Running Microsoft Business Critical Application on Virtual SAN 6.0


VSAN-BCAVMware Virtual SAN 6.0 enables customers and partners to host Microsoft business critical applications such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, etc with consistent performance levels and constant availability. As part of the effort to extend the awareness of VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 ability to host business critical applications we have put together a solution white paper which covers the design, and configuration of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server 2014, and SharePoint 2013 and tested the solution’s capabilities and supported features of these Microsoft business critical applications on Virtual SAN 6.0 as Proof of Concept.

In this technical white paper we describe how concurrent Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server workloads are configured to deliver the performance levels they demand as a Tier 1 application on VMware Virtual SAN. In the paper we cover the configuration procedure for Exchange Server 2013 with Database Availability Groups (DAG), SQL Server 2014 with AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 on an eight-node VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster.

This proof of concept and test consists on the deployment and configuration has all three applications deployed in the same VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster, along with other management components such as Active Directory and DNS servers. We used industry-standard test tools for both Exchange Server and SQL Server to generate simultaneous application load on the storage subsystem. During our testing and analysis, we discovered that performance for Exchange Server 2013 and SQL Server 2014 running on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 was comparable to that of enterprise-class network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) storage.

The design, deployment, and configuration of the environment, was considerably easier and faster to deploy since there no additional host utilities needed for the storage systems and components. The figure below illustrates some of the performance results we were able to collect with the design and hardware utilized for this project.

BCA On VSAN Perf POCThe main purpose of this project was to mainly to validate application and solution functionality, and to also validate that VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 provides support non-shared Microsoft Cluster Solutions (MSCS), specifically with Exchange DAG and SQL AAG and also include the  performance, resiliency, and availability results are mixed with an out of the box approach.

With this information customers and partners can see proof of some of the testing we have been working on around running business critical applications on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. As a follow up we’re working on a full and detailed solutions reference architecture on Exchange Server 2013 with DAG, and SQL Server 2014 with AAG which will including the documentation of all aspects of the solution including performance, backup/recovery, DR, etc.

In the mean time you can get early access to this initial effort and download an early draft of this white paper directly from the link below. The document will be available later from the VMware technical resources page.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds


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