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Location of system databases (Master, Model, MSDB) in a virtual world.


Location of system databases (Master, Model, MSDB) in a virtual world.

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oughtsix
oughtsix
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We run all of our dozen+ SQL servers as virtuals under Hyper-V. Our servers are configured with the Master, MSDB and Model system databases on E: and F: (the same as out user database) and Temps on G:. Hyper-V allows snap-shots of drives.

It seems to me like it would be better to put Master, Model and MSDB on the C: (system) drive. If I ever have to do complete server restore I can just use the last snapshot of the C:. Boot it. Then restore all of my user databases.

Does anyone see a problem with my thinking?

In the old days when SQL server lived on actual hardware the C: drive dying was a real risk and it made sense to put the system databases on the data and log drives. In the virtual world this doesn't make as much sense to me. If I install a service pack that blows up a server I can always fall back to the last good server snapshot. I do SQL backups Master, Model and MSDB... but they rarely change. We don't add/remover users often or change security. All the jobs in MSDB are generic across all of our servers and do not change. We do a complete set of Complete + Differential + log backup so we can restore our user databases to any point in time down to 10 minutes. Taking a snapshot of our Data (E) and Logs (F) drives seems redundant, not very useful in a disaster recover situation and takes up a bunch of backup media.

We did a disaster recover drill. The old SQL server with the system databases on the C: drive was a lot faster to get up and running than the new SQL servers with the system databases on E: and F:.

What are your thoughts?
oughtsix
oughtsix
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Nobody has any comments? Genius? Completely off my rocker?
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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There is no way in hell that I'll ever allow anyone in a company that I work for to install the system databases (or any other database) on the same drive as the operating system whether it's a VM or not. There are just too many things that can go and have gone wrong. For things like clustering, it can be a form of severe aggravation and death by SQL. Wink

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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