Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

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1 Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2 A Dell Reference Architecture for Microsoft SQl Server 2014 using Dell s latest server PowerEdge FX2 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Megha Jayaraman Dell Global Solutions Engineering December 2014

2 Revisions Date December 2014 Description Initial release THIS WHITE PAPER IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND MAY CONTAIN TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS AND TECHNICAL INACCURACIES. THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED AS IS, WITHOUT EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Dell Inc. is strictly forbidden. For more information, contact Dell. Dell, the DELL logo, and the DELL badge are trademarks of Dell Inc. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. 2 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

3 Table of contents Revisions... 2 Executive Summary Introduction Objective Audience Solution Overview Dell PowerEdge FX Architecture Dell PowerEdge FX2 Enclosure Dell PowerEdge FC630 server Dell Storage SC Reference Architecture Network Design Consideration Hyper-V Networking Configuration Storage Design Consideration Hyper-V Storage Configuration Enabling SQL Server direct access to FC Storage targets High availability consideration Solution Specification Conclusion Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

4 Executive Summary Evolving enterprise applications are now driving the need for an adaptive converged infrastructure for the business to remain competitive. Application scalability and performance, standardized hardware and simplified management continue to remain critical parameters for IT decision makers while considering IT agility and efficiency. The Dell TM PowerEdge TM FX converged architecture is designed to offer enterprises the flexibility to tailor the computing infrastructure for specific workloads to grow and adapt as per business needs. The paper showcases a Microsoft R Windows Server 2012 R R2 Hyper-V R virtualized reference architecture for Microsoft SQL Server R 2014 database, on Dell PowerEdge FX2s chassis and Dell Compellent TM Storage SC4020. The solution enables organizations to focus on getting more value from the virtualized infrastructure, for both OLTP and OLAP database workloads. The paper also outlines guidelines and best practices to deploy a SQL Server database on the Dell PowerEdge FX2 platform. Key features of PowerEdge FX solution for the SQL Server workload are: Provides dense computing power along with ease of managing the converged system as a single unit, which benefits the SQL Server database performance. Offers high availability at the infrastructure layer and ensures maximum SQL Server database uptime. Virtualizes the infrastructure and enables application consolidation. On a power intensive platform like PowerEdgeFX2: SQL Server, the database can run in conjunction with other workloads with ease. Offers optimal performance for a deployed database by using Dell and Microsoft best practices applied to the infrastructure. For virtualized workloads like the SQL Server database, designing the underlying Hyper-V architecture is a key step. Enables direct Fibre Channel (FC) storage access to the SQL Server virtual machine using the PCIe slot, with the FC host bus adapter card and Hyper-V virtual FC feature. 4 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

5 1 Introduction IT organizations today have realized the importance of converged infrastructure compute, storage, networking and management under a single unit. It enables consolidation of systems, efficient resource utilization, centralized management and lower investment costs. When such infrastructures are virtualized, it further adds efficiency and ease of management to the datacenters. Dell PowerEdge FX2 is one such modular platform which is adaptable and can be customized at the component level to match the workload requirements. The PowerEdge FX2 enclosure is a 2U rack-based platform that combines the density and efficiency of a blade chassis with the simplicity and cost benefit of rack-based systems. The server blocks provide options to the customer to choose between FC630 and FM120x4 servers based on the application requirement. The chassis networking I/O modules provide connectivity to the workload. At the time of writing, PowerEdge FX2 enclosure supports PowerEdge FC630 and PowerEdge FM120x4 severs only. Storage in PowerEdge FX architecture is a part of a future release. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is an enterprise class database engine that provides key value propositions like power packed performance, greater uptime, and enhanced security feature for mission-critical applications. The virtualized PowerEdge FC630 servers provide an excellent platform to host Microsoft SQL Server database workloads. 1.1 Objective The scope of this paper is to showcase a sample reference configuration of Microsoft SQL Server 2014 database on Dell PowerEdge FX2s(switched chassis). The paper outlines how to design a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V based reference architecture, and leverage the architecture for the SQL Server database alongside other workloads. The reference architecture ensures high availability at all infrastructure tiers compute, network, and storage and database application.the paper does not detail deployment procedure or performance numbers for the deployed database application. 1.2 Audience This whitepaper is intended for IT administrators and architects who are interested in designing and implementing a virtualized infrastructure for Microsoft SQL Server database with Dell PowerEdge FX2s. The reader is expected to have an understanding of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, Microsoft SQL Server 2014, Dell Storage SC4020, and Dell PowerEdge FX2s. 5 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

