support it.

So, what is happening here, is that you are most probably using a Standard Edition of SSRS/SQL Server, along with the fact that if you check the “Keys” table in the “ReportServer” database, you will most probably have 2 records there, one that has the “MSSQLServer” value in the “InstanceName” column, and another one that has the “SSRS” value.

To this end, SSRS sees these 2 key values, and considers that you are using two servers instead of one, hence the scale-out deployment feature, even if this is not the actual case.

If you were using an Enterprise Edition of SQL Server, note that you would not get this error message.

 

How to Resolve the “Scale-out deployment” Issue

So, if indeed you are using a Standard Edition of SSRS and SQL Server and your case matches what I have described above, this is what you can try for resolving the issue:

  1. Backup your ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases and store the backups to a safe place.
  2. Backup the encryption key of your SSRS instance and store it along with the password you have specified to a safe place.
  3. Backup the “Keys” table in the “ReportServer” database to a new table:
    USE ReportServer;
    GO
    
    SELECT * 
    INTO KeysTempBackup
    FROM dbo.Keys;
    GO
  4. Stop the SSRS Instance
  5. Delete from the “Keys” table, the entry that references the old SSRS instance name. So if for example, indeed the record that references the old SSRS instance has the value “MSSQLServer” in the “InstanceName” column in the “Keys” table, then, you can try deleting that entry with the below command:
    USE ReportServer;
    GO
    
    DELETE FROM dbo.Keys
    WHERE InstanceName='MSSQLServer';
    GO
  6. Start the SSRS instance

 

Hopefully, the above will resolve the “Scale-out deployment is not supported” error.

Last but not least, in case you indeed want to use the “scale-out deployment” feature of SSRS, you will have to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition of SSRS and SQL Server.

 

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