TechEd: SQL Virtualization and Management Best Practices (MDC-B328)

This session focused on how to manage a virtualized SQL workload with system center. By using VMM, Operations Manager, and other SC components, you can automate, monitor, and easily deploy new SQL instances in a cookie cutter manner. This session applies to you whether you use VMware or Hyper-V hypervisors. Much of the session was live demos, so I don’t have extensive notes from the session. But it was a good eye opening experience on how well the System Center stack plays together, and can orchestrate your datacenter.

Benefits of Virtualizing SQL with System Center

  • Performance and scalability
  • Flexible storage and availablity
  • Depoyment and management
  • Portability of development workloads
  • On demand platform provisioning
  • Lower costs

Pitfalls of Virtualizing SQL

  • SQL server VM sprawl – Huge problem! Create an approval process.
  • Licensing challenges
  • Additional layer of monitoring

System Center 2012 Benefits

  • Deploy SQL server using SCVMM on Hyper-V or VMware
  • Provide self-service capabilities using SC Service Manager
  • Manage SQL server automations using SC Orchestrator
  • Manage SQL server operations using SC Operations Manager
  • Self-service backup and restore of SQL services using SC Data Protection Manager

SCVMM and SQL Server

  • Ability to deploy SQL server VMs on Hyper-V and VMware
  • Ability to create a SQL server profile to standarize VM templates and configuration
  • Ensures a SQL server is deployed every time exactly as you want, every single time
  • You can provide a SQL .ini configuration file for a standardized deployment config
  • You can mix and match SQL profiles with different operating systems

SQL Server Task Automation

  • Use SC Orchestrator (SCORCH)
  • Standardizes automated task management
  • Create a process in SCORCH which can be performed in a workflow manner
  • Enables end to end automation
  • Eg. Create a SQL backup, or database snapshot. With Service Manager you could provide user self service for SQL activities.
  • Complex tasks may take a day or two to configure in ORCH, but many tasks can be done in 1 hour or less of work

SQL Server Monitoring

  • Monitor SQL synthetic transactions and perspectives
  • Monitor SQL queries using application performance monitoring
  • Manage SQL server using distributed application
  • Ability to trend SQL database response times
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