EMC Virtual Infrastructure for Microsoft SQL Server

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1 Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V

2 Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published February, 2010 EMC believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice. Benchmark results are highly dependent upon workload, specific application requirements, and system design and implementation. Relative system performance will vary as a result of these and other factors. Therefore, this workload should not be used as a substitute for a specific customer application benchmark when critical capacity planning and/or product evaluation decisions are contemplated. All performance data contained in this report was obtained in a rigorously controlled environment. Results obtained in other operating environments may vary significantly. EMC Corporation does not warrant or represent that a user can or will achieve similar performance expressed in transactions per minute. No warranty of system performance or price/performance is expressed or implied in this document. Use, copying, and distribution of any EMC software described in this publication requires an applicable software license. For the most up-to-date listing of EMC product names, see EMC Corporation Trademarks on EMC.com. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. Part number: H6887 Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 2

3 Table of Contents Reference architecture overview... 4 Solution architecture... 6 Key components Validated environment profile Hardware and software resources Conclusion Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 3

4 Reference architecture overview Document purpose EMC's commitment to consistently maintain and improve quality is led by the Total Customer Experience (TCE) program, which is driven by Six Sigma methodologies. As a result, EMC has built Customer Integration Labs in its Global Solutions Centers to reflect real-world deployments in which TCE use cases are developed and executed. These use cases provide EMC with an insight into the challenges currently facing its customers. This document describes the of an EMC Virtual Infrastructure solution for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V, which was tested and validated by EMC Commercial Solutions group. Solution purpose This solution investigates how to leverage EMC s expertise and proven technologies to demonstrate the functional and performance aspects of a SQL Server 2008 environment by using EMC Celerra unified storage platforms. The purpose of this solution is to determine: How to design a well-performing virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2008 environment using Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (SCVMM) R2. The ability to provide a highly available and protected environment by using a combination of Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V, an EMC Celerra unified storage platform, and SQL native for backup. The performance statistics during vital operations of SQL Server such as backup and virtual machine migration and also to study their interactions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to every aspect of the EMC Virtual Infrastructure solution for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 enabled by EMC Celerra, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Microsoft SCVMM 2008 R2. The business challenge Databases are an integral part of virtually every enterprise business. From Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and human resource systems to payroll, business intelligence, web content and more, designing and building a database infrastructure to support these functions and protect the data it contains is a major challenge. These systems are always-on and accessed by users and these systems have the ability to hold more and more data. In many cases, it is not acceptable to take the database offline for nightly backups and in the event a restore is required, they must be restored quickly with minimum impact to users. These challenges demand a solution with acceptable performance that also offers an effective and affordable protection of this critical business function. The technology solution It is important to work with an experienced provider of infrastructure solutions one with a strong track record and ability to deliver. EMC provides a range of solutions for companies of all sizes. With EMC s Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) the Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 4

5 level of protection can be increased as requirements change and businesses grow. EMC has designed solutions for protecting Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database environments by using Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft SCVMM 2008 R2, and an EMC Celerra unified storage platform. This solution demonstrates how an EMC Celerra unified storage platform can be used to design a robust Microsoft SQL Server 2008 environment. In this solution, Microsoft SQL native backup is used to take full, differential, and transaction log backups to an iscsi logical unit number (LUN) mapped to the SQL server. A Microsoft failover cluster is configured to provide protection to the virtual machines against server hardware failures. SCVMM 2008 R2 is used to manage and monitor the Hyper-V environment. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 5

6 Solution architecture Architecture diagram The following figure shows the overall physical architecture of the solution. Reference architecture overview The validated solution is built using a virtualized SQL Server 2008 environment on an EMC Celerra unified storage platform. The key components of the physical architecture are: Four servers running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SCVMM 2008 R2 EMC Celerra unified storage platform Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is installed on four VMware virtual machines in a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environment. These virtual machines are created from a two-node cluster that is configured to access a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV). Microsoft SCVMM is used to manage the Hyper-V machines and features such as quick migration and live migration. The EMC Celerra unified storage platform is used to store database, log files, and virtual machine system volumes. In this solution, an iscsi connectivity method is used for the following components: The SQL database drives are accessed by the SQL servers using iscsi. The solution validates three connection methods Microsoft iscsi initiator (MSI), LUN-passthrough, and Virtual Hard Disk (VHD). Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 6

