EMC VSPEX FOR VIRTUALIZED MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2012

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1 DESIGN GUIDE EMC VSPEX FOR VIRTUALIZED MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2012 EMC VSPEX Abstract This describes how to design virtualized Microsoft SQL Server resources on the appropriate EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vsphere enabled by EMC VNXe or EMC VNX, and EMC Powered backup. The guide also illustrates how to size SQL Server 2012, allocate resources following best practices, and use all the benefits that VSPEX offers. January 2015

2 Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published in the USA. Published January 2015 EMC believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice. The information in this publication is provided as is. EMC Corporation makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the information in this publication, and specifically disclaims implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Use, copying, and distribution of any EMC software described in this publication requires an applicable software license. EMC 2, EMC, and the EMC logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. For the most up-to-date listing of EMC product names, see EMC Corporation Trademarks on EMC.com. Part Number H

3 Contents Contents Chapter 1 Introduction 7 Purpose of this guide... 8 Business value... 8 Scope Audience Terminology Chapter 2 Before You Start 13 Deployment workflow Essential reading VSPEX Solution Overviews VSPEX Implementation Guides VSPEX Proven Infrastructures EMC Powered Backup for VSPEX guide Chapter 3 Solution Overview 17 Overview EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Solution architecture Key components Introduction Microsoft SQL Server EMC VNX EMC VNXe EMC backup and recovery solutions VMware vsphere Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V EMC XtremCache EMC PowerPath/VE Chapter 4 Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure 30 Overview Step 1: Evaluate the customer use case Overview VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server qualification worksheet

4 Contents Step 2: Design the application architecture VSPEX Sizing Tool Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Considerations Examples Chapter 5 Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices 41 Overview Network design considerations Overview Network design best practices Storage layout and design considerations Overview Storage design Component design best practices Storage layout examples Virtualization design considerations Overview Virtualization design best practices Application design considerations Overview Application design best practices SQL Server 2012 licensing consideration EMC Powered Backup design considerations Chapter 6 Solution Verification Methodologies 58 Overview Baseline hardware verification methodology Application verification methodology Understanding key metrics Running tests, analyzing results, and optimization EMC Powered Backup verification methodology Chapter 7 Reference Documentation 62 EMC documentation Other documentation Links Appendix A Qualification Worksheet 66 VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet Printing the qualification worksheet

5 Contents Appendix B High-level SQL Server Sizing Logic and Methodology 68 Overview Sufficient resources Sizing considerations Virtual machine recommendation for SQL Server Figures Figure 1. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Figure 2. Solution architecture Figure 3. VNX with multicore optimization Figure 4. Active/active processors increase performance, resiliency, and efficiency Figure 5. New Unisphere Management Suite Figure 6. VNXe3200 with multicore optimization Figure 7. Storage layout and LUN design Figure 8. SQL Server storage elements on VMware vsphere 5.5 platform Figure 9. SQL Server storage elements on Hyper-V platform Figure 10. Storage layout example: SQL Server for the VNXe series Figure 11. Storage layout example: SQL Server for VNX series with FAST VP enabled52 Figure 12. Printable qualification worksheet

6 Contents Tables Table 1. Terminology Table 2. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server 2012 deployment process Table 3. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure selection steps Table 4. VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet guidelines Table 5. VSPEX Sizing Tool output Table 6. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure: Selection steps Table 7. Example of qualification worksheet: Small-sized SQL Server OLTP instance Table 8. Example of required resources: Small-sized SQL Server OLTP instance 36 Table 9. Example of SQL Server details in VSPEX Sizing Tool Table 10. Example of qualification worksheet: Medium-sized SQL Server user database Table 11. Example of required resources: Medium-sized SQL Server OLTP instance38 Table 12. Example of summary: Medium-sized SQL Server user database in VSPEX Sizing Tool Table 13. Example of user profiles: User database requirements Table 14. Example of qualification worksheet: SQL Server OLTP instance with multiple user databases Table 15. Example of required resources: SQL Server OLTP instance with multiple user databases Table 16. Example of SQL Server details in VSPEX Sizing Tool Table 17. SQL Server storage pools Table 18. Storage layout example on VNXe Table 19. Storage layout example on VNX Table 20. Recommended RAM for SQL Server Table 21. High-level steps for application verification Table 22. Key metrics Table 23. Qualification worksheet for a SQL Server user database Table 24. Example of user input for multiple user databases Table 25. An example of user input for multiple user databases Table 26. Recommended drive and LUN configuration Table 27. VSPEX storage model support matrix Table 28. Storage system support matrix EMC Enabled by VNX Family and EMC Powered Backup

7 Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction This chapter presents the following topics: Purpose of this guide... 8 Business value... 8 Scope Audience Terminology

