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Storage Considerations The main, cardinal rule with virtualizing SQL, or any I/O resource intensive workload for that matter, is to treat it exactly the same as if it were physical from a disk perspective.
This is where most people get into trouble and where 99% of performance issues originate, as they architect VMFS datastores for size and not performance.
Be sure to set memory reservations for SQL VM’s at the host level especially if memory is being over-committed.
Set ‘Min/Max memory’ within SQL per MS best practices.
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In v Sphere, or ESX 4.x, the PVSCSI driver should be used for virtual storage adapters for VM’s.Last, if ‘Lock Pages in Memory’ is set be sure to again reserve memory for the VM mirroring the same amount recognized within the OS.Network Considerations Just as with storage, when systems are virtualized and consolidated to a subset of physical hosts, the I/O requirements are not reduced as a result.Usually the rule of thumb for i SCSI is if your 95 percentile on throughput is around 60 MB/s or greater than it’s time to either multi-path, which can be challenging with i SCSI, or step up to 10Gb Ethernet, or use FC which is usually the less costly option.If you are already using FC and are encountering throughput limitations than consider using a true multipathing solution such as Power Path/VE from EMC.If you’re using Fibre Channel for storage connectivity, and specifically 4GB, than it’s not as much of an issue.However, if you are using NFS or i SCSI across 1Gb Ethernet than it’s quite possible to hit throughput limitations.Well, I continue to have people ask me about virtualizing SQL; can it be done, should it be done, how do you go about doing it, and most important, what are the best practices?While there are a ton of resources on VMware’s website, on a bazillion different blogs, and on Microsoft’s site, I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to consolidate the main points as well as a good reference list of resources if you wish to dig deeper…enjoy! Barreto and Brice Odilon Boidje and Pierre-Louis Cayrel and Gilbert Ndollane Dione and Kris Gaj and Cheikh Thiecoumba Gueye and Richard Haeussler and Jean Belo Klamti and Ousmane N'diaye and Duc Tri Nguyen and Edoardo Persichetti and and Jefferson E. Yeah yeah I know…this topic has been blogged about a million times, so why do it again?