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Daftwillie
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SQL Server running under VMWare

Hi,

We are currently developing a very large data warehouse for local government to store information regarding Schools and Pupils. This database will, in addition to being a warehouse, contain an element of front end day to day use along side the slowly changing incremental warehouse data.

Currently the 3rd reich IT department here has decreed that we MUST have a virtualised server as that is the policy for all servers (eventhough we have paid for a full fat server out of or budget). There is currently no DBA in our IT department so they only think from the point of view of the machine and not data recovery, resilience, etc, etc...

I'm not asking if SQL server works on VMWare because I know it does, what I would really like to hear though is if there are any pitfalls and things I should look out for from a DBA point of view. I have already had some advise from other DBA's to say they would have real reservations implementing this as virtualised in a production environment, but what I am missing is some concrete reasons why. Personally, I would NOT like to see this virtualised, but the onus has been put on to us to proove that virtualising it is not a good idea.

Can anyone help me here or point me towards some research done by DBAs on virtualisation.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005Microsoft SQL Server 2008VMware

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mastoo

8/22/2022 - Mon
ryder0707

I suggest you to read http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/perf_vsphere_sql_scalability.pdf
Perhaps that will give you some ideas on what you need to do
Daftwillie

ASKER
I've already read this.

This to me is simply a document that says "Hey look, our software can virtualise SQL Server" but there is no comparison on here with a full fat server at all and all it talks about is performance, it says nothing about data recovery or corruption issues or even that the data itself sits on a disk that doesn't really exist, there is no mention of how large the database is, how often it is used, how many transactions go through it. Essentially it says everything a SysAdmin is interested in and nothing a DBA would be interested in.
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coolsport00

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Daftwillie

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After thinking about it I would say what I am looking for are some reasons from a DBA why I should or should not virtualise SQL Server. I've heard plenty from SysAdmins, but I do not feel they have the data at heart and are only interested in ease of support.

I personally do not like the idea of holding the data on a disk that doesn't really exist. (I seriously doubt they have SANs here, we're talking local government, they're cheap).

I am fully prepared for it to be unequivically prooved to me that virualisation is the way to go, but I want to hear it from the DBA of a large production database. I've no problem virtualising the little db's (well I was actually going to suggest merging them onto one server with multiple SQL Server instances) just don't like the idea of doing this one because of the size and the sensitivity of the data within it.
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William Peck
coolsport00

May I ask if you are a DBA? And, the reason I ask is because..well, I am a Sys Admin and believe me, I most certainly have my DB data at heart. If I lose my DBs, our business shuts down. I can't speak for all Sys Admins, just myself, but that is certainly how I think/operate. :)

OK...so if you don't place the DB(s) on a SAN, how are they placed now?...on local storage?...are they placed on a RAID setup (hopefully at least RAID5)? If I may ask, how large is your DB?

To set your SQL up virtually, what I would recommend is installing ESX on a mirrored RAID (1), then your DBs on a RAID5..and that is if you're going with LOCAL storage. Again, I'm not a DBA, so I'm only giving advice from what I have experience with. If you'd like further info, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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ryder0707

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