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  • 1.  vCenter SQL database on Virtual Machine

    Posted Oct 15, 2011 05:15 PM

    Hi,

    We have a vCenter Server 4.0 virtual machine, and 5x ESXi 4.1 hosts.  The vCenter Server database is currently hosted on a physical SQL 2005 box (along with all our other databases).

    We're looking to move away from a centralised single SQL server (all eggs in one basket), to 3/4 SQL virtual machines - to spread the downtime risk.

    However, we're wondering if there are any risks associated with having the both the vCenter Server and its database on (separate) Virtual Machines.

    Would there be any problems with startup from a complete datacenter shutdown.  Would we need to prioritise the startup order for the Virtual Machines to ensure the SQL database came online before the vCenter Server.  Are there any best practices on this (we can't find any in the documentation).

    Thanks in advance.

    IR88



  • 2.  RE: vCenter SQL database on Virtual Machine

    Posted Oct 16, 2011 01:08 AM

    Hello and welcome to the forums.

    Yes, the startup order is what you would need to be concerned with. If vCenter can't reach the DB it just won't start, but it would be better if the SQL box came up before. The risks might come more with backing up the SQL Server in a VM, but as long as you have a solid strategy to get consistent SQL backups, you should be fine.

    Good Luck!



  • 3.  RE: vCenter SQL database on Virtual Machine

    Posted Oct 16, 2011 09:47 AM

    Hi

    Welcome on community

    We're looking to move away from a centralised single SQL server (all eggs in one basket), to 3/4 SQL virtual machines - to spread the downtime risk.

    good move :smileyhappy:

    However, we're wondering if there are any risks associated with having the both the vCenter Server and its database on (separate) Virtual Machines.

    yes, there is a risk, if you have vDS (virtual distributed switches) implemented make sure that vCenter VM and SQL VM (that one with vCenter DB) always run on this same host, whole configuration on vDS is stored on SQL DB and if during vDS configuration update ( for whatever reason) vCenter DB becomes unavailable (ESX hosts where it's run becomes unavailable, network outage etc) you might went into trouble with your ESX network configuration.

    But you can mitigate a risk :

    1. Create DRS afinity rule to keep both vCenter and SQL VM's always on this same host and set up DRS level to manual
    2. your SQL VM and vCetner VM's became Tier 1 APP you have to be sure that backups and DR strategy are optimize to decrease downtime after disaster to minimum
    3. keep ESX(i) mgmt network on vSS (virtual standard switch), the rest of traffic on vDS - in case of problems with vDS
    4. Modify HA restart priority for both SQL and vCenter VM's