8 Chapter 1: Introduction Purpose of this guide Business value EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructures are optimized for virtualizing business-critical applications. VSPEX provides partners with the ability to plan and design the assets required to support Microsoft SQL Server 2012 in a virtualized environment on VSPEX Private Cloud. The EMC VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 architecture provides a validated system, capable of hosting a virtualized SQL Server 2012 solution at a consistent performance level. This solution is designed to be layered on a VSPEX Private Cloud solution using either a VMware vsphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization layer, and uses the highly available EMC VNX family, which provides the storage. All VSPEX solutions are sized and tested with EMC Powered Backup products. EMC Avamar, EMC Data Domain, and VMware Data Protection Advanced (VDPA) enable complete infrastructure, application, and backup and recovery, which protect Microsoft SQL Server with complete awareness and intelligence for the Always-On Availability Group (AoAG) configurations that are typical of high-availability database architectures. The compute and network components, while vendor-definable, are designed to be redundant and are sufficiently powerful to handle the processing and data needs of the virtual machine environment. This describes how to design the resources necessary to deploy Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on any VSPEX Proven Infrastructure that uses a VNX or EMC VNXe storage array. This guide applies to SQL Server online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads and does not cover data warehousing workloads. Never before has access to mission-critical data been more important to businesses competing in a rapidly changing global economy. Today, IT departments are challenged with an explosion of corporate data along with stagnant or shrinking budgets. As the foundation of the cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server 2012 provides great availability, breakthrough insight, credible and consistent data, and productive development experience to customers. It can also quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by mission-critical confidence. EMC now offers customers even greater performance and choice with the inclusion of the VNXe unified storage into the VSPEX family of solutions. The VNX family is designed to offer a hybrid, unified storage system for VSPEX customers who need to centralize and simplify storage when transforming their IT. Customers who want to virtualize Microsoft SQL Server on a VSPEX Private Cloud will see the benefits that the Multicore (MCx) the VNX family brings, as this architecture distributes all data services across all the system s cores. This means that cache management and back-end RAID management processes scale linearly and benefit 8

9 Chapter 1: Introduction greatly from the latest Intel multicore CPUs. I/O operations in VSPEX run faster and more efficiently than ever before with the new VNX family arrays. EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST ) is a feature that was exclusive to VNX but is now available to VSPEX customers who are using the VNX family storage array. EMC FAST Cache dynamically extends the storage system s existing read/write caching capacity to increase system-wide performance and lower total cost per IOPS. FAST Cache does this by using high-performing flash drives that are positioned between the primary cache (DRAM-based) and the hard disk drives (HDDs). This feature boosts performance of high transactional applications such as SQL Server by keeping hot data in cache so it is available when you need it. Data protection and backup are among the most complex aspects of administering SQL Server 2012 environments. Database administrators (DBAs) and storage administrators need the backup process to be less costly and require less administrative attention. It is not surprising therefore, that more businesses are looking for advanced data protection technologies for SQL Server 2012 environments. SQL Server 2012 introduces a new integrated high availability and disaster recovery solution, SQL Server AlwaysOn. AlwaysOn provides the flexibility to support various high availability configurations, enabling you to maintain your service level agreements (SLAs). With the intelligence that EMC Powered Backup brings to protecting AoAG database configurations, you can easily configure backups to run offloaded from the primary database copy and primary SQL Servers. With this offloading, you can assure faster and more efficient backup processing with no impact to your production workload. In the event of an AoAG failover, you can ensure that your backup policy runs without user intervention, automatically performing the backup from the remaining online database copies. VSPEX enables customers to accelerate their IT transformation with faster deployments, and simplified management, backup, and storage provisioning. Customers can realize greater efficiency with higher application availability, increased storage utilization, and faster, leaner backups. In addition, VSPEX provides customers with flexibility of choices when selecting a hypervisor, server, and network to address the requirements of their SQL Server 2012 environments. By design and best practices, EMC Powered Backup systems: Deploy faster, saving time and effort with proven solutions Increase performance and scalability by default Reduce the customer s backup storage requirements and costs Meet backup windows Enable fast disk-based recovery 9

10 Chapter 1: Introduction Scope Audience This describes how to design an EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 environments running on a VMware vsphere or Microsoft Hyper-V platform. The guide assumes that a VSPEX Private Cloud already exists in the customer environment. The guide provides examples of deployments on both a VNX and a VNXe storage array. It also illustrates how to size SQL Server 2012 on the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures using the VSPEX Sizing Tool, allocate resources following best practices, and use all the benefits that VSPEX offers. The EMC Powered Backup solutions for SQL Server 2012 data protection are described in a separate document, EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide. This guide is intended for internal EMC personnel and qualified EMC VSPEX Partners. The guide assumes that VSPEX Partners who intend to deploy this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server are: Qualified by Microsoft to sell and implement SQL Server solutions Certified in SQL Server, ideally with one or all of the following Microsoft certifications: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) Qualified by EMC to sell, install, and configure the VNX family of storage systems Certified to sell VSPEX Proven Infrastructures Qualified to sell, install, and configure the network and server products required for VSPEX Proven Infrastructures Readers must also have the necessary technical training and background to install and configure: EMC VNX and VNXe VMware vsphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft SQL Server 2012 EMC Powered Backup products, including Avamar and Data Domain This guide provides external references where applicable. EMC recommends that partners implementing this solution are familiar with these documents. For details, see Essential reading on page 14 and Chapter 7: Reference Documentation. 10

