SQL Server on a Virtualized environment

Hello! Recently there has been a lot of question about Virtualization to the SQL Server PFE Team, about the Virtualization advantages, consolidation and of course about updating SQL Server to the latest version.

As you can imagine, having the latest version of the product will give us a lot of new features for administration, performance and options that Database Administrator and Developers can take advantage of.

Our post is going to be orientated to SQL Server Virtualization, ¿What benefit does it have?, ¿Its supported by Microsoft?, ¿Do you require an specific certification when virtualizing on third party products?, ¿is necessary to consolidate when virtualizing?

If you are thinking about virtualizing your SQL Server Environment we need to have the following considerations:

  • Begin your virtualizations on Server that have a low load
  • Have in mind that applications are not likely to need more than 4 logical processors
  • And each virtual machine it’s not likely to need more than 64 Gb of RAM.

The next step is to have an inventory of SQL Server and other DBRMS on your environment, if you have SQL Server 2000, put them on the priority list to be migrated.

When migrating there are a few tools that come in Handy like Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP)Toolkit 6.0, Upgrade Advisor and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA).

Now create your capacity planning by identifying the requirements of isolation, security, high availability, SQL Server Edition, version and hardware requirements.

The benefits that we could have are:

  • Reducing our operational cost
  • Standardization and consolidation
  • Reducing space and energy (Green Grid)

So moving with our post, on the support side Microsoft will support SQL Server on virtualized environments for the versions SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2 on the following escenarios:

There are a few restrictions that might affect the support policies for the previous configurations, you can read about them here http://support.microsoft.com/?id=956833, and also there are a few considerations specific to VMWARE that you need to be aware of http://blogs.msdn.com/b/clustering/archive/2010/07/27/10042799.aspx.

A few of the participants on this program are:

  • CA Technologies
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • Hitachi, Ltd.
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Oracle, USA Inc.
  • Parallels Software International, Inc.
  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • Riverbed Technology, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Unisys Corp.
  • Virtual Iron Software
  • VMware, Inc.

When we talk about Virtualizing is necessary to talk also about consolidation, if not we are not meeting the requirements for operational cost reduction and power saving. Another big advantage that Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper V will provide us is Live Migration; we will talk about this topic on a future post.


“The opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft”

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