7 The data store containing the virtual machine system volumes is provisioned as an iscsi data store connected using MSI to both nodes of the cluster. The backup data is stored on an iscsi LUN connected using MSI. NOTE It is advisable to connect the virtual machine system volume and the backup store through connection methods other than the MSI. These methods are not explicitly tested for this solution. Storage layout The following figure shows the overall storage layout of the solution. Storage layout overview The Celerra unified storage platform stores the following items: SQL database and log files Virtual machine boot disks Data that is backed up using native SQL backup The validated solution uses storage by using the iscsi protocol. The storage for system disks of the various virtual machines that are used in the solution, database backups, and the data storage of the primary database application use the iscsi protocol. To accommodate the range of potential implementations and to enable several array-based functions, the validated solution specifies that the primary application database must reside on Celerra iscsi storage. This area must be sized according to the needs of the user s specific database application. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 7

8 This validated solution uses virtual machines that are set up on a Microsoft failover cluster. A common data store to store the virtual machine boot disks is provided to all the nodes of the cluster. The SQL Server virtual machines are stored on this data store. The virtual machine data store is created by using RAID 5 configuration on a separate Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) shelf with no impact to the database portion of the solution. Because this is a critical area for performance of the SQL servers, it is placed on a SAS shelf. Database backups are critical to administer production applications. The backup destination area exposed from Celerra provides storage space to accommodate express full, incremental, and transaction log backups, as required. Network layout The following figure shows the ports on an EMC Celerra NX4. Network layout overview This section describes the network architecture of the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 unified storage solution. System-wide network design and architecture are outside the scope of this document and solution. This section explains the recommendations for proper functionality that are consistent with industry-accepted best practices and must be compatible with existing network infrastructure and policies. Virtual local area networks The validated solution uses virtual local area networks (VLANs) to segregate network traffic of different types. This improves throughput, manageability, application separation, high availability, and security. The three VLANs used are: A client VLAN network that supports connectivity between the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 servers and the client workstations. A storage VLAN that provides connectivity between the SQL servers and storage by using the iscsi protocol. A VLAN used by cluster nodes to communicate with each other (heartbeat LAN). Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 8

9 NX4 Data Mover The NX4 Data Mover has four network ports cge0, cge1, cge2, and cge3. Ports cge0, cge1, cge2, and cge3 are used to handle administrative traffic, iscsi traffic, and backup traffic, respectively. The Data Mover supports several types of link aggregation for IP traffic. However, in this configuration, no link aggregations or Ethernet channels are configured. As a best practice, the Data Mover network ports connected to the storage network must be dedicated to storage traffic. However, if the ports are not heavily used, they can be shared with non-storage network traffic. EMC recommends monitoring the network to avoid bottlenecks. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 9

10 Key components Introduction This section briefly describes the key components of EMC solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2008: EMC Celerra unified storage platforms Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V SCVMM 2008 R2 For details on all the components that make up the reference architecture, refer to Hardware and software resources on page 14. EMC Celerra unified storage platform The EMC Celerra unified storage platform is a dedicated network server optimized for files and block access, delivering high-end features in a scalable and easy-to-use package. For high scalability, Celerra unified storage platforms leverage both the innovative EMC CLARiiON Fibre Channel RAID storage, delivering best-in-class availability and data protection, and industry-leading EMC Celerra availability, performance, and ease of management. Celerra unified storage systems deliver a single-box block and file solution offering a centralized point of management for distributed environments. This makes it possible to dynamically grow, share, and cost-effectively manage multi-protocol file systems and provide multi-protocol block access. Administrators can take advantage of simultaneous support for NFS and CIFS protocols by allowing Windows and Linux/UNIX clients to share files using the Celerra system s sophisticated file-locking mechanisms and by leveraging iscsi or FC for high-bandwidth or latency-sensitive applications. EMC Celerra provides five 9s ( percent) availability through advanced failover, high-availability, and fault-tolerant networking options. The reliability and speed of backup and recovery in traditional backup application environments can be improved by using the Celerra unified storage platforms as a backup-to-disk target. Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is an integral feature of Windows Server 2008 R2 and enables users to implement server virtualization with ease. Hyper-V enables users to make the best use of the server hardware investments by consolidating servers and enabling a high-performance virtual environment. It eases IT infrastructure management and reduces costs while retaining and enhancing competitive advantages, such as flexibility, reliability, scalability, and security. Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V supports hot plug-in and hot removal of storage. By supporting the addition or removal of VHD files and passthrough disks while a virtual machine is running, Hyper-V makes it possible to reconfigure virtual machines quickly to meet changing workload requirements. Windows Server 2008 core installation is a minimal server installation for computers running on the Windows Server 2008 operating system or later versions. Server Core provides a low-maintenance server environment with limited functionality. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 10