11 Chapter 1: Introduction Terminology Table 1 includes the terminology used in this guide. Table 1. Term CIFS CSV DRS File group IOPS iscsi NFS NIC NUMA OLTP PCIe RTM tempdb TPS VDM VMDK VMFS VHDX Terminology Definition Common Internet File System Cluster-shared volume Distributed Resource Scheduler SQL Server database objects and files group Input/output operations per second Internet Small Computer System Interface Network File System Network interface card Non-Uniform Memory Access Online transaction processing, typical applications of which include data entry and retrieval transaction processing Peripheral Component Interconnect Express Release to manufacturing A system database used by Microsoft SQL Server as a temporary working area during processing Transactions per second Virtual Data Mover Virtual Machine Disk Virtual Machine File System Hyper-V virtual hard disk format 11

12 Chapter 1: Introduction 12

13 Chapter 2: Before You Start Chapter 2 Before You Start This chapter presents the following topics: Deployment workflow Essential reading

14 Chapter 2: Before You Start Deployment workflow EMC recommends that you refer to the process flow in Table 2 1 to design and implement your VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server Table 2. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server 2012 deployment process Step Action 1 Use the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet to collect user requirements. The one-page Qualification Worksheet on page 67 is in Appendix A of this. 2 Use the VSPEX Sizing Tool to determine the recommended VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server 2012 based on the user requirements collected in step 1. For more information about the Sizing Tool, refer to the VSPEX Sizing Tool portal. Note: In the event that the VSPEX Sizing Tool is not available, you can manually size the application using the sizing guidelines in Appendix B. 3 Use this to determine your final design for the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server Note: Ensure that all application requirements, not just this particular application, are considered. 4 Refer to the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures section on page 15 to select and order the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. 5 Refer to the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15 to deploy and test your VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server Essential reading EMC recommends that you read the following documents, available from the VSPEX space in the EMC Community Network or from the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure pages on EMC.com. If you do not have access to a document, contact your EMC representative. VSPEX Solution Overviews Refer to the following VSPEX Solution Overview documents: EMC VSPEX Server Virtualization Solutions for Small and Medium Business EMC VSPEX Server Virtualization Solutions for Small and Medium Business 1 If your solution includes EMC Powered Backup components, refer to the EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide for detailed information on implementing these options into your VSPEX solution. 14

15 Chapter 2: Before You Start VSPEX Implementation Guides VSPEX Proven Infrastructures Refer to the following VSPEX Implementation Guides: with Microsoft Hyper-V with VMware vsphere Refer to the following VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Guides: EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 100 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 200 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC Powered Backup for VSPEX guide Refer to the following EMC Powered Backup for VSPEX guide: EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide 15

16 Chapter 2: Before You Start 16

17 Chapter 3: Solution Overview Chapter 3 Solution Overview This chapter presents the following topics: Overview EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Solution architecture Key components

18 Chapter 3: Solution Overview Overview This chapter provides an overview of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server and the key technologies used in this solution. This VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server supports all VSPEX offerings on VMware vsphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. This VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server solution was validated using VSPEX Private Cloud running VMware and Hyper-V virtualized Windows on EMC VNX family storage arrays to provide storage and server hardware consolidation. The solution is layered on a VSPEX Private Cloud, which uses servers, storage, network, and backup resources, and SQL Server components that focus on small and midrange environments. The solution enables customers to quickly and consistently deploy a small or medium virtualized SQL Server environment in a VSPEX Private Cloud. The VNX and VNXe family storage arrays are multiprotocol platforms that can support the Internet Small Computer System Interface (iscsi), Network File System (NFS), Common Internet File System (CIFS), Fibre Channel (FC), and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols depending on a customer s specific needs. This solution was validated using NFS and iscsi for data storage. This solution requires the presence of Active Directory and Domain Name System. The implementation of these services is beyond the scope of this guide, but the services are prerequisites for a successful deployment. The backup and recovery solutions for SQL Server data protection are described in a separate document, EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide. EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure EMC has joined forces with IT infrastructure providers to create a complete virtualization solution that accelerates the deployment of the private cloud. VSPEX enables faster deployment, greater simplicity and choice, higher efficiency, and lower risk. Validation by EMC ensures predictable performance and enables customers to select technology that uses their existing IT infrastructure while eliminating planning, sizing, and configuration burdens. VSPEX provides a virtual infrastructure for customers looking to gain the simplicity that is characteristic of truly converged infrastructures, while at the same time gaining more choice in individual stack components. VSPEX solutions are proven by EMC and packaged and sold exclusively by EMC channel partners. VSPEX provides channel partners with more opportunity, a faster sales cycle, and end-to-end enablement. By working closely together, EMC and its channel partners can now deliver infrastructure that accelerates the journey to the cloud for even more customers. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, as shown in Figure 1, is a modular, virtualized infrastructure validated by EMC and delivered by EMC s VSPEX partners. VSPEX 18

