Anyone heard that vmware snapshots can cause database corruption on SQL Server databases? The VMware is ESX 4 running Windows 2008 R2, and SQL Server 2008 (and R2)
I hadn't heard this before, but someone asked me about it. My "google research" found 5-year old posts that indicate this, but recent posts seem to say it's fine.
Thoughts or opinions?
It is not recommended.
Any snapshot functionality that does not use VSS may leave SQL Server in an inconsistent state. This is because any backup product or solution that uses VSS, allows the SQL server disk to pause briefly (or that's the concept behind) so any in memory transaction or database activity can be backed up accordingly. When VSS is not used, there is a chance that something that should have been written to the disk (mdf file), was not, or viceverse, ending with a database that is not in a consistent state. Then when you start MS-SQL or try to open the database, it won't open.
If you are running SQL on VMware or HyperV, run regular SQL backups, native or RedGate and save those on a different drive or backup device. You may also use SAN backups but you must ensure they integrate VSS on its solution, to avoid the issue I just mentioned.