Virtualization for SQL server - good or bad


I'm wondering what people's expreiences are of Virtualising SQL server. I'm using VMWare ESXi server and so far I've been very impressed with. Just have a few Windows 2008 servers and a couple of Linux servers on it. I not sure if SQL server is a good idea for virtulisation sharing resources with other systems espically Disks. I may be wrong. I am thinking of putting our test/dev SQL server on but not the production servers, but I'm open to any arguments for it.

Anyone have any real world experinces of SQL server as a VM.


more ▼

asked Dec 17, 2009 at 05:38 AM in Default

avatar image

21 1 1 3

(comments are locked)
10|1200 characters needed characters left

4 answers: sort voted first

Just to add my 2 "peneth"..

Im my prod environment is running on the latest VMWare ESXi software (other virtualization software is available ;-) ).

Initially when I started my current company I was a "bare metal" dba and previously had heard bad stories from clients that ran database/aplication in a virtual environment.

Upon starting my 1st question was "why"..? And the next thought was how to put a business case together on removing it from the VM environment! After a few days I got to know the VM expert within our company and querying the reasons (consolidation and HA). He began explaining the "in's and out's" of the VM hypervisor and all of the HA options. These included VMotion, DRS, the ease of adding mem/hdd etc plus others.

I personally dont have an issue with VM environments in production. All I would add is make sure that the infrastructure team know their sh!t when it come to configuring a VM for a SQL Server (i.e. raw mapped luns, dedicated CPU, etc). Shared disk pools are a no no IMO

more ▼

answered Dec 17, 2009 at 08:50 AM

avatar image

10.9k 27 37 37

(comments are locked)
10|1200 characters needed characters left

See this question for some discussion on this.

more ▼

answered Dec 17, 2009 at 06:01 AM

avatar image

Kev Riley ♦♦
66.8k 48 65 81

(comments are locked)
10|1200 characters needed characters left

We've been running VM's for SQL Server in pre-production environments for about two years now. It works extremely well. Performance is more than adequate. Maintenance is much easier. It's been a great experience.

We've only run a few production instances on a VM. They were chosen to be on VM's because they were a lighter load or less important than other instances. We have noticed that, while the VM's run very well, there is a noticeable difference between a VM and a physical machine.

more ▼

answered Dec 17, 2009 at 08:35 AM

avatar image

Grant Fritchey ♦♦
137k 20 47 81

(comments are locked)
10|1200 characters needed characters left

I'd agree with the points that Grant made above. Virtualization is great for test environments. I've also found that it's great for legacy servers that have a very light load. When I say "legacy", think about those SQL 2000 (or older, /wince) boxes that are running databases/apps that nobody knows how to support running on seven year old hardware. I've had very good experiences virtualizing very old apps on very old hardware and it helps me sleep better at night.

On the other hand I have not had a good experience yet virtualizing anything that has a high I/O load. The only production servers I have that are virtual are legacy.

Hope that helps.

more ▼

answered Dec 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM

avatar image

11 2 2 4

(comments are locked)
10|1200 characters needed characters left
Your answer
toggle preview:

Up to 2 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 524.3 kB each and 1.0 MB total.

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

SQL Server Central

Need long-form SQL discussion? SQLserverCentral.com is the place.



asked: Dec 17, 2009 at 05:38 AM

Seen: 3433 times

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2009 at 06:01 AM

Copyright 2018 Redgate Software. Privacy Policy