To install SLM, do you need Standard or Enterprise SQL?
Also is a physical server a hard requirement? Or can you get away with a big VM? And is it worth it?
There is an information provided in system requirements:
Snow System Requirements - Update revision 13/12/2017
You should check Database Server section.
You can use Standard edition as well for SQL server.
Regarding machine type - you can use VM with configuration, based on your infrastructure (seat count).
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