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Running a production SQL environment on a virtual server Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 5:47 AM
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Hi to everyone,

In order to reduce costs, we are looking at setting up some virtual servers. As the concept if pretty clear to us, the technical side is still new to us, so I was looking to find out if any of you had some thoughts on what to look-out for when putting a production SQL Server out on this kind of set-up.

Thanks

Yvan
Post #448247
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 7:38 AM


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I've used virtual machines with SQL Server at my last 2 jobs and its worked fairly well. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that if they are going to make any changes to the virtual environment .. particularly disk space .. shut down your SQL Server while they do it.

We increased disk space without shutting down SQL and completly corrupted our databases.

The only other problem I've seen was a snapshot that got out of hand. It kept updating itself and using up more and more space. Even though we had told it it was a one time snapshot. We found out about it when it eventually used up a terabyte drive. Not entirly sure what caused it though because our server team handled it.

Kenneth


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Post #448307
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 9:36 AM


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Y, I've run it a couple times too. Though I wouldn't use it for anything with really high transactions, it worked really well for our lesser sql boxes.

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Post #448420
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 9:40 AM
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Kenneth,

Thanks for the info, we'll keep it in mind

crever,

Thanks
Post #448425
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 9:40 AM


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True. I've only ever used it on development and test boxes.

It was very nice though when using for test boxes because you could put up a new test box in a matter of minutes. Or set up for a series of tests, do a snapshot, run the tests and then restore the snapshot for the next set of tests.


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Post #448427
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 9:53 AM
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when we bought VMWare a few years ago the sales guys specifically said don't run SQL or Exchange on it

your best bet in reducing expenses is buying x64 hardware and scaling up


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Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 10:44 AM
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SQL Noob,

We will double-check on that. We have contradicting information on this. I do not know our info is coming from the sales guy or a technical guy!

Which version are you running?

Y
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Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 11:45 AM


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Well, that was a few yrs ago. MS if embracing virtual environments with SQL these days.

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Post #448503
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 12:08 PM


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Actually I read an article that said that Microsoft will even provide support for using SQL with VMWare .. as long as the VMWare is their version of it :).

Kenneth Fisher
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Post #448511
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 11:43 PM
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If your experience with VMWare was a few years ago, things have changed pretty dramatically with the introduction of the hypervisor in the current versions of VMWare (MS will be releasing theirs shortly).

Virtualization is suitable for production use as long as you've got all of your ducks in a row and understand the pro's/con's of the technology.

Virtualization is really all about the underlying infrastructure, done right virtualization works well, done wrong/cheaply it usually fails miserably. Probably the most important thing I've seen is that virtualization tends to place a lot of demands on the underlying storage layer which many SAN's/NAS's & fabrics/networks just aren't ready for. Also be prepared to see your storage needs skyrocket, as noted it becomes pretty easy to "spin up" new instances for A, B, C, D... definitely something you need to plan for.

Joe





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