We have recently migrated our core live SQL Server environment from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008 making use of virtualisation from VMWare and SAN storage from NetApp. Probably the coolest feature from the SAN solution is the ability to create application consistant snapshots and present them to other servers.
Let me elabourate, one of our live SQL Servers we migrated has about 1TB of data files and 500GB of log files. In our old environment to copy and restore backups of these databases even compressed ones lets say to a UAT environment, took somewhere between 6 to 8 hours. Utilising the SAN technology that NetApp provides we can present this same 1.5TB of data in less than 10 minutes!
This is done in short by taking a snapshot of the source data and log volumes then mounting these as drives in VMWare, we then detach all the current databases and attach the ones on the newly presented drives followed by unmounting the original drives.
During the development and testing of this process when I wanted to start afresh with a server with an instance of SQL Server with no databases I put together this quick procedure to detach all the current databases prior to removing the volumes from the VM.
I will, when i find the time write an article with as much detail as possible and provide the SQL and Powershell scripts we use to carry out this process. Until then if one person finds this script useful i will be happy.