19 Chapter 3: Solution Overview includes a virtualization layer, server, network, and EMC storage and backup, designed by EMC to deliver reliable and predictable performance. Figure 1. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure VSPEX provides the flexibility to choose network, server, and virtualization technologies that fit a customer s environment to create a complete virtualization solution. VSPEX delivers faster deployment for EMC partner customers, with greater simplicity and efficiency, more choice, and lower risk to a customer s business. For more information about VSPEX Proven Infrastructures, refer to the following documents: EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 100 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 100 Virtual Machines 19

20 Chapter 3: Solution Overview Solution architecture Figure 2 shows the architecture that characterizes the validated VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for SQL Server SQL Server is deployed as virtual machines on VMware vsphere 5.5 or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V. We 2 used the VSPEX Sizing Tool for each SQL Server instance to determine the number of SQL Server virtual machines, the detailed compute resources, and the recommended storage layout. This storage layout is in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool in the VNX or VNXe series. The backup and recovery components of the solution provide data protection to the SQL Server OLTP-focused instance. Figure 2. Solution architecture Key components Introduction This section provides an overview of the following key technologies used in this solution: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure EMC VNX 2 In this guide, "we" refers to the EMC Solutions engineering team that validated the solution. 20

21 Chapter 3: Solution Overview EMC VNXe3200 EMC backup and recovery solutions VMware vsphere 5.5 Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V EMC XtremCache EMC PowerPath /VE Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SQL Server 2012 is Microsoft s database management and analysis system for e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions. SQL Server is widely used to store, retrieve, and manage application data. Because it is used with a range of applications and each application has different requirements for performance, sizing, availability, recoverability, manageability, and so on, you should fully understand these factors and plan accordingly when deploying SQL Server. EMC VNX Features and enhancements The EMC VNX flash-optimized unified storage platform delivers innovation and enterprise capabilities for file, block, and object storage in a single, scalable, and easy-to-use solution. Ideal for mixed workloads in physical or virtual environments, VNX combines powerful and flexible hardware with advanced efficiency, management, and protection software to meet the demanding needs of today s virtualized application environments. VNX includes many features and enhancements designed and built upon the first generation s success. These features and enhancements include: More capacity with multicore optimization with EMC Multicore Cache, Multicore RAID, and Multicore FAST Cache (MCx ) Greater efficiency with a flash-optimized hybrid array Better protection by increasing application availability with active/active array storage processors Easier administration and deployment by increasing productivity with EMC Unisphere Management Suite VSPEX is built with the VNX to deliver even greater efficiency, performance, and scalability than ever before. Flash-optimized hybrid array VNX is a flash-optimized hybrid array that provides automated tiering to deliver the best performance to your critical data, while intelligently moving less frequently accessed data to lower-cost disks. In this hybrid approach, a small percentage of flash drives in the overall system can provide a high percentage of the overall IOPS. The flash-optimized VNX takes full advantage of the low latency of flash to deliver cost-saving optimization and high performance scalability. EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering Suite (FAST Cache and FAST VP) tiers both block and file data across heterogeneous drives and boosts 21

22 Chapter 3: Solution Overview the most active data to the flash drives, ensuring that customers never have to make concessions for cost or performance. Data generally is accessed most frequently at the time it is created; therefore, new data should first be stored on flash drives to provide the best performance. As the data ages and becomes less active over time, FAST VP can tier the data from highperformance to high-capacity drives automatically, based on customer-defined policies. This functionality has been enhanced with four times better granularity and with FAST VP solid-state disks (SSDs) based on enterprise multilevel cell technology to lower the cost per gigabyte. FAST Cache dynamically absorbs unpredicted spikes in system workloads. FAST Cache can provide immediate performance enhancement by promoting suddenly active data from slower high-capacity drives to faster flash drives. All VSPEX use cases benefit from the increased efficiency. VSPEX Proven Infrastructures deliver private cloud, end-user computing, and virtualized application solutions. With VNX, customers can realize an even greater return on their investment. VNX provides out-of-band, block-based deduplication that can dramatically lower the costs of the flash tier. VNX Intel MCx Code Path Optimization The advent of flash technology has been a catalyst in totally changing the requirements of midrange storage systems. EMC redesigned the midrange storage platform to efficiently optimize multicore CPUs to provide the highest performing storage system at the lowest cost in the market. MCx distributes all VNX data services across all cores (up to 32), as shown in Figure 3. The VNX series with MCx has dramatically improved the file performance for transactional applications like databases or virtual machines over network-attached storage (NAS). Figure 3. VNX with multicore optimization Multicore Cache The cache is the most valuable asset in the storage subsystem; its efficient use is key to the overall efficiency of the platform in handling variable and changing workloads. The cache engine has been modularized to take advantage of all the cores available in the system. 22

