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Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware®: Doing IT Right

Book Description

The start-to-finish guide to virtualizing business-critical SQL Server databases on VMware vSphere 5

By virtualizing business-critical databases, enterprises can drive far more value from existing IT infrastructure. But squeezing maximum performance out of a virtualized database instance is an art as much as a science. This indispensable start-to-finish guide brings together all the techniques, tips, and insights you need to succeed.

Drawing on unsurpassed personal experience, three leading experts share complete best practices for deploying business-critical database servers in virtualized vSphere 5 environments. They cover the entire project lifecycle, bridging technical and communications gaps between SQL Server and VMware professionals that often make database virtualization more difficult than it needs to be.

You’ll find specific guidance for architects and administrators responsible for systems, storage, databases, applications, or VMware virtualization. The authors also present detailed, start-to-finish coverage of performance baselining and testing: all you need to make your virtualized databases as fast as they are cost effective. Although this book focuses on SQL, the authors’ proven guidance for enhancing performance can be leveraged by any IT professional virtualizing a demanding Tier 1 application.

Coverage includes

     •    Business cases for database virtualization: consolidation, Database as a Service (DaaS), efficiency, and “SLAs on steroids”

     •    Using the redundancy inherent in virtualization  to improve availability

     •    Constructing a careful, conservative implementation plan

     •    Balancing disk, CPU, memory, and network for superior performance

     •    Mastering the five key principles of database storage design

     •    Leveraging memory: SQL MAX, page locking, NUMA, reservations, swapping, large memory pages, and more

     •    Ensuring responsiveness by providing a fast, reliable, low-latency network

     •    Supporting advanced AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances and Availability Groups

     •    Baselining physical systems and properly determining resource requirements

     •    Configuring performance tests from beginning  to end

     •    Migrating existing SQL Server databases  onto a vSphere platform

     •    Avoiding traps and pitfalls in virtualizing production databases

     •    Managing and monitoring virtualized database instances and resources

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. About the Authors
  7. Acknowledgments
    1. Michael Corey
    2. Michael Webster
    3. Jeff Szastak
  8. Technical Reviewers
  9. We Want to Hear from You!
  10. Reader Services
    1. Why We Wrote This Book
    2. Target Audience
    3. Approach Taken
  11. Chapter 1. Virtualization The New World Order
    1. Virtualization The New World Order
    2. Summary
  12. Chapter 2. The Business Case for Virtualizing a Database
    1. Challenge to Reduce Expenses
    2. The DBA & Saving Money
    3. It Worked So Well the First Time
    4. Service Level Agreement’s and the DBA
    5. DBA’s Top Reasons to Virtualize a Production Database
    6. Summary
  13. Chapter 3. Architecting for Performance: The Right Hypervisor
    1. What is a Hypervisor?
    2. The Different Hypervisor Types
    3. Drawbacks to the Type-2 Hypervisor
    4. Paravirtual SCSI Driver (PVSCSI)
    5. Installation Guidelines for a Virtualized Database
    6. Why Full Virtualization Matters
    7. Physical World is a One-to-One Relationship
    8. Summary
  14. Chapter 4. Virtualizing SQL Server: Doing IT Right
    1. Doing IT Right
    2. The Implementation Plan
    3. Birds Eye View - Virtualization Implementation
    4. Summary
  15. Chapter 5. Architecting for Performance: Design
    1. Communication
    2. Center of Excellence
    3. Deployment Design
    4. SQL Workload Characterization
    5. Physical Hardware
    6. Virtual Network Adapter
    7. Summary
  16. Chapter 6. Architecting for Performance: Storage
    1. The 5 Key Principles of Database Storage Design
    2. SQL Server Database and Guest OS Storage Design
    3. SQL Server Virtual Machine Storage Design
    4. vSphere Storage Design for Maximum SQL Performance
    5. SQL Performance with Server Side Flash Acceleration
    6. SQL Server on Hyperconverged Infrastructure
    7. Summary
  17. Chapter 7. Architecting for Performance: Memory
    1. Memory
    2. Memory Trends & The Stack
    3. Host Memory & VM Memory
    4. Transparent Page Sharing
    5. Memory Ballooning
    6. Memory Reservation
    7. SQL Server Max Server Memory
    8. Large Pages
    9. Non-uniform Memory Access (NUMA)
    10. Sizing the Individual VM’s
    11. More VM’s More Database Instances
    12. Summary
  18. Chapter 8. Architecting for Performance: Network
    1. SQL Server and Guest OS Network Design
    2. VMware vSphere Network Design
    3. Network Virtualization and Network Security
    4. Summary
  19. Chapter 9. Architecting for Availability: Choosing the Right Solution
    1. Determining Availability Requirements
    2. SLAs, RPOs, and RTOs
    3. Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery
    4. vSphere High Availability
    5. Microsoft Windows and SQL Server High Availability
    6. Putting Together Your High Availability Solution
    7. Summary
  20. Chapter 10. How to Baseline Your Physical SQL Server System
    1. What is a Performance Baseline?
    2. Why Should You Take a Performance Baseline?
    3. When Should You Baseline Performance?
    4. What System Components To Baseline
    5. Comparing Baselines of Different Processor Types and Generations
    6. Non-Production Workload Influences on Performance
    7. Producing a Baseline Performance Report
    8. Performance Traps to Watch Out For
    9. Summary
  21. Chapter 11. Configuring a Performance Test – From Beginning to End
    1. Introduction
    2. Summary
  22. Appendix A. Additional Resources
    1. Additional Documentation Sources
    2. User Groups
    3. Blog’s
    4. Twitter – 140 Characters of Real Time Action