11 However, it provides all the required features for virtualization and is highly secure. This validated solution utilizes live migration, quick migration, and failover cluster in a Hyper-V virtualized environment to provide a comprehensive solution for Microsoft SQL Server The following table provides a summary of the advanced features and the benefits of this solution. Feature Benefits Microsoft failover clustering Failover clustering in Windows Server 2008 R2 can help users build redundancy into the network and eliminate single points of failure. This helps to reduce downtime, guard against data loss, and reduce total cost of ownership. Windows Server 2008 R2 failover clusters are less expensive than other comparable systems. Ease of deployment and affordability make Windows Server 2008 R2 an ideal high-availability solution for organizations of all sizes. Its integration with Windows PowerShell enables the creation and management of clusters using scripts. Live migration Enables administrators to move a virtual machine between clustered hosts in a way that is completely transparent to the users connected to the virtual machine with no disruptions to the applications running on the virtual machines. Administrators have greater flexibility in responding to planned downtime and provide higher machine availability. Quick storage migration Enables migration of a virtual machine s storage both within the same host and across hosts while the virtual machine is running with a minimum of downtime, typically less than two minutes. CSV Provides a single, consistent storage space that enables hosts in a cluster to concurrently access virtual machine files on a single shared LUN. CSV enables the live migration of virtual machines without impacting other virtual machines sharing the same LUN. CSV eliminates the restriction of placing one virtual machine on one LUN and coordinates the use of storage with much greater efficiency and higher performance. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 11

12 Microsoft SCVMM 2008 R2 Microsoft SCVMM 2008 R2 provides unified management of physical and virtual machines in a virtualized data center. It also increases server utilization and provides dynamic resource optimization of virtual IT infrastructure. SCVMM 2008 R2 integrates multi-hypervisor management into one tool. It provides comprehensive support for VMware VI3 through integration with VMware s Virtual Center. The SCVMM Administrator Console provides a central work area for changing resource settings of the virtual machines and migrating them from one host to another to optimize physical resources. SCVMM is fully cluster-aware, meaning it can detect and manage Hyper-V host clusters as a single unit. This enables administrators greater flexibility in responding to planned downtime and provides higher machine availability. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 12

13 Validated environment profile Profile characteristics The solution was validated using the following environment profile. Profile characteristic Type of workload Database size Value Online transaction processing (OLTP) 120 GB Number of warehouses 700 RAID type Number of SQL instances RAID 1/0 for database and log files RAID 5 for Celerra system volumes RAID 5 for SQL databases backup 1 per SQL Server Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 13

14 Hardware and software resources Hardware The following table lists the hardware used to validate the solution. Equipment Quantity Configuration Purpose Storage One EMC Celerra NX4 DART: x 300 GB SAS drives (15k rpm) Servers Two Dell 1950 Server Class Four 2.33 GHz dualcore processors 16 GB of RAM 6 Gigabit Ethernet NICs Servers One Dell 1850 Server Class Two 3.0 GHz dual-core processors 6 GB RAM 2 Gigabit Ethernet NICs Enterprise network switch One Gigabit Ethernet network switch Celerra used at the production site. The two servers are the two nodes of the Microsoft failover cluster. The hypervisor server hosting the Microsoft DPM server. Connect the machines connected over Ethernet. Software The following table lists the software used to validate the solution. Software Microsoft Windows 2008 Server Hyper-V Microsoft SCVMM Microsoft Windows Server Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition Version R2 EMC Celerra DART EMC CLARiiON FLARE R2 Windows 2008 Core x64 Enterprise Edition R2 SP2 4 Windows 2008 x64 Enterprise Edition SP2 2 SQL Server 2008 SP1 Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 14

15 Conclusion Summary EMC delivers the power of EMC Celerra unified storage platforms and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V s advanced virtualization to maintain efficient use of resources, high availability, load balancing, and database backup for SQL Server 2008 environments. This solution demonstrates some of these capabilities through the testing of real-world Microsoft SQL Server workloads. By consolidating Microsoft SQL servers with a virtualized infrastructure, organizations can achieve significant cost reductions in the areas of network management and IT resources. This solution also provides effective backup for SQL Server 2008 databases and offers protection of the virtualized infrastructure. Next steps EMC can help accelerate assessment, design, implementation, and management while lowering the implementation risks and costs of a solution for a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 environment. To learn more about this and other solutions, contact an EMC representative. Microsoft SQL Server Enabled by EMC Celerra and Microsoft Hyper-V 15

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