VMWare Hardware Setup

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We are looking at replacing a Microsoft SQL server. SQL is being used by one software.  We have approximately 60-70 users.  The current server gets overloaded because of disk usage,  Processors and memory are fine.  Plenty of space just has performance issues, the performance monitor shows the physical disk(Raid 5) is having a hard time keeping up.  My question is.....What is the best way to configure the hard drives/controller for a new server?   We would like to virtualize it and use the other half as a domain controller or image one of our older server and move it over to the VMware server.  Not familiar enough with VMware to know the best practice in this scenerio.  How much memory should we get assuming we virutualize?  Will both virtual machines be fighting over the same hard drive resources?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Best configugration would be fast SAS 10k or 15K RAID 10, Battery Backed Write Cache controllr, with 75% Write and 25% Read.

Yes, the datastore needs to be as fast as possible for all your VMs.

As for memory in the SQL Server, at least (min) 8GB RAM, 4GB DC assuming Windows 2008 R2 64 bit, and 2 vCPU

tred very carefully here with SQL, because hypervisors may not play well with your SQL server and compex queries of heavily loaded databses. Just a word of warning, we get many queries with why is my SQL server slow, high CPU here on EE

Best Practices for SQL Server on VMware
Which version of Server and SQL?

Server 2003 and SQL need to be set up using diskpart because of  partition alignment issues in Server 2003 and below.

You can take up to a 30 or 40% performance because of this issue.

Server 2k8 and above do not.




We will be installing server 2008 and SQL 2008.  I read the link, that explains many problems we have had in the past, thanks.
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If you're doing server 2k8,you might want to look at MS hypervisor as it is built in to the
OS.is free,and has better licensing terms.

If you were thinking the free Vmware product,it is far from being free.
If you want to be able to backup,you need a licensed version with the backup API(gotcha).


If I setup either two Raid 5 arrays or two Raid 10 arrays, one for each virtual machine, will that split the load completely or is the controller still going to be the bottle neck.  I've actually never done that before so it may not even be possible.  Any thoughts?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

not a good idea, for maximum peformance, you need as many spindles as possible

more disks = more spindles = more iops = more performance

its important to create the fatest datastore as possible for ALL VMs for your ESXi host server.
Agree on the more spindles presence as being a good thing.

As I've alluded to,DR and backups can be a very tricky thing.

The old agent backup paradigm doesn't play very well when dealing with VM's.

If you've got a couple of terabytes to back up and/or restore ,you're going to need to look at products that do snapshots, block level backups and restores.

Choose wisely as you job may depend on it.

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