SharePoint 2013 /SQL serverdeployment in a HA /DR environment [VMware]

Hello Experts Sharepoint and SQL teams,

I have a client who is looking to deploy SharePoint 2013 from scratch in virtual environment[VMware 5.1] and is requesting to have in one site HA for all aspects [Sharepoint server roles, SQL DBs,] and if posible consider DR scenarios.

Unfortunately, client is not considering physical server for SQL, therefore a traditional WIndows failover cluster is not an option here.

What options do I have for HA for SQL 2012 and Sharepoint 2013 in a virtual environment? VMware is our provider, WIndows 2012 R2 will be the OS deployed on all VMs

Can you please elaborate in the options for HA for SQL server 2012 and Sharepoint 2013, as well pros and cons?
Jerry SeinfieldAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware HA, will provide you with the SQL Server and Sharepoint 2013 server, in the event of a host failing the Servers will restart automatically, provividing you with HA, this takes between 1-2 minutes.

BUT it will not help you if you are wanting to patch the servers, for this you will need

1. Two Servers at least for Cluster SQL

2. Two Servers at least for Web Front End. (NLB, or hardware load balancer!)

3. Two Servers at least for Sharepoint Application Server

4. Two Servers at least for Sharepoint Search.

How much downtime is trying to be prevented?
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Jerry SeinfieldAuthor Commented:
we are looking to have 99.9 % of availability in our systems. Like I mentioned earlier, everything will be deployed on a virtual machines.

Can you please indicate if you can install SQL failover cluster or mirroring over VMs? I was told that using RDMS disk is not easy to deploy and mantain
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are looking at 99.9%, will you be wanting to deploy Windows patches?

What sharepoint design do you have?

Front End, Application Server, Search Server, SQL Server ?

i.e. you could just install all on a single server!

I only do virtual! I am not involved with physical servers anymore, other than the HOSTS!

You can use SQL Failover Clustering with RDM disks.

Deploying and Maintaing RDMs is not difficult.
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Jerry SeinfieldAuthor Commented:
We will be deploying all sharepoint server roles and we want dedicated vms for each role

can you please send me a link with tons of screenshot to deploy SQL failover clustering with RDM disks?
can you please also attach a good link with tons of screenshot to deploy and mantain RDMs?

yes, eventually we will be patching all VMs using SCCM 2012
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So you will need some sort of failover to patch.

Creating and Add a RDM
http://www.vmadmin.co.uk/resources/35-esxserver/58-rdmvm

follow this series by Derek

http://www.derekseaman.com/2013/09/sql-2012-failover-cluster-pt-1-introduction.html
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Jerry SeinfieldAuthor Commented:
Hey Andrew,

can you please comment  in the licensing price for SQL servers for the fail over and SharePoint all server roles described by yourself? I was told that SQL 2012 licensing is based on the core, generally a 1 server with one core will be 1700 for standard edition of SQL

Can we install SQL server 2012 fail-over clustering using SQL standard edition?  

What about other features for HA? Always on , Mirroring? Can you please explain differences and if they can use on virtual machines?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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