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Monthly Archives: December 2012

50 Partners To Help You Virtualize Business Critical Applications

VMware Partners have the option to complete extra coursework to become VBCA Competent. There are many partners with this designation globally to help you virtualize your business-critical applications. The following is a partial list of the VBCA Competent partners. Please go to http://partnerlocator.vmware.com for a complete list of partners in your area.

Partners in the above table are certified to meet learning and experience requirements virtualizing business critical apps. Working with these partners enables customers to get the best service possible from an expert in virtualization. Click here to more about VMware Consulting Services.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Organizational Best Practices for Virtualizing Business Critical Applications

When embarking on your virtualization journey, keep these key organizational best practices in mind.

Where to Start with BCA Design? Base the sizing of your virtual environment on physical servers. It’s critical to understand your application requirements and have a good sense of the capacity and storage you’ll need.

  • VMware Capacity Planner – Helps you to gain insight into IT resource utilization and develop a virtualization roadmap for server containment and consolidation.
  • VMware vCenter Application Discovery Manager – Allows you to quickly and accurately map your application dependencies so you can accelerate datacenter moves.
  • Microsoft has Exchange and SQL tools for performing the migration. When you begin the migration, use VMware’s vStorage APIs for Array Integration to save time while moving, starting or creating VMs by eliminating redundant data flow. With Storage APIs, vSphere can perform faster while consuming less CPU, memory, and storage bandwidth.

For reference architectures, please see:

  • vBlock
  • Flexpod

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

When to use Lock Pages in Memory with SQL Server

Granting the Lock Pages in Memory user right to the SQL Server service account prevents SQL Server buffer pool pages from paging out by Windows. This setting is useful and has a positive performance impact because it prevents Windows from paging a significant amount of buffer pool memory out of the process, which enables SQL Server to manage the reduction of its own working set.
 
Setting the Lock Pages in Memory user right is a good performance optimization practice when Tier 1 mission-critical SQL Server. When setting the SQL Server Lock Pages in Memory user right, the virtual machine’s memory reservation should also be set to match the amount of the provision memory. Setting virtual machine memory reservations prevent the balloon driver from inflating into the SQL Server virtual machine’s memory space. Lock Pages in Memory should also be used in conjunction with the Max Server Memory setting to avoid SQL Server taking over all memory on the virtual machine.
 
For instructions on enabling Lock Pages in Memory, refer to Enable the Lock Pages in Memory Option (Windows) (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms190730.aspx).
 
While Lock Pages in Memory can optimize performance, it may not be optimal for all kinds of SQL Server deployments on vSphere. When Lock Pages in Memory is used, because SQL Server memory is locked and cannot be paged out by Windows, you might experience negative impacts if the vSphere balloon driver is trying to reclaim memory from the virtual machine. For lower-tiered SQL Server workloads where performance is less critical, the ability to overcommit to maximize usage of the available host memory might be more important. When deploying lower-tiered SQL Server workloads, VMware recommends that you do not enable the Lock Pages in Memory user right for lower-tiered SQL Server workloads. For lower tier SQL workloads, it is better to have balloon driver manage the memory dynamically. Having balloon driver dynamically manage vSphere memory can help maximize memory usage and increase consolidation ratio.

Demo: SQL Server Rolling Patch Upgrade using Standby VM

For those who read my earlier post on SQL Server Rolling Patch Upgrade using Standby VM, and are interested in trying it out, below is a step-by-step demo video for your reference.

 

Events That Trigger Virtualization of Business Critical Applications

You cannot afford for business critical applications in your datacenter to go down just to upgrade them. With that in mind, let’s look at which events might provide a good opportunity to virtualize applications in your datacenter. Below are some questions to ask when considering virtualization. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, it might be time to virtualize that app.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Best Practices for Virtualizing Java

The following best practices for virtualizing Java can provide useful guidance for virtual CPU, virtual memory, networking and storage setup.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Best Practices for Virtualizing SAP

The following best practices for virtualizing SAP can provide useful guidance for virtual CPU, virtual memory, networking and storage setup.

 

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Best Practices for Virtualizing SQL

The following best practices for virtualizing SQL can provide useful guidance for virtual CPU, virtual memory, networking and storage setup.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Best Practices for Virtualizing Oracle

The following best practices for virtualizing Oracle can provide useful guidance for virtual CPU, virtual memory, networking and storage setup.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]

Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange

The following best practices for virtualizing Exchange can provide useful guidance for virtual CPU, virtual memory, networking and storage setup.

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]