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SQL and VMware HA

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  • SQL and VMware HA

    I’m trying to come up with a strategy to provide high availability for our heavily used Microsoft SQL servers. Right now we’re using Microsoft SQL 2000 on windows 2003 and besides nightly backups have no redundancy in case a server crashes. We’re already utilizing VMware virtualization in other areas so we’re expecting to virtualized these servers with VMware to reduce hardware costs.

    I’m looking for feedback on what the best approach to providing high availability would be: VMware HA, Microsoft clustering, Database mirroring, etc. My boss is leaning towards VMware HA based on advice from our vender but I read it has issues with high performance databases servers, specifically with the I/O. Although I think a SAN would overcome the I/O issue. I seen the VMware documents showing SQL 2005 will performance well under VMware but again it doesn’t’ mention HA.

    Does anyone have any experience providing VMware HA on a SQL server or provide reading resources. Is VMware HA a viable solution or should we stick with Microsoft SQL HA options (clustering or mirroring). We will be purchasing new hardware regardless, we already have a EqualLogic SAN we can utilize and we're looking into migrating to Microsoft SQL 2008.


  • #2
    Re: SQL and VMware HA

    Double Posts - are against the forum rules, so please refrain from doing so in the future.

    Now to answer your question. HA will protect your SQL server from "hardware failure" - that is if the ESX host goes down for some reason, your SQL VM will be started on another ESX host in your cluster.

    If planned correctly, you should have no issues with I/O on your SQL server.

    But - you will have to take into account - that if the server crashes - you will not have a guarantee that you SQL databse will come back up in a consistent state - even more so if these is a high I/O SQL server. Now if this SQL is a major part of your infrstructure, then I would definately go with a Microsoft Clustered solution to protect your SQL server. That does not mean that they both cannot reside on an ESX host though.
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