23 Chapter 3: Solution Overview Multicore RAID Another important part of the MCx redesign is the handling of I/O to the permanent back-end storage hard disk drives (HDDs) and SSDs. Greatly increased performance improvements in VNX come from the modularization of the back-end data management processing, which enables MCx to seamlessly scale across all processors. VNX performance Performance enhancements VNX storage, enabled with the MCx architecture, is optimized for FLASH 1 st and provides unprecedented overall performance, optimizing for transaction performance (cost per IOPS) and bandwidth performance (cost per GB/s) with low latency, and providing optimal capacity efficiency (cost per GB). VNX provides the following performance improvements: Up to four times more file transactions when compared with dual controller arrays Increased file performance for transactional applications by up to three times, with a 60 percent better response time Up to four times more Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server OLTP transactions Up to six times more virtual machines Active/active array storage processors The new VNX architecture provides active/active array storage processors, as shown in Figure 4, which eliminate application timeouts during path failover since both paths are actively serving I/O. Figure 4. Active/active processors increase performance, resiliency, and efficiency Load balancing is also improved and applications can achieve an up to two times improvement in performance. Active/active for block is ideal for applications that require the highest levels of availability and performance, but do not require tiering or efficiency services like compression or deduplication. 23

24 Chapter 3: Solution Overview With this VNX release, VSPEX customers can use Virtual Data Movers (VDMs) and VNX Replicator to perform automated and high-speed file system migrations between systems. This process migrates all snaps and settings automatically, and enables the clients to continue operation during the migration. Note: The active/active processors are available only for RAID group LUNs, not for pool LUNs. Unisphere Management Suite Unisphere Management Suite extends the Unisphere easy-to-use interface to include VNX Monitoring and Reporting for validating performance and anticipating capacity requirements. As shown in Figure 5, the suite also includes Unisphere Remote for centrally managing up to thousands of VNX and VNXe systems with new support for EMC XtremCache. Figure 5. New Unisphere Management Suite EMC VNXe3200 Features and enhancements EMC VNXe3200 is the most affordable flash-optimized unified storage platform that delivers innovation and enterprise capabilities for file and block storage in a single, scalable, and easy-to-use solution. Ideal for mixed workloads in physical or virtual environments, VNXe3200 combines powerful and flexible hardware with advanced efficiency, management, and protection software to meet the demanding needs of today s virtualized application environments. VNXe3200 includes many features and enhancements designed and built upon the success of the midrange EMC VNX family. These features and enhancements include: Greater efficiency with a flash-optimized hybrid array More capacity with multicore optimization with EMC Multicore Cache, Multicore RAID, and Multicore FAST Cache (MCx ) Easier administration and deployment with VNXe Base Software components including Monitoring and Reporting, Unified Snapshots VMware and Microsoft ecosystem integration Unified multiprotocol support for FC, iscsi, NFS, and CIFS 24

25 Chapter 3: Solution Overview VSPEX is built with the VNXe to deliver even greater efficiency, performance, and scale than ever before. Flash-optimized hybrid array VNXe3200 is a flash-optimized hybrid array that provides automated tiering to deliver the best performance to your critical data, while intelligently moving less frequently accessed data to lower-cost disks. In this hybrid approach, a small percentage of flash drives in the overall system can provide a high percentage of the overall IOPS. VNXe3200 takes full advantage of the low latency of flash to deliver cost-saving optimization and high performance scalability. EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering Suite (FAST Cache and FAST VP) tiers both block and file data across heterogeneous drives and boosts the most active data to the flash drives, ensuring that customers never have to make concessions for cost or performance. Data generally is accessed most frequently at the time it is created; therefore, new data should first be stored on flash drives to provide the best performance. As the data ages and becomes less active over time, FAST VP can tier the data from highperformance to high-capacity drives automatically, based on customer-defined policies. FAST Cache dynamically absorbs unpredicted spikes in system workloads. FAST Cache can provide immediate performance enhancement by promoting suddenly active data to from slower high-capacity drives to speedier flash drives. All VSPEX use cases benefit from the increased efficiency. VSPEX Proven Infrastructures deliver private cloud, end-user computing, and virtualized application solutions. With VNXe3200, customers can realize an even greater return on their investment. VNX Intel MCx Code Path Optimization The advent of flash technology has been a catalyst in totally changing the requirements of midrange storage systems. EMC redesigned the midrange storage platform to efficiently optimize multicore CPUs to provide the most efficient storage system at the lowest cost in the market. MCx distributes all VNXe data services across all cores, as shown in Figure 6, and can dramatically improve the file performance for transactional applications like databases or virtual machines over network-attached storage (NAS). VNXe includes the first use of the Intel Non-Transparent Bridge (NTB) in an EMC storage array. NTB enables direct high-speed connectivity between storage processors via a PCI Express interface. This eliminates external PCIe switches, saves power and space, and reduces latency and cost. 25

