@vint I've been running KSS with, and without, an external SQL server for a while. Several months ago I built new 2016 VMs for our Kiwi servers, as well as changed back over to flat/text files instead of external DB.
The benefit of running an external DB will likely depend on your available resources. If you have the time/experience to build things out using SQL server as your base, then you will likely get more than someone who doesn't (which I suppose is fairly obvious for most things). In regards to the KSS web access, unless something has changed, I believe that runs with a limit of 4 GB, or possibly 10 GB now, so it's not great for long term storage. The web access does NOT use IIS, it uses UltiDev (something like that) and, in my opinion, is not really the best if you have many users needing access, or you're using multiple Kiwi servers.
Having ran KSS many different ways, with and without external DBs, I'm currently in the camp of just storing the logs in various flat/text files, and NOT using an external DB. In my experience, as limited as it may be, I feel it's just too clunky to use either the web access or external DB. I've found that having a bunch of flat files, stored on a share, are much easier to search and reference data (we use Notepad++ to search through all files in a folder, so it's easy and quick to find things).
KSS is actually a pretty powerful tool, though the way it's setup to use is not all that user friendly. The web access is nice, but I don't really think it scales very well. The ability to store logs directly into a DB is great, but can get real messy, real quick. And finally, KSS as a service is great because you don't need to be there to start it up. When the server boots up, KSS starts running. Otherwise, someone would need to log into the server after a reboot to open the KSS program (I think).
I'm sure this was not the most helpful, but hopefully it can provide even a tiny little nugget of value somewhere. Best of luck on your install, and let us know how it goes.
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