6 2 Solution Overview This section provides an overview of the hardware used in the reference architecture, for deploying a virtualized Microsoft SQL Server database. 2.1 Dell PowerEdge FX Architecture The PowerEdge FX architecture is a converged, modular, building-block concept that scales and adapts to varying workload demands. It is a scalable architecture that allows enterprises to grow their processing resources as per business needs. The architecture is workload optimized. The computing resources that are best suited can be chosen to run any data center applications. The initial release of FX portfolio consists of the FX2 enclosure, two servers, and networking I/O modules. The chassis hosts the server and storage blocks that are modular and agile, while providing efficiencies through shared power, networking, and management within the chassis itself. The components of the FX portfolio are outlined in the following sections Dell PowerEdge FX2 Enclosure The foundation of the FX architecture is the PowerEdge FX2 platform that combines compute, network and storage in a single unit. Two configurations of FX2 chassis are available FX2(unswitched) and FX2s(switched). The FX2 chassis does not have the PCIe slots at the rear end while in the FX2s chassis PCIe slots are supported.the chassis can hold upto four, 1U half-width (PowerEdge FC630) or PowerEdge FM120x4 micro server. The FX2s chassis supports up to eight low profile PCI Express (PCIe) Gen 3 expansion slots to extend connectivity to the servers. Redundant, quad-port 1 GBE or 10 GBE I/O modules are available on the chassis for server network connectivity. These IO modules along with three FN I/O Aggregator modules simplify cabling, improve East/West traffic within the server and enable LAN and SAN convergence.the management of the chassis can be done on each server using the agent-free idrac8 with LifeCycle Controller or like a chassis using Chassis Management Controller (CMC), which is an embedded management component. The reference architecture uses the FX2s chassis with QLogic 2500 Series 8 Gbps FC Host Bus Adapters (HBA) to provide Fibre Channel (FC) connectivity to the Dell Storage SC4020 SAN storage. Two, quad-port 10 GBE I/O modules are used for the hypervisor and workload network connectivity. For more information on the Dell PowerEdge FX2, see the PowerEdge FX2 Enclosure Tech Sheet Dell PowerEdge FC630 server Dell PowerEdge FC630 server is a half-width, two-socket server which delivers exceptional performance in a compact form factor. The FX2s chassis can accommodate up to four, Dell PowerEdge FC630 servers. Each PowerEdge FC630 server supports up to 18 cores with latest Intel Xeon E5-2600v3 processors and up to 24 dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs), resulting in up to 768 GB of memory. Such computing power makes PowerEdge FC630 a suitable candidate to host virtualized environments and demanding workloads like enterprise databases. 6 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

7 For the reference architecture, a FX2s chassis with four PowerEdge FC630 servers with 2 X 2.5 inch disk drives are used. These four servers are virtualized and can host different workloads along with Microsoft SQL Server database. The Broadcom GBE network daughter card (NDC) provides network connectivity to the servers using the redundant 10 GBE pass-through I/O modules. The servers also contain a blade mezzanine card to connect to the PCIe add-on peripherals on the PowerEdge FX2s chassis. For more information on the Dell PowerEdge FC630, see the PowerEdge FC630 Tech Sheet 2.2 Dell Storage SC4020 SC4020 series array is based on Dell s enterprise class SC8000 platform. Dual redundant controllers, 24 internal drives, eight 8 Gb Fibre Channel, or four 10 GB iscsi network ports and four additional 10 Gb ports for management and replication are all delivered in a space saving 2U chassis. For going beyond 24 drives, SC200 or SC220 enclosures can be added to reach over 400 TB of raw capacity. Key features of SC4020 are outlined below: Auto-tuned for maximum performance and cost-savings, based on real time usage information FLASH optimized for all flash or hybrid SSD/HDD deployments Fibre Channel or iscsi support, along with scale-out NAS option Perpetual software licensing for low lifecycle costs Co-pilot support The reference architecture uses a SC4020 storage array with 24 X 15 K, 300 GB internal drives for virtual machine files (VM store), SQL Server database and other workload data volumes. For more information on the Dell Storage SC4020, see the Dell Storage SC4020 all-in-one array product configuration 7 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

