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SQL Server and virtualization

So right now we are running a Sharepoint Server and a CRM server. Each of these are basic dell tower servers, single processor, running Windows 2003 and SQL Server. For t he most part, its okay. What I would l like to do is possibly get a SQL server, and host the SQL DB there. Then run the front end app on a microsoft virtual server. Since it is the front end, I assume the SQL server would be doing most of the work, so a simple rack server for that.

What do you guys think? Pros cons? I'm no SQL expert at all
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shankshank
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shankshank
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rvthostCommented:
It all comes down to load....how hard they are hit, how many users, etc.  Heck, I have just about every one of my servers in VMware ESX...including a VM running both SQL 2000 and SQL 2005.
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shankshankAuthor Commented:
That makes sense. I mean the bottom line is I have 50 people in this company, and right now these servers are running on standard single CPU towards no problem. So this is where the road splits and I need to make a decision.
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rvthostCommented:
Ok, considering you have 50 users, I don't think you'll ever go wrong with having SQL on a physical box and virtualizing your front end web app.  That's a good configuration and would work well.  As you have obviously heard, some will tell you not to virtualize SQL or any databases for that matter, Exchange/Domino, etc.  But it comes down to load.  With a nice size server, you could certainly virtualize both the front end and SQL DB.  But there's nothing wrong with hosting your SQL on a physical box.  Good luck!!
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shankshankAuthor Commented:
That's what I was thinking, virtualizing SQL also. The problem though is with MS virtual server you set the  HD space limit, so if I set it to 50 and need to go over, then I am screwed and need to use a tool such as ghost to migrate to a new hd

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rvthostCommented:
Yep, you hit it on the head. I'm not as familiar with MS Virtual Server, but I suspect you're right in that you would have to clone it with something like Ghost or rebuild that particular server.  But if you can allocate enough disk right from the start, you can probably reap the virtual benefits down the road.
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shankshankAuthor Commented:
yeah thats' true

I mean I have a dell poweredge 2950 right now and its running 4 VS all 2003; IIS server, trend micro antivirus server, DC, ISA server, and MOM server. works GREAT, no problems what so ever. so i'm trying to see if I can throw another on there, heh


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rvthostCommented:
Load it up!! If it starts smoking, then you justified a new server ;-)
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shankshankAuthor Commented:
I"m no SQL expert, but it seems that if I load CRM 3.0, Sharepoint on a VS and connect to a SQL VS... and I need to migrate to a new box,

it  may be more of a hassle no?

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rvthostCommented:
If you're moving all the virtual servers to a new box, or even just the one, I would think that's where it would become easier.  You can simply move all your virtual disk files and you're done.  We lease our servers so that's where virtualizing is great...just move my disk files to the new server when it comes in and the migration is done.  And with VMware's VMotion, I can do it during business hours with zero downtime.  That's not the case with MS Virtual Server but I assume you can still move your disk files for a "cold migration".   Load up your virtual disk files on the new server and your migration should be complete.  There's typically nothing too complicated with SQL - your apps are just pointing to its IP which would follow to the new box.  I think moving anything that's virtual becomes easier than migrating a physical service.

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shankshankAuthor Commented:
Ah, I was going on the basis that I went from a virtualized SQL to try it out, to move it to its own physical box no virtualization

figure then I';d hafta do a SQL db dump, then ge tthe front end apps to recognize the  new server
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rvthostCommented:
Ahhh...gotcha :)   I'm not a SQL expert either, but I have moved databases from one to another (test dev to production).  It's nothing more than detaching the database on SQLSRV1 and reattaching on SQLSRV2.  You would have to deal with the pointers for the front end apps though.  Ideally, you have a name and IP assigned to your virtual SQL server.  Down that VS, and reassign the same name and IP to the new physical box, load up your databases, and you'd be all set.  Not knowing how many things the front end apps are pointing to though....I'd probably give that a test before relying on it.  You could load up two virtual SQL servers and try to move a database from one to the other and see what happens.  That would be a good test.
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shankshankAuthor Commented:
Yeah, if I could keep the names, IPs, perfect, then no downtime

i guess i'll give it a shot with existing equip

thanks again


shank
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rvthostCommented:
Always good to throw ideas around...good luck!
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