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SQL 2008, RAID & VM WAre

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Hi All,

I am used to working with physical SQL servers, configuring different RAID packs for logs, OS & data files etc.

I am now faced with a VM Ware server that I wish to put SQL 2008 on, the host that I wish to install this SQL instance on is connected to a SAN through a datastore specifically for the SQL build I am configuring.  The SAN uses RAID 50.

My question is this - do I need to worry about th RAID configuration within the virtual server, do I need a datastore for logs and a datastore for database files - or does VM Ware decide this intelligently (even if I had two datastores they could over-lap onto the same disk).

Thanks

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Question by:techmiss
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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What you need to ensure is that you have a very fast underlying datastore to present to the ESXi server.

So ensure you configure as many disks as possible in a RAID 10, for optimum read and write performance for all virtual machine disks, that are stored on the datastore. All virtual machines will then benefit from the fast datastore.

More disks = more spindles = more IOPS = more performance.

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kevinhsieh earned 250 total points
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If the SAN only has a single tier of storage, there is nothing you can do performance wise regarding the disks because everything will end up on the same tier anyway. It is still a good idea to have separate volumes for the databases and logs, but that is for management purposes. so, if you have just 1 tier of stoarage put the logs and databases onto separate VMDKs on your datastore(s). IO for virtualized environments is all random by the time it hits the storage layer, so adding more random database IO hopefully isn't going to be an issue for the SAN.  
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by:lcohan
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Here's RAID50 explained however as "kevinhsieh" mentioned if you have only one LUN available then don't need to wory about anything else but different folders for different SQL files because your SAN will take care of the rest. Memory is one other thing you need to make sure is enough available for your VM running the SQL Server(s).

http://www.iscsi-raid.com/raid50.html
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
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by:techmiss
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Hi Guys,

Thanks, thats pretty much what I figured - I will have to read through the best practices guide in detail.

Split the points as you were both of assistance.

Thanks
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