SQL 2014 installation

pchettri
pchettri used Ask the Experts™
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When installing SQL 2014 it gives option to choose drive location for database, log and backup. On my Vmware environment I have fast ISCSI drive which I will be mapping from two different LUN and volume for database and log.
Also, I have a old re-purposed server with direct attached storage and with a network through put of 3 GB LACP aggregation and it has CentOS that publishes the volume to my vmware and I use that drive only for backup.
Would it be recommended to use slower volume for SQL database backup location when it prompts during the installation that way my backup location is completely isolated from production ISCSI SAN instead it will be using NFS based SAN from old server with DAS. Would there be any performance penalty for choosing "relatively" lower performance drive during the installation. However, if there is performance penalty could it be changed after installation or after bringing server to production or there will be lot of downtime if such is required?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Fast datastore for the virtual machine Database and Log virtual machine disks are recommended. So you fast iSCSI drive seems ideal, but do you know the IOPS those datastores?

Your slower DAS Centos NFS datastore seems okay for Backup, you can change these after installation, or even move the virtual disks between datastores. (which would be far easier, the OS and SQL installaton don't know where the virutal disks are hosted)

Have you compared and tested by NFS and iSCSI datastores or performance ?

Author

Commented:
My ISCSI data stores are two 10 G NIC with MTU 9000 with fail over and on netapps end lacp is enabled with 2 combined interface on each filer connected to two switches with twinex cable for redundancy and better through put. I have around 12 VMs hosted out which Exchange and new SQL would be IO intensive.
For NFS it uses LACP of three 1 G network from switch to storage server and ESX hosts.

Changing and choosing different drive would completely needs to be done from SQL not from VMware or storage. SQL offers option to choose database, log and backup. The backup it offer is for default SQL based backup location apart from scheduled backup which I would be provisioning after SQL is brought online on production.

If the default backup folder selected during the installation impacts to overall performanace of server I/O then I would need to point that to one of ISCSI drive instead of NFS. If it works fine then I can save the space on ISCSI for future deployment.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
What is the SQL database size ?

It should not impact overall performance, but you can migrate virtual machine disks between datastores, that's the advantage of having multiple datastores connected to a single host.

a faster backup LUN, will result in a faster backup, SQL Online Backups are designed to run with active users, so large backups can take a while.

e.g. you can have

virtual machine disk 1 - NetApp iSCSI - Database Disk (OS disk e.g. D:)
virtual machine disk 2 - NetApp iSCSI - Log Disk (OS disk e.g. E:)
virtual machine disk 2 - NFS - Backup (OS Disk e.g. F)

but those virtual machine disks can be on any datastore, and moved between datastores.

and if you have the correct licenses, SQL VM, will not even notice! in real time, with no downtime. e.g. Storage vMotion.

(an aside - NetApp also recommend NFS, as it's lower overhead than iSCSI, and NetApp filers' were originally developed around NFS, iSCSI is another layer ontop.

We stopped using iSCSI and migrated to NFS on NetApp many years ago.)

Author

Commented:
I remember your suggestion about NFS data store on previous post but I have all my VMs already running on ISCSI initiated used on ESX and I only have 1.6 tb free disk space left on each filer for provisioning NFS and that space wont be adequate for moving Vms which have already take 50 % of provisioned ISCSI storage volumes from netapps. I have to continue using ISCSI until we decide to purchase additional filer or find a way to extend storage over existing FAS2554.
About Vmotion I have essentials license that allows datastore Vmotion in shutdown state. Would it be possible to do vmotion from NFS to ISCSI volumes?
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
If you only have an Essential license, that is a basic license, that does not have Storage vMotion, the ability to move VMs in real time with no downtime.

But, you do have the ability to MIgrate between datastores in the VM is Powered Off, very easily.

About Vmotion I have essentials license that allows datastore Vmotion in shutdown state. Would it be possible to do vmotion from NFS to ISCSI volumes?

Yes, very easily, Power Off the VM, Right Click VM, Migrate follow the wizard, select datastore, job down.

That's how we moved all our VMs from iSCSI to NFS.

So you have completed flexibility over your solution, try NFS for backup, if backups prove slow, migrate to iSCSI.

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