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Getting Close to Physical - Database Weekly (Nov 8, 2008)


Getting Close to Physical - Database Weekly (Nov 8, 2008)

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Getting Close to Physical - Database Weekly (Nov 8, 2008)

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Phil Factor
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Steve,

That was great.
Virtualisation of SQL Server databases is going to become increasingly important this year. I'd love to see more discussion of the topic on SQL Server Central, especially its use in increasing application resilience, and reducing server congestion. It's odd that we're hearing a lot more about Exchange Server Virtualisation at the moment on Simple-Talk than we are about SQL Server virtualisation. I know that a few early-adopters hit problems with running SQL Server virtualised, but the technology works well now. Why no buzz?


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Soren Nielsen
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Hi All

OK to see that VM performance is up, but in my view a worthless test, deployment in a VM environment is done to consolidate servers, so in practice the tested environment would never be a real scenario. It would have been really interesting to have seen, the same test with on a box with several ligthly used VMs for example a small web app or something.

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cmille19
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Its kind of funny to see a white paper touting running Oracle virtualized when unliked SQL Server, Oracle is not virtualization friendly from a licensing perspective. Oracle requires you license every physical CPU and core for a virtualized instance. This means you cannot use Oracle Standard Edition and instead have to use Enterprise since Oracle Standard edition cannot be installed on machine that is capable of more than 2 CPUs. In addition according to Oracle licensing terms since the virtualized Oracle guest is capable of using all physical CPUs despite being restricted in the VM guest you must license the number of CPUs in the physical host machine. If you have a 4-way 4 core host, this can easily run into several hundred thousand dollars. I guess that's yet another reason why Oracle is the number one DBMS ... BY REVENUE!



katesl
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If your databases have many concurrent sessions and/or queries that touch millions of records, would you give up process threading on 8-processor machine to go to a VM where your SQL Server gets one processor or maybe two? Isn't one of the most basic things to learn about SQL Server is the capability of using all processors for one query?

I have administered "shared servers" for a Fortune 500 company-- that is, many unrelated databases are created on one physical SQL Server; and the server administrator monitors performance to keep the machine at its optimal load of databases/users. The only problem with "shared server" is applications that include code to create SQL Server logins -- "just use the sa account." Aaaargh! Too much of my job was explaining to application developers they had to pay attention to the difference between server roles and database roles. I say "shared servers" is the way to go-- with a good SQ: Server administrator who pays attention to security as well as performance.

I have horror stories to tell about SQL Server on virtual machines administered by network experts who think SQL Server is "an application."

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chris webster
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I don't think SQL licensing is that Virtualisation friendly, each virtual server still requires a SQL Server license

"Software run in a virtual OS environment is licensed based on the number of virtual processors used by that virtual OS environment, rather than all the physical processors in the server.
o If you run the software in virtual OS environments, you need a license for each virtual processor used by those virtual OS environments on a particular server—whether the total number of virtual processors is lesser or greater than the number of physical number of processors in that server.
o If you run the software in a physical OS environment, you need a license for each physical processor used by the physical OS environment."

I have gone down the multiple instance cluster method of consolidation (the one big box one instance form of consolidation is too scary a prospect for me). I have a 4 node polyserve cluster currently running 32 64-bit SQL 2005 instances. Looks expensive but considering the my company used to buy seperate hardware and licensing for each app and SQL instance it soon starts to look as cheap as chips. Over an above the the 'one big server-one instance' this actually scales as well.

Chris



Steve Jones
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SQL Server isn't necessarily better at licensing on VMs, though I think you don't have to license more CPUs than you actually have.

You don't move an 8 proc box to a VM, but you might move some of those 2 CPU ones. And even if you have 1-2 VMs on a physical, that can help.

Plus think about this. You can put two clustered SQL Servers on VMs on separate hardware. That way you don't have to worry about issues with the hardware matching up. You can just match the VMs.

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cmille19
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There are huge differences in licensing terms for virtualized SQL Server vs. Oracle and yes Microsoft is more virtualization friendly from a licensing perspective. Here's a link to an article whichs states Oracle requires licensing every CPU in the physical host while Microsoft only requires licensing the guest.



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