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Tips on SQL Server Virtualization

A Contributed Article By Deney Dentel, CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc.

Contrary to what many people think, it is actually possible to run SQL servers in a virtual machine. But since this is normally very resource-intensive, you will have to stick to some tips in order to succeed. These tips can be the reason you succeed and make highly performing SQL server instance. The following are the five must-read SQL Server tips.

Learn about the most common SQL tips:

Before you get started with SQL server virtualization, it is important to first learn the common mistakes that have stopped many people in their tracks. These pitfalls that you should avoid falling for are things like Data Types mismatch in predicate, use of SELECT, predicate evaluation order, overuse of cursors, incorrect subquery column and NOT IN and the NULL predicates . There are quite many mistakes you should know of, but these are some of the most important ones.

Refer SQL Server virtualization videos:

The second of the most important SQL Server tips is referring to these videos. There are many videos on the internet that can help you learn a lot about SQL Server Virtualization. They have a step-by-step approach and which is explained in simple language that is easy to follow. Through the videos, you will learn the grasps of the virtual environment.

Use the correct processor on your virtualization host:

The use of the right process on your host, like a SLAT-enabled 64-bit processor, is very important. While 64-bit processors are very important, not all of them can support SLAT (Second Level Address Translation). In particular, the older servers may not be SLAT-enabled. The importance of SLAT is that it transfers the work of mapping virtual memory in a VM (Virtual Machine) to the physical memory of a host from hypervisor to CPU itself. SLAT not only enables scalability but also much higher VM performance.

Use the appropriate virtual hard disk system:

This is also very important. The best type of hard disks recommended by database experts is fixed virtual type, and is commonly referred to as VHD. They are excellent choices for test environments, labs, and even noncritical workloads. There is also another category known as Dynamic VHDs, and although they use less space compared to fixed virtual disks, their level of performance cannot match up to that of VHDs. In cases where disk space is very critical, the best solution would be to differencing disks. Compared to VHDs, they use far less amount of disk space. However, like Dynamic VHDs, they are also quite low on performance. When it comes to workloads that have very high I/O requirements, pass-through disks would be the ideal choice. However, they lack the flexibility of VHDS.

Customize your virtual server instance:

A virtual server instance refers to a logical server which is made up of configuration objects and server jobs. Each of these server instances listens either on an exclusive port with similar IP address or an exclusive IP address. A virtual server instance can be deleted, configured and also controlled from central server. What determines configuration of every virtual server instance is associated configuration file's name as well as instance parameters.

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About the Author

Deney Dentel is the CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc., a managed and cloud computing service provider company in Portland, OR. Deney is the only localised and authorised  IBM business partner in Pacific Northwest. You can also follow him on LinkedIn.

Published Thursday, December 05, 2013 8:24 AM by David Marshall
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