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gfriedmanva
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LUN and Volume Presentation for SQL 2000 VSphere 5.0 Hosts

We are in the process of planning the implementation of an HP P4000 SAN. We will be connecting two, ESXi 5.0 hosts to the P4000 via 10 Gb/e Connections. These hosts will run a marid of VMs ranging from simple application servers to SQL 2005 server instances. I have two questions:

#1. We have RAID-ed out the physical disk on paper so we understand the underlying hardware RAID-ing (and space) we would need to accomodate all of the virtual servers. However, I understand that the P4000 (total of 12 disks per enclosure and using 2 enclosures, for a total of 24 disks across the cluster) comes in a hardware RAID configuration of RAID-50, which I am assuming means each enclosure has two LUNs of 6 drives each, in RAID-50. So my question is this, if we are thinking of implementing a mixture of application and SQL servers VMservers, is it better to leave the RAID-50 in place and then carve out the necessary volumes in those 4, RAID-50 LUNs (and let the SAN/iQ apply the necessary RAID-protection levels) or should we carve out the P4000 into the necessary hardware RAIDs that each VM will require (i.e. 2 X RAID-5 for the C: and E: drives, 2 X RAID-10 for the SQL log and data files)?

#2. Is it a good idea to present raw data volumes to the SQL Server VMs for storing the data and/or log files? As opposed to presenting VMFS-formatted volumes for the same purpose? Is there a benefit to storing that SQL data on a raw-disk and formatting them as NTFS using the Windows Server VM?

#2a. On the same note as #2 above; what about backup files and fileshares? Should these be hosted in raw data volumes or VMFS-formatted volumes.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Greg

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mcowger
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is it better to leave the RAID-50 in place and then carve out the necessary volumes in those 4, RAID-50 LUNs (and let the SAN/iQ apply the necessary RAID-protection levels) or should we carve out the P4000 into the necessary hardware RAIDs that each VM will require (i.e. 2 X RAID-5 for the C: and E: drives, 2 X RAID-10 for the SQL log and data files)?

It depends on the IO profile of your SQL.  Are they heavy duty (thousands of IOPs) or smaller (a couple hundred)?  If thousands, then you need to think abotu recarving.  If not, then leave it as is.

#2. Is it a good idea to present raw data volumes to the SQL Server VMs for storing the data and/or log files? As opposed to presenting VMFS-formatted volumes for the same purpose? Is there a benefit to storing that SQL data on a raw-disk and formatting them as NTFS using the Windows Server VM?


Theres no performance benefit.  There is a benefit in being able to do things like use array-level snapshots of the SQL data (and other stuff like replication), which come at the cost of ease of management.

#2a. On the same note as #2 above; what about backup files and fileshares? Should these be hosted in raw data volumes or VMFS-formatted volumes.

See above answer.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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