26 Chapter 3: Solution Overview Figure 6. VNXe3200 with multicore optimization VNXe Base Software The enhanced VNXe Base Software extends the EMC Unisphere easy-to-use interface to include VNX Monitoring and Reporting for validating performance and anticipating capacity requirements. The suite also includes Unisphere Central for centrally managing up to thousands of VNX and VNXe systems. Virtualization and ecosystem management VMware vsphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness VMware vstorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) is a VMware-defined API that displays storage information through vcenter. Integration between VASA technology and VNX makes storage management in a virtualized environment a seamless experience. VMware vsphere Storage APIs for Array Integration VAAI offloads VMware storage-related functions from the server to the storage system, enabling more efficient use of server and network resources for increased performance and consolidation. EMC Storage Analytics for VNXe EMC Storage Analytics (ESA) for VNXe delivers a storage-only version of VMware vcenter Operations with a built-in VNXe connector that provides detailed analytics, relationships, and unique icons for EMC arrays and components. EMC Virtual Storage Integrator EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) is a no-charge plug-in for VMware vcenter that is available to all VMware users with EMC storage. VSPEX customers can use VSI to simplify management of virtualized storage. VMware administrators can gain visibility into their VNX storage using the same familiar vcenter interface to which they are accustomed. With VSI, IT administrators can do more work in less time. VSI offers unmatched access control that enables you to efficiently manage and delegate storage tasks with 26

27 Chapter 3: Solution Overview confidence. With VSI, you can perform daily management tasks with up 90 percent fewer clicks and up to 10 times higher productivity. EMC Storage Integrator EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) is targeted towards the Windows and application administrator. ESI is easy to use, delivers end-to end monitoring, and is hypervisor agnostic. Administrators can provision in both virtual and physical environments for a Windows platform, and troubleshoot by viewing the topology of an application from the underlying hypervisor to the storage. Microsoft Hyper-V With Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft provides Hyper-V 2012 R2, an enhanced hypervisor for private cloud that can run on NAS protocols for simplified connectivity. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Offloaded Data Transfer The Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) feature of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 enables data transfers during copy operations to be offloaded to the storage array, freeing up host cycles. For example, using ODX for a live migration of a Microsoft SQL Server virtual machine doubled performance, decreased migration time by 50 percent, reduced CPU on the Hyper-V server by 20 percent, and eliminated network traffic. EMC backup and recovery solutions EMC backup and recovery solutions EMC Avamar and Data Domain deliver the protection confidence needed to accelerate deployment of virtualized SQL Server. Optimized for virtualized application environments, EMC backup and recovery reduces backup times by 90 percent and increases recovery speeds by 30 times for worry-free protection. EMC backup appliances add another layer of assurance with end-to-end verification and self-healing for ensured recovery. For SQL Server, EMC backup delivers a full range of backup options to allow customers to meet the demanding needs of SQL DBA. EMC backup provides SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups backup support and flexible, granular restores. And EMC backup provides the ability for DBAs to set backup policies within SQL Management Center Studio, enabling greater visibility and control. In addition, features like auto-discovery and auto-configuration for backup reduce complexity and save time while ensuring that critical data is always protected. EMC backup also delivers big savings. The deduplication solutions reduce backup storage by 10 to 30 times, backup management time by 81 percent, and bandwidth by 99 percent for efficient offsite replication delivering a 7-month payback on average. Furthermore, for VMware-based VSPEX deployments with up to 50 virtual machines, VSPEX offers VMware vsphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced for SQL Server. VDP Advanced is powered by EMC Avamar technology, so you get the benefits of Avamar's fast, efficient, image-level backup and recovery combined with a SQL-specific plugin that simplifies protection of your SQL Server environment. For full technical guidance, refer to EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide. This guide 27

