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Virtualize or not ?


Virtualize or not ?

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frankcastle509 (1/2/2012)
Well sir, I am not blaming anyone in this community but always trying to learn something which is knowledgeable and could be of great value to me.
Yes, experience is always respected more than what a certification is.
Frankly speaking I didn't passed any MCSE AND CCNA exam but I have attended all the training sessions for MCSE and CCNA and preparing for the exams as well.
I stepped in to this forum to learn from experienced and share with others as well. Finally try to share my knowledge as well.
I had worked and practiced on VMWARE and that tempted to read this post and post my views.

I am sorry if some of my posts looked spammy and will try to improve them further.
Thanks for the reply.


Please don’t take it personally. I believe it’s your signature that is making my friends believe that you were trying to SPAM.

Everyone here (in SSC) is very friendly & welcomes learners and joiners. I welcome you on behalf of them. Please don’t discourage yourself and don’t blame anyone. It’s all misunderstanding.

Hope we are good now & can start a new year with good relations. :-)
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Keep in mind going virtual does not faster, it usually mean cutting costs & efficiency.
In the past when you have huge SQL databases and need to go virtual you break the database on to multiple instances.
Maybe try to get the server team to give you a virtual farm for databases only. Which would give you a little more control.
sean hawkes
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Since its been two years since this thread was started, I’m curious to see how things went?

We are going through this exact scenario right now and I'm looking for opinions from the community as well. From my research, it seems that there's some reluctance with regards to SQL Server VMs and multi-paths to SANs. With my situation we bought a new SQL Server last fall, big beautiful 4x10 box with 128GB of RAM, love it, right till Microsoft announced their new licensing for sql 2012. Going from a 4 proc. license to a 40 core will suck. Then the thought hit me, I *could* use this as an opportunity to make the jump to virtual and sql 2012. We are re-writing the application from start as we speak, and the risk from the application side is lower. Plus I think I can go from standard to enterprise as well, which were at that tipping point just can never get the funding. So a thought is that I could purchase the minimum 4 core enterprise 2012, build the new application, virtualize, next year migrate the existing application's data onto the new one, and as we need more processing add more cores. I just hate doing soooo much as once, but I also can see that this may be a huge resource savings in the future. The issue that I see is that from the research I can tell with regards
Sqlchicken
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sean hawkes (4/25/2012)
Since its been two years since this thread was started, I’m curious to see how things went?

We are going through this exact scenario right now and I'm looking for opinions from the community as well. From my research, it seems that there's some reluctance with regards to SQL Server VMs and multi-paths to SANs. With my situation we bought a new SQL Server last fall, big beautiful 4x10 box with 128GB of RAM, love it, right till Microsoft announced their new licensing for sql 2012. Going from a 4 proc. license to a 40 core will suck. Then the thought hit me, I *could* use this as an opportunity to make the jump to virtual and sql 2012. We are re-writing the application from start as we speak, and the risk from the application side is lower. Plus I think I can go from standard to enterprise as well, which were at that tipping point just can never get the funding. So a thought is that I could purchase the minimum 4 core enterprise 2012, build the new application, virtualize, next year migrate the existing application's data onto the new one, and as we need more processing add more cores. I just hate doing soooo much as once, but I also can see that this may be a huge resource savings in the future. The issue that I see is that from the research I can tell with regards


There's some issues with your plan. When you virtualize a SQL Server under the new licensing you can opt for one of two ways of licensing it:

License by VM: Each VM requires minimum of 4-core licenses purchased (based on edition). Yes, this means even if you build a VM with only 2 vCPUs, you still need to buy 4 cores worth of license - Problem here is that I don't know what the specifics are with vMotion capability. I BELIEVE you have to upgrade licenses if you wish to freely vMotion. By upgrades I mean purchase Enterprise Edition with SA, but don't quote me on that. The ONLY person that can tell you exactly what you need are your local Microsoft reps as they'll have all the information on what agreements are in place with your enterprise. This matters a TON in regards to pricing.

Alternative is to purchase Enterprise Edition w/ SA on the physical processors/cores themselves which gives you unlimited virtualization rights. This will have to be done for all cores used on all physical hosts. One workaround you could possibly do to save money (if you have too many cores) is to park them. This basically means you shut off specific cores in the BIOS. Microsoft, I believe, supports this method. Again, check with your local reps for specifics.

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Eoin The Forge
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Sqlchicken (4/25/2012)
sean hawkes (4/25/2012)
Since its been two years since this thread was started, I’m curious to see how things went?

We are going through this exact scenario right now and I'm looking for opinions from the community as well. From my research, it seems that there's some reluctance with regards to SQL Server VMs and multi-paths to SANs. With my situation we bought a new SQL Server last fall, big beautiful 4x10 box with 128GB of RAM, love it, right till Microsoft announced their new licensing for sql 2012. Going from a 4 proc. license to a 40 core will suck. Then the thought hit me, I *could* use this as an opportunity to make the jump to virtual and sql 2012. We are re-writing the application from start as we speak, and the risk from the application side is lower. Plus I think I can go from standard to enterprise as well, which were at that tipping point just can never get the funding. So a thought is that I could purchase the minimum 4 core enterprise 2012, build the new application, virtualize, next year migrate the existing application's data onto the new one, and as we need more processing add more cores. I just hate doing soooo much as once, but I also can see that this may be a huge resource savings in the future. The issue that I see is that from the research I can tell with regards


There's some issues with your plan. When you virtualize a SQL Server under the new licensing you can opt for one of two ways of licensing it:

License by VM: Each VM requires minimum of 4-core licenses purchased (based on edition). Yes, this means even if you build a VM with only 2 vCPUs, you still need to buy 4 cores worth of license - Problem here is that I don't know what the specifics are with vMotion capability. I BELIEVE you have to upgrade licenses if you wish to freely vMotion. By upgrades I mean purchase Enterprise Edition with SA, but don't quote me on that. The ONLY person that can tell you exactly what you need are your local Microsoft reps as they'll have all the information on what agreements are in place with your enterprise. This matters a TON in regards to pricing.

Alternative is to purchase Enterprise Edition w/ SA on the physical processors/cores themselves which gives you unlimited virtualization rights. This will have to be done for all cores used on all physical hosts. One workaround you could possibly do to save money (if you have too many cores) is to park them. This basically means you shut off specific cores in the BIOS. Microsoft, I believe, supports this method. Again, check with your local reps for specifics.


Don't think you are allow park them in SQL 2012 (was allowed in 2008R2). Now it's the amount of cores physically inside the box, but like you said best to confirm with your vendor. Or keep asking different vendors until you get an answer that you like... :-D



Abel A.
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I think virtualization is great for small to medium size databases. On large databases, in size or iops, an sql database should be run on a standalone server for better performance.

If you're running a standalone node, and not moving VMs dynamically, I would recommend a linux + xen approach. I've setup a few nodes using xen and the performance is insane compared to hyper-v.

I've setup centos + xen on a 24GB box, dual cpus, 12 disk RAID-10 and only consumed 100mb of ram from the host OS. Xen is also the most physically-connected virtualization to your HDDs. I guess it's all a preference, and I will stop before I continue to ramble off.
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