8 3 Reference Architecture In this reference architecture, the underlying infrastructure is virtualized using Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V to optimize the hardware resource utilization and provide a simple solution management strategy. The virtualized design is then leveraged to deploy the SQL Server database. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Standalone VM Other Application VMs Dell PowerEdge FX2s Chassis SAN LAN Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster ISL FC Switch 1 FC Switch 2 LAG 10GBE Switch 1 10GBE Switch 2 Dell Storage SC4020 Figure 1 Reference architecture A single Hyper-V cluster is created from the four PowerEdge FC630 servers of the FX2s chassis. Windows Server 2012 R2 is installed on the 2 X 2.5 inch(raid1 configuration) internal drives available with servers, and Hyper-V role configured. A failover cluster is created using these four nodes to serve as a compute platform for not only SQL Server database virtual machine (VM) but also other workload VMs. The Storage Area Network (SAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) fabric are kept separate using different switches to keep the application data segregated from the networking traffic. 8 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

9 3.1 Network Design Consideration The PowerEdge FC630 servers connect to the network using a dual-port 10 GBE NDC card through the 10 GB pass-through I/O modules. The server to pass-through I/O module mapping for a dual-port NDC is shown below. FC630 servers with dual port NDC FX2s Chassis IO Module 1 IO Module 2 FC630 Server 1 Port 1 - NIC 1 Port 2 - NA Port 1 - NIC 2 Port 2 - NA FC630 Server 2 Port 3 - NIC 1 Port 4 - NA Port 3 - NIC 2 Port 4 - NA FC630 Server 3 Port 5 - NIC 1 Port 6 - NA Port 5 - NIC 2 Port 6 - NA FC630 Server 4 Port 7 - NIC 1 Port 8 - NA Port 7 - NIC 2 Port 8 - NA Table 1 Server to pass-through I/O module port mapping The network layer is designed to be redundant with two Dell Networking 10GBE switches to eliminate a single point of failure, in the solution. These switches are tagged together using an inter switch link (ISL). Similarly the virtual and the physical network connections are made resilient at the server level using the NIC teaming feature of Windows Server 2012 R2. This applies to both the Hyper-V host and the SQL Server database VM. For the SAN fabric, the PowerEdge FC630 server connects to the redundant FC Switches using the 8 GBps dual-port Qlogic QLE2562 add-on PCIe cards, at the rear-end of the chassis Hyper-V Networking Configuration The onboard Broadcom 10GBE NDC and an optional 10 GB PCIe add-on network card can be combined to create a Windows Server 2012 R2 NIC team. The team settings in the table below are used to create the NIC team. Windows Server 2012 R2 team NIC Team Mode Load Balancing Algorithm Standby Adapter Team Members Configuration SwitchIndependent HyperVPort None Four Network ports(2 LOMs and 2 optional PCIe Adapter Ports or from Quad-port NDC card) Table 2 Team settings for the Hyper-V networking A Hyper-V converged virtual switch is created using the NIC team. Separate network adapters are created 9 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

10 for management, live migration, application, and cluster heartbeat with specific VLAN ID and bandwidth weights. The deployed SQL Server database VM can talk to infrastructure VMs like active directory/dns, Data Protection Manager (DPM), System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) etc using the management network, and to other applications like SharePoint, using the application network. 3.2 Storage Design Consideration The reference architecture uses 24 X 300 GB 15K drives of the Dell Storage SC4020 to host the Hyper-V failover cluster, workload VM store, and data files. The two dual port Qlogic QLE2562 card provides four connections per server to the SC4020 array. The SC4020 storage is used for the following two purposes: Storing VM files like the virtual hard disk (VHDX) Storing the SQL Server data and log files Hyper-V Storage Configuration In order to create a Windows Server 2012 R2 failover cluster, a 1 GB quorum is carved out of the SC4020 storage and provided to the cluster nodes. A quorum configuration helps the cluster to determine the number of failures the cluster can withstand. A Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) is created on the SC4020 to store workload VM files like the virtual machine hard disk (VHDX). CSVs enable faster failover of clustered roles like SQL Server virtual machine to another node without the need for dismounting the drive, changing ownership, or remounting the volume Enabling SQL Server direct access to FC Storage targets Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V allows the virtual machine to connect to an existing FC based storage array using FC ports from within the guest operating system. The SQL Server VM is configured to make use of this feature and talk directly to the SC4020 array, using the virtual FC adapter. A virtual SAN is created by grouping the physical ports of the Qlogic QLE2562 adapter, on the PowerEdge FC630 server. Virtual FC adapter is added for the VM to access the SC4020 storage. The VM World Wide Names (WWN) address is zoned for the SQL Server VM to access the data LUNs. A number of volumes are created for the SQL Server database data and log files. 10 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

