Guide to SQL Server virtualization best practices

Last updated:June 2013


Enterprises who seek better control over resource management and allocation may find help with virtualization technologies. SQL Server virtualization enables consolidation, which boosts efficiency. Recent developments have brought about very powerful virtual machines that can manage larger capacities and provide faster provisioning of the database environment. In addition, SQL Server virtualization is cost-effective and convenient.

While SQL Server virtualization offers numerous benefits, database administrators and other lead IT staffers must closely examine issues surrounding licensing, performance and availability before implementing virtualization. And an enterprise may have what is needed to implement a virtual environment, but do they have the proper support to manage one? Virtual machines also have scaling limitations to take into consideration.

Making the shift to virtualization is a big decision that requires careful research. This guide offers insights into virtualization advances and drawbacks, as well as SQL Server virtualization best practices and issues related to licensing.

1News and trends-

SQL Server virtualization news and trends

Entering the world of virtualization is a mind-set change for traditional IT staff. Virtual machine management software performs load balancing and provisioning, and system administrators must adjust to not knowing the physical locations of everything at all times. The articles in this section discuss various considerations for virtualizing SQL Server, from hardware to tools to security concerns.


SQL Server virtualization becoming the norm

Virtualization may be taking data centers by storm, but what’s behind the trend? In this month’s “SQL in Five,” asks Microsoft’s Mark Kromer about the benefits and difficulties of virtualizing SQL Server. Continue Reading


Selecting the right hardware for SQL Server virtualization

Buying hardware for SQL Server virtualization hosts entails some specialized shopping skills. Get some expert tips on what to look for. Continue Reading


Exploring Microsoft products and third-party tools

There’s been a slew of new Microsoft products lately, including an upgrade for Project Atlanta. A company expert discusses this development, third-party tools and more. Continue Reading


Business intelligence systems and SQL Server virtualization

As SQL Server BI catches on among small businesses, questions about whether SQL Server virtualization is compatible are bound to follow. Get an expert take on what you need to know for virtualized BI to work. Continue Reading


SQL security issues in virtual world

SQL Server security issues in virtualized environments pretty much mirror the challenges in physical environments, experts say. Standard security guidelines apply. Continue Reading

2Exploring the cons-

Different perspectives on SQL Server virtualization

Virtualization adds another layer of complexity to the server environment, which can contribute to communication breakdowns between database administrators and other members of the IT team. The resources necessary for virtual machine implementation require planning, provisioning and management. Experts discuss these and other complications associated with SQL Server virtualization in this section.


When not to virtualize SQL Server

Virtualizing SQL Server is a good idea for many IT shops, but it's not for everyone. Robert Sheldon explains when it might not be a good choice. Continue Reading


High availability and virtualization: Natural enemies?

Do SQL Server high availability and virtualization go together or not? Find out if virtualization is a good option for you in this tip by Bob Sheldon. Continue Reading


Why SQL Server virtualization isn't for everyone

SQL Server virtualization may seem like a magic bullet, but there a few scenarios that might cause businesses to reconsider. Continue Reading


A closer look at SQL Server consolidation

SQL Server consolidation could save your company big money, writes expert Denny Cherry, but first you’ll need to examine metrics like concurrent connections, buffer pool size and drive space. Continue Reading


Examining the pros and cons of SQL Server virtualization

Virtualization promises big savings for businesses, and few are decrying its influence. But is it always the answer? Are there SQL Server virtualization risks to learn about first? Continue Reading

3Best practices-

SQL Server virtualization best practices

Experienced users recommend following a few steps to achieve SQL Server virtualization success. These steps include identifying the best hardware and software for your enterprise's needs, comparing costs and performance, examining the impacts of server migration, and making preparations to maintain high availability. The stories in this section offer expert advice for moving forward with virtualization.


Considerations for virtualizing SQL Server

Thinking about virtualizing SQL Server? Roman Rehak gives you a rundown about what you should keep in mind when planning your migration. Continue Reading


Facts and myths about virtualizing SQL Server

With benefits such as cost savings and high-availability options, SQL Server virtualization is taking the IT world by storm. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Continue Reading


Strategies for maintaining high availability of virtual machines

Learn to take advantage of Hyper-V and Windows 2008 in order to achieve fault-tolerant and highly available SQL Server virtual machines. Continue Reading


Creating SQL Server virtual appliances for Hyper-V

Creating a private SQL Server VAP will reduce the time it takes to deploy additional SQL Server machines in your environment. Continue Reading


Protecting virtual databases with database mirroring

Learn how database mirroring provides cost-effective protection for critical databases running on virtual machines. Continue Reading

4Licensing issues-

SQL Server virtualization licensing

Virtualizing the SQL Server environment can lower licensing costs, but the licensing process can be challenging. The decision of how to license SQL Server depends on the version and edition your company is running, as well as the number of processors on the machine. It is helpful to fully understand licensing implications before moving forward with virtualization. This section offers stories that explore the issue of licensing.


Understanding licensing for SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2012 licensing is complicated enough. Now add in SQL Server virtual environments and try not to let your head spin. Continue Reading


Reduce licensing costs with new virtualization software

DH2i’s server application virtualization software lowers SQL Server 2012 license requirements by stacking many instances on a single Windows server. Continue Reading


Changes in SQL Server 2012 licensing and pricing

SQL Server 2012 pricing includes some significant adjustments, including a reduction in the number of editions and the change from processor- to core-based licensing. Continue Reading


Virtualization licensing changes with SQL Server 2008

The company has put the kibosh on unlimited virtualization rights with SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition. Continue Reading


Choosing the best virtualization licensing model for you

Virtualization licensing and pricing models can be complex. Learn how to cultivate contract terms that can save you money. Continue Reading

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