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SQL Clustering and VMware


SQL Clustering and VMware

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SQLGlenn
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My production servers are going back on lease soon. They consist of two physical SQL Server 2008 R2 servers, clustered, with SAN storage running Windows 2008 R2. How can I go about moving them to a virtual world(ESXi)? Can I use P2V? Any links or pointers is appreciated. Thanks



Elliott Whitlow
Elliott Whitlow
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Just the servers are the question?

I think you will have some issues with the SAN setups.

I'm thinking you might want to evict one of the nodes and build the new machine in the VM world and get the SAN connections setup then add it to the cluster, after you get it successfully added fail-over to the VM node (test test test) then evict the last physical node and rebuild it in VM and get the SAN connections setup.

In my mind I keep coming back to the SAN setup in VM Ware.

I can't answer whether P2V will work because of the SAN connectivity and the requirements related to clustering.

CEWII
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Do not take this for granted, but I think the iSCSI connections won't work (assuming you are using iSCSI). So doing a P2V may break that part and the machine will stop seeing the storage.

VMware uses an abstraction for that part and arguably , in VMware can be easier. As a matter of fact, our SAN and "expert" VMware guy, had a hard time helping me configuring our metal Cluster because that. He struggled configuring iSCSI for the SAN because and I will quote him, "it was easier on VMware".
Perry Whittle
Perry Whittle
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I have P2V'd machines that had SAN attached storage no problem in the past. There were issues with earlier versions of VMware converter where it wouldn't see SAN attached drives that were type GPT as opposed to MBR. The servers I migrated used FC netapp filers.

The one thing you'll want to do is to shut down the SQL services though. Converter works on a drive by drive basis and if they're large there can be a large time difference between the data and log drive conversions. When your virtual system comes up the databases will likely be corrupted.

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"Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" ;-)
liteswitch
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I'd be tempted to NOT p2v them, but instead build new VMs (and storage) completely fresh (assuming the installs/configuration is documented) and set them up as a brand new cluster in the VM environment, that way your physical cluster stays online and you can do all kinds of testing on the VMs without affecting that. Using P2V for single servers is easy, but I've never had a P2V for a clustered server(with attached storage) go smoothly without a few issues.
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