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Lessons Learned from a Large Virtualization Implementation


Lessons Learned from a Large Virtualization Implementation

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scott.shaw
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Lessons Learned from a Large Virtualization Implementation
Chris Taylor
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Could you elaborate on the snapmanager for SQL issues you've been experiencing? We've went virtual and now looking to implement it as our backup strategy but having issues with single database restores.

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Perry Whittle
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Hmm the server sprawl you describe would indicate that there aren't any change management policies or capacity management reviews in place.

I'm a big fan of virtualisation but your vendors and customers were right to be sceptical. Not every server is a suitable virtualisation candidate, some servers just shouldn't be virtualised, storage I\O is your biggest headache.

As an example, in a previous contract the organisation virtualised everything (and I do mean everything). We had a new SQL server deployment for a GIS mapping system producing maps of the county (one of the largest in the UK). AAfter working with the vendors and internal teams we decided this server had to be physical to provide the performance this system required. If you're going to provide resources to a VM that consume most of the host, it probably shouldn't be a VM ;-)

In my current contract we were asked to use snap manager. We soon pushed back on this as it's ok for storage replication but not very suitable for fast single database restores. We now use Litespeed for day to day backups and scripting to DR. You need to provide a strong business case and stick to your guns.

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"Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" ;-)
slaberer
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I would be interested in your experience regarding performance. The experience we made was that performance decreases significantly on a VM based system instead of using a HW based one. So we actually started migration our SQL instances onto a dedicated HW based system. The main reason for the decrease in performance was attributable to IO which went down the drain.
Thayal Muhunthan
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I am consolidating our medium and small databases on VMWare servers.

Can someone explain the advantages of using NeNetAPPanager for SQL ?
What are the benefits compared to the native SQL backups?

thanks
Thayal
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Thank you Scott. The article was quite informative.

M&M
Chris Taylor
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Thayal Muhunthan (6/16/2011)

Can someone explain the advantages of using NeNetAPPanager for SQL ?
What are the benefits compared to the native SQL backups?


Are you using NetApp for your SAN storage? If so then i'd either speak with their consultants or do a bit of reading on snapmanager for SQL (information available on their website) before even thinking of implementing it!!!

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Mark.L.Jones
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I find this very interesting. A recent article I wrote on SQL 2008 Clusters here did become a bit of a VMware discussion, the point I was (trying :pinchSmile to make was that sometimes, Virtualisation is a difficult sell, even to the point where this would sacrifice a "perfect" solution in favour of a "workable" solution. Banging a bit of a different drum.

I your article is a great eye opener and good points for consideration when implementing large or small Virtualisation infrastructures. Virtualisation as a technology is there, its mature and it works. But Virtualisation has wider implications as a concept to an organisation. The impact into Operations (backups as you mention,) needs to be understood and as you also mention, collaboration and buy in from the right teams.

Great article. Thanks for sharing.
Cool
ALZDBA
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Nice overview !

I always keep in mind this very to the point article by Brent Ozar (@BrentO) regarding our job and virtualization:
http://www.theinfoboom.com/articles/virtualizing-databases-too-big-to-fail/

Pay special attention on the real question !

Johan


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but keeping both feet on the ground wont get you anywhere w00t

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henry.scott
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I think the key point in the article is that most of this was dictated to the SQL guys. This seems to be the way these are done. There is no benifit to SQL itself, but there is to the organization with respect to overall manageabilty. Problem I am currently having is that our VM guys think the VM server is fire and forget. We end up having performance problems and they do not monitor properly so we don't get any answers on solving the issues. The age old mantra of "optimize the SQL code" becomes the crutch for VM server mismanagement.
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