11 SQl Server VM WWN1 WWN2 Virtual Fibre Channel Adapter FC Port 1 FC Port 2 Dual-port Qlogic QLE2562 card FC630 Hyper-V host Figure 2 SQL Server direct access to FC storage targets 3.3 High availability consideration The reference architecture is designed to have high availability at several levels like hardware, hypervisor, or application. Hardware: Redundant infrastructure components like servers, switches, storage controllers, drives, I/O modules, network path, and peripherals ensure that the solution design continues to be valid in the event of a hardware failure. Hypervisor: In case of a Hyper-V server failure, the SQL Server database virtual machine restarts on the other available hosts in the cluster. Application: In order to achieve SQL Server application availability for disaster recovery scenarios, the AlwaysOn feature can be leveraged. - The primary database replica can reside on the Dell PowerEdge FX2s based reference architecture, while the secondary database replica can reside at a remote site. This secondary replica can be a standalone SQL Server VM or can be deployed on a physical server. - A Windows guest OS clustering is created for this SQL Server VM/physical server. A cluster file share is hosted on a different site to ensure maximum database availability. Standalone SQL Server instances are deployed on them. AlwaysOn availability groups are created and identified for databases that need to be protected from disaster. 11 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

12 The following figure shows a sample architecture for disaster recovery scenario Site C Site A File Share Server Site B SQL 2014 AlwaysON Availability Group - Primary Windows 2012 R2 Guest Clustering with No Shared Storage SQL Server Standalone VM Data Synchronization (Sync or Async) Physical Server/Hyper-V Virtual Machine SQL 2014 AlwaysON Availability Group - Seconday Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster Dell PowerEdge FX2s Chassis Figure 3 Sample architecture for a disaster recover scenario 12 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

13 4 Solution Specification The following tables list out the components used in the reference architecture. Table 3 Reference Architecture Configuration Component Virtualization Infrastructure Virtualization Hosts Details 1 x Dell PowerEdge FX2s Chassis 8 x Qlogic QLE 2652 DP PCIe Add-on FC HBA 2 x 10GbE SFP+ Pass-through IOM 4 x Dell PowerEdge FC630 Servers Processor Memory HDD Network OS 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2660v3 Family 128 GB; 8 x 16GB DDR4 DIMMs 2 x 600GB 15K SAS in RAID 1 for OS volume Broadcom dual port NDC Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Edition Storage Arrays Dell Storage SC4020 with 24 X 300GB, 15K disk drives Networking 2 x Dell Networking S4810 for Local Area Networking (LAN) 2 x 8Gbps FC Switches for FC Storage Area Networking (SAN) Table 4 Configuration for SQL Server database VM Component Details Processor Memory OS VHDX Network OS SQL Server 6 x Virtual Processors 64 GB(static) 1 x 160 GB stored on the VM Store in the SC x Synthetic Network Adapters for Management and SQL Server Application 2 x Virtual FC Adapters for FC connectivity Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Edition SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition 13 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

14 5 Conclusion The reference architecture described in this guide covers the design practices involved in deploying a SQL Server database on a Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V virtualized, PowerEdge FX architecture. The performance of the database primarily depends on the underlying compute platform. Dell PowerEdge FC630 proves to be the best candidate to deploy such enterprise class SQL Server database due to its immense computing power. Another parameter that impacts the database application is availability. This requirement is met by implementing high availability at various levels of the reference architecture to avoid a single point of failure. The guide showed the best practices used to design and configure the Hyper-V reference configuration and how it complements the SQL Server application design. Creating a right virtualized architecture is critical as it has a direct impact on the performance and availability of the data center applications. The reference architecture showcases how a SQL Server standalone database instance can be deployed on a Hyper-V based architecture stack along with other workload VMs. For a disaster recovery scenario, the AlwaysOn feature can be leveraged to create a primary secondary database replica on the two sites, with a file share configured on a third site. This ensures application high availability in case of a site failure. 14 Reference Architecture Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Virtualized Reference Architecture with Dell PowerEdge FX2

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