E-Guide: Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applications

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Not long ago, the given wisdom was that virtualizing mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and SAP was just too risky. Now many IT pros realize the benefits of virtualizing these applications. In this expert e-guide from SearchServerVirtualization.com, find out about the many benefits of virtualizing your mission critical applications such as improved hardware utilization and efficiency. And find out where to virtualize your applications to maximize these benefits.

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E-Guide: Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applications

  1. 1. E-GuideAchieve the benefits of virtualizedmission-critical applicationsNot long ago, the given wisdom was that virtualizing mission-criticalapplications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and SAPwas just too risky. Now many IT pros realize the benefits ofvirtualizing these applications. In this expert e-guide fromSearchServerVirtualization.com, find out about the many benefits ofvirtualizing your mission critical applications such as improvedhardware utilization and efficiency. And find out where to virtualizeyour applications to maximize these benefits. Sponsored By:
  2. 2. SearchServerVirtualization.com E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applications E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applications Table of Contents Virtualizing mission-critical applications Interest grows in virtualized Exchange, SQL Server Resources from Dell and IntelSponsored By: Page 2 of 6
  3. 3. SearchServerVirtualization.com E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applicationsVirtualizing mission-critical applicationsNot long ago, the given wisdom was that virtualizing mission-critical applications such asMicrosoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and SAP was just too risky. According to thisworld view, virtualization administrators who tried virtualizing applications such as thesewere just asking for trouble. The risk of incurring a hit to these mission-critical applications -- or worse, the prospect of data loss or breaches -- loomed too large to turn these criticalapplications over to virtual machines.But today, some IT shops have begun to see the virtues of virtualizing high-throughputapplications and to reap the benefits in terms of reduction of data center space and powerusage, improved disaster recovery strategy and increased application deployment flexibility.Consider just a few of the benefits of virtualizing mission-critical applications: improved hardware utilization and efficiency; ease of new system deployment; system mobility; improved disaster recovery; and painless development, testing and training.In this guide to virtualizing applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchangeand SAP, we explore the benefits and challenges of virtualizing applications that have highperformance requirements. We explore key issues in virtualizing mission-criticalapplications, including the necessary support for a virtualized application, hardwarerequirements, identifying ideal server consolidation ratios, failover, snapshotting and more.Sponsored By: Page 3 of 6
  4. 4. SearchServerVirtualization.com E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applicationsInterest grows in virtualized Exchange, SQL ServerBy Margie Semilof, Senior News DirectorUntil recently, IT shops and vendors alike agreed that it was a bad idea to virtualize highthroughput applications such as SQL Server databases or Exchange Server.While this may still hold true in extreme cases, running these applications in virtualmachines may work fine for many workloads, according to experts. The main thing is to testthe servers before writing off the idea entirely.The assumption has been that that database and messaging server workloads are not suitedfor virtualization in that they are transactional, so by extension, their workloads requiremore memory and CPU access, but such applications function just fine as a virtual machine,said David Payne, CTO at Xcedex Inc., a Plymouth, Minn., integrator and virtualizationexpert.Today, IT managers and database administrators may be counting on virtualization as away to cope with greater workloads as more servers are added. In the database world, forexample, a SearchSQLServer.com survey of 372 database administrators and IT managersshows that 26% of respondents plan to manage their growing servers by running them invirtual machines.Another 36% plan to manage the servers through server consolidation. About 22% will lookat physical server consolidation for greater efficiencies. About 10% plan to use more policyautomation. And 6% expect to hire more database administrators.In our department there are 12 virtualized SQL Servers that store a variety of data, saidJanssen Jones, associate director of auxiliary information technology infrastructure atIndiana University located in Bloomington, Ind."We develop a lot of applications with a Web front end and a SQL Server back end and havevirtualized SQL in development, test and production environments," he said. "These servershost data for applications such as student housing, dining and parking."Sponsored By: Page 4 of 6
  5. 5. SearchServerVirtualization.com E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applicationsJones said conventional wisdom was not to virtualize databases on Microsofts VirtualServer, but rather on VMware Inc.s ESX. "We decided to try it on [Microsofts] Hyper-V tosee what happens because we had more pain from trying to maintain the physical boxes,"he said.The I/O did not suffer and there was no decrease in performance, he said. "When we sawthat we virtualized more and more and now we are 80% to 90% virtualized."Still, the idea of virtualizing SQL Server and Exchange in production environments doesntsit well with everyone. Sumeeth Evans is the IT director at Collegiate Housing Services inIndianapolis. He said that in the case of Exchange Server, it may make more sense for hisorganization to run a machine with the Local Continuous Replication Exchange server role ina virtualized environment."We are looking at this," Evans said. But performance remains a concern at the studenthousing service, which has a lot of e-commerce applications. There are certain times of themonth, when students pay rent for example, when high server traffic may not makevirtualization a good value, he said.Where to virtualize applicationsPayne said database servers that tend to do well in virtual environments are the ones thathouse infrastructure support systems, such as those used for saving configurations. "Its theworkhorse SQL Servers that have the problems," Payne said. "[Its not appropriate] whenyou are consuming greater than two to four CPUs of processing power and you needenormous memory for tens of thousands of transactions."Exchange Server works well in a virtual machine but can cause problems when scaling upwithin a limited number of servers. "Its not as bad if you scale up and split yourmailboxes," Payne said. He recommends that IT shops adjust their deployment to a scaleout method to virtualize these applications.Sponsored By: Page 5 of 6
  6. 6. SearchServerVirtualization.com E-Guide Achieve the benefits of virtualized mission-critical applicationsResources from Dell and IntelChoosing your next virtualization platform: Mirroring to your application upgradeVirtualizing Mission-Critical ApplicationsA Superior Hardware Platform for Server VirtualizationSponsored By: Page 6 of 6

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