28 Chapter 3: Solution Overview describes how to design, size, and implement EMC backup and recovery solutions for VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server. VMware vsphere 5.5 VMware vsphere 5.5 transforms a computer s physical resources by virtualizing the CPU, RAM, hard disk, and network controller. This transformation creates fully functional virtual machines that run isolated and encapsulated operating systems and applications just like physical computers. VMware High Availability (HA) provides easy-to-use, cost-effective high availability for applications running in virtual machines. The VMware vsphere vmotion and VMware vsphere Storage vmotion features of vsphere 5.5 enable the seamless migration of virtual machines and stored files from one vsphere server to another, with minimal or no performance impact. Coupled with VMware vsphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and VMware vsphere Storage DRS, virtual machines have access to the appropriate resources at any point in time through load balancing of compute and storage resources. VMware Native Multipathing Plug-In (NMP) is the default module in vsphere used for multipathing. It provides a default path selection algorithm based on the array type. NMP associates a set of physical paths with a specific storage device or logical unit number (LUN). The specific details for handling path failover for a given storage array are delegated to a Storage Array Type Plug-In (SATP). The specific details for determining which physical path is used to issue an I/O request to a storage device are handled by a Path Selection Plug-In (PSP). SATPs and PSPs are sub plug-ins within the NMP module. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V provides a complete virtualization platform, which offers increased scalability and performance with a flexible solution from the data center to the cloud. It makes it easier for organizations to realize the cost savings from virtualization and to optimize server hardware investments. Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V high-availability options include incremental backup support, enhancements in clustered environments to support virtual adapters within the virtual machine, and inbox network interface card (NIC) teaming. In Hyper- V, shared nothing live migration enables the migration of a virtual machine from a server running Hyper-V to another one without the need for both of them to be in the same cluster or to share storage. EMC XtremCache If your customer has special performance requirements on SQL Server, consider using EMC XtremCache as a solution. EMC XtremCache (formerly known as EMC VFCache) is intelligent caching software that uses server-based flash technology to reduce latency and accelerate throughput for dramatic application performance improvement. XtremCache accelerates reads and protects data by using a write-through cache to the networked storage to deliver persistent high availability, integrity, and disaster recovery. XtremCache, coupled with array-based EMC FAST software, creates the most efficient and intelligent I/O path from the application to the data store. The result is a networked infrastructure that is dynamically optimized for performance, intelligence, and protection for both physical and virtual environments. EMC PowerPath/VE 28

29 Chapter 3: Solution Overview EMC PowerPath/VE provides intelligent, high-performance path management with path failover and load balancing optimized for EMC and selected third-party storage systems. PowerPath/VE supports multiple paths between a vsphere host and an external storage device. Having multiple paths enables the vsphere host to access a storage device, even if a specific path is unavailable. Multiple paths can also share the I/O traffic to a storage device. PowerPath/VE is particularly beneficial in highly available environments because it can prevent operational interruptions and downtime. The PowerPath/VE path failover capability avoids host failure by maintaining uninterrupted application support on the host in the event of a path failure (if another path is available). PowerPath/VE works with VMware ESXi as a Multipath Plug-in (MPP) that provides path management to hosts. It is installed as a kernel module on the vsphere host. It plugs into the vsphere I/O stack framework to bring the advanced multipathing capabilities of PowerPath/VE, including dynamic load balancing and automatic failover, to the vsphere hosts. 29

30 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Chapter 4 Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure This chapter presents the following topics: Overview Step 1: Evaluate the customer use case Step 2: Design the application architecture Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure

31 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Overview This chapter describes how to design the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server and how to choose the right VSPEX solution to meet your requirements. Table 3 outlines the main steps you need to complete when selecting a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Table 3. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure selection steps Step Action 1 Evaluate the customer SQL Server workload by using the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server qualification worksheet, based on the business requirement. See Step 1: Evaluate the customer use case on page Determine the required infrastructure, SQL Server resources, and architecture using the VSPEX Sizing Tool. See Step 2: Design the application architecture on page 32. Note: If the VXPEX Sizing Tool is not available, you can manually size the application using the sizing guidelines in Appendix B. 3 Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, based on the recommendations provided in step 2. See Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure on page 35. Step 1: Evaluate the customer use case Overview VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server qualification worksheet Before deploying VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012, gather and understand the infrastructure requirements, limitations, and estimated workload to design the SQL Server environment properly. To better understand the customer s business requirements for the VSPEX infrastructure design, EMC strongly recommends that you use the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server qualification worksheet when evaluating the workload requirements for the VSPEX solution. The VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet in Appendix A presents a list of simple questions to help identify customer requirements, usage characteristics, and dataset. Table 4 provides a detailed explanation of the questionnaire and general guidance on how to determine the input values. 31

