VMWare HD vs Microsoft Clustering

We currently have a non virtualized MSCS installation for our SQL server and web serives in an active/passive config. We are going to virtualize with VM Ware in the next couple of months and are wondering if VMWare HD is an acceptable replacement for a Microsoft cluster.

We have lalmost no tolerance for SQL downtime. Currently, when we do windows updates on the cluster node1, we are able to flip to node2 before rebooting node1. Down time is less than 30 seconds.

We are hoping to achieve something similar with VMWare HD. Can you setup VMWare HD as a 2 node solution?

Any thoughts on using MSCS on virtual machines?

Hoping we can get some comments from some that have been down this road.

NTS_SupportAsked:
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coolsport00Commented:
In reality "NTS_Support", due to your SLA for SQL, you should implement MSCS within your new VMware Infrastructure (see guide: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_mscs.pdf). And, I'm assuming you're meaning HA, and not HD? :)  HA and DRS are really more geared towards keeping VMs up in the virtual infrastructure, in the event an ESX host goes down, but not really anything to do with the event of a VM going down. That's where MCSC comes into play.

To implement HA/DRS, you need to place at least 2 ESX hosts in a cluster and enable those features on the cluster.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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NTS_SupportAuthor Commented:
Must have TVs on my mind today :) thanks for the advice. Any gotchas when installing MSCS in a virtual environment?
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coolsport00Commented:
Ha...yeah, may be. Who wants to be at work, anyway? :P

No real 'gotchas'; just follow the Guide there. It's pretty much the same as in the physical world. The Guide provides a few scenarios on how to configure it, as far as where to place the VMs. I think it's obvious that the VMs should be on separate hosts, but you can keep them on 1 host. If you're only going to have 1 host, then there's obviously no choice...but then you're looking at having a single-point of failure, at least ESX host-wise.

Hope that helps.

~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Oh...and just keep in mind also that Sys Req's for SQL in a physical world still apply virtually (i.e. RAM). A single vCPU should be all that's needed CPU-wise, but if you run into performance issues (rare that you would), you can always increase the vCPU of the VM.
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