VMWare support for SQL Server 2012 Always On replica groups

Posted on 2012-08-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-03
Can anybody point me to any VMware statements of support (or not) for SQL Server 2012 “Always On” replica groups?  

This new feature of SQL Server is a combination of clustering and SQL Server mirroring technologies, and is better suited to virtual infrastructure than the traditional fail-over clusters using shared disks.  Database mirroring has long been supported, without any specific restrictions by VMWare  but I have not been able to find any clear statement on VMWare support for SQL Server 2012 “Always on” clusters.   The main VMware KB article on this subject makes no mention of SQL Server 2012 or “Always on”.
Question by:Carlo-Giuliani
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    It does work, we have it working on several client sites.

    The main issue is the Storage Clustering setup, which is a function of Microsoft Failover Clustering in 2008 R2 which is a supported OS.

    VMware does not provide many application certifications.

    Its also a new product.

    The issue we see is with Microsoft support not VMware support that state if any issues, please demonstrate the same issue on physical hardware or HyperV.

    VMware do not offer support on the OS in the VM or Application in the OS eg SQL or Exchange, they my provide best endeavour support,and give up!
    LVL 12

    Author Comment

    It's good to know you have some examples of Always On running on VMWare.   Have you ever used VMotion on an Always-On cluster node?  Do you know if DRS is active for any of the installed examples you know?  Are any of the clusters more than 2 nodes?

    VMWare KB article 1037959 includes a table and states that the table "outlines VMware vSphere support for Microsoft clustering solutions".    That table limits fail-over clusters with shared disks to 2 nodes and excludes the use of VMotion or DRS.

    In that same article the only mention of SQL is in the context of shared-disk clusters.  Other clusters without shared disks (Exchange CCR and DAG) are supported without such restrictions.  It seems logical that SQL 2012 Always On would be considered like Exchange DAG, but my question remains:  can anybody point me to a more explicity VMWare statement on this?
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    our clients ignore the VMware supported statements, and self certify the configurations themselves, eg Exchange Clusters VM via iSCSI in VM was not supported, but it works for our clients.

    These are large enterprise sites that went production on SQL 2012 RC, vMotion, DRS, Always On, Four Nodes currently. So accept the risk versus the benefits.

    They support it internally, and prove, dis prove the issues with Microsoft.

    They went Production Windows 2012 today!
    LVL 12

    Author Closing Comment

    Hanccocka's comments are of some help, but I was really hoping that there is some "official" statement from VMWare on this.  Looks like there is none.  I had also posted this question in VMWare forums, but got zero feedback.
    LVL 12

    Author Comment

    VMWare updated the article just a few days ago (August 27) to include SQL Server 2012 availability groups.

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