32 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Table 4. VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet guidelines Question Do you have an existing SQL Server database that you would like to size for in the environment? How many databases do you want to deploy? What is the size of user database (GB)? What is the annual growth rate (%)? Do you intend to use FAST VP? What is the maximum number of IOPS? What is the expected transactions per second (TPS) at peak loads (optional question)? What is the required tempdb size (optional question)? Description Choose Yes if the customer already has a SQL Server database and understands the characteristics that are going to migrate to VSPEX Private Cloud in the VSPEX environment. Otherwise, choose No. Enter the database number that the customer expects to deploy in the VSPEX environment. Enter the database size that the customer expects to have in the VSPEX environment. Future growth is a key characteristic of the VSPEX solution. This value is the expected annual growth rate of user database in three years. Enter a number that is appropriate for customer s environment. FAST VP aggressively reduces TCO and increases performance. A target workload that requires a large number of Performance Tier drives can be serviced with a mix of tiers and a much lower drive count. Using FAST VP instead of a homogeneous drive deployment has proven highly effective for a number of applications, including OLTP tests with Microsoft SQL Server, lowering capital expenditures, reducing power and cooling costs, and increasing performance. Understanding the maximum number of IOPS of SQL databases can help to prevent potential storage performance issues. If the customer can estimate the IOPS at peak loads in the environment, enter that number. The TPS is a key characteristic of the user database. If the customer can estimate the TPS at peak loads in the environment, enter that number. If the customer cannot estimate the space requirement of tempdb, this question can be skipped. Step 2: Design the application architecture VSPEX Sizing Tool Principles and guidelines In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure solution, we defined a representative customer reference workload to be sized. VSPEX Sizing Tool output: Requirements and recommendations The VSPEX Sizing Tool enables you to put a database configuration from the customer s answers into the qualification worksheet. For more information about the Sizing Tool, refer to the VSPEX Sizing Tool portal. 32

33 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure After you complete the inputs to the VSPEX Sizing Tool, the tool generates a series of recommendations, as listed in Table 5. Table 5. VSPEX Sizing Tool output Type Description Reference vcpu Memory Storage layout for SQL Server databases Number of vcpus to configure for each SQL Server virtual machine Amount of memory recommended for each SQL Server virtual machine Suggested user database pool configuration on VNX or VNXe Storage layout and design considerations on page 43 For more information, see the examples in Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Virtual machine best practices for SQL Server The VSPEX Sizing Tool provides detailed best practice recommendations for sizing the virtual machine based on the following basic resource types for each SQL Server machine: vcpu resources Memory resources Operating system (OS) capacity resources OS IOPS This section describes the resource types, how they are used in the VSPEX Sizing Tool, and key considerations and best practices for a customer environment. vcpu resources best practices The calculator provides the vcpu of the virtual machine consumed for each SQL Server instance from the virtual infrastructure. The CPU type must meet or exceed the defined CPU or processor models as defined in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures on page 15. We validated this VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution with a statically assigned processor and no virtual-to-physical CPU oversubscription. In SQL Server deployments, EMC recommends the following: Enable hardware-assisted virtualization for CPU and hardware-assisted virtualization for Memory Management Unit (MMU) at the BIOS level if the processors support those functions. Maintain a 1:1 ratio of physical cores to vcpus for business-critical or tier-1 workloads. Extend the Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architecture to the guest OS while keeping the NUMA node size in mind when sizing virtual machines, because SQL Server automatically detects NUMA architecture. The vcpu allocated to the SQL Server virtual machine should not be larger than the number of cores in each physical NUMA node, so that all memory access 33

34 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure will be local to that NUMA node. This provides the lowest memory access latencies. Memory resources best practices The VSPEX Sizing Tool shows the recommended memory for the virtual machine for each SQL Server instance. We validated this VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution with statically assigned memory, no over-commitment of memory resources, and no memory swapping or ballooning. The memory values provided in the tool are not hard limits but represent the value that was tested in the VSPEX solution. For most production SQL Server deployments, EMC recommends that you allocate at least 8 GB of memory to the SQL Server virtual machine and reserve at least 2 GB for the OS. To avoid accessing remote memory in a NUMA-aware environment, EMC recommends that you size a SQL Server virtual machine's memory with less than the amount available per NUMA node. For information about the SQL Server memory recommendations in this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, refer to Virtualization design considerations on page 52. OS capacity resources best practices The VSPEX Sizing Tool shows the recommended capacity of the virtual machine suggested for the operating system for each SQL Server instance. EMC recommends that you put the OS volume into the VSPEX private cloud pool, as described in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure documentation. For more information about the VSPEX private cloud pool, see the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures section on page 15. For small- and medium-sized SQL Server deployments, EMC recommends that you allocate 100 GB of disk space for the OS. OS IOPS best practices The calculator logic used in the VSPEX Sizing Tool recommends the estimated IOPS of the virtual machine suggested for each SQL Server in the OS. We assume that the read/write ratio is around 9:1, which represents a typical OLTP load. EMC recommends that you put the OS volume into the VSPEX private cloud pool. For more information, see the examples in the section Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure on page 35. Additional considerations The VSPEX Sizing Tool also allows you to consider the future data growth, which must be planned for so that the environment can continue to deliver an effective business solution. To maintain performance targets and accommodate growth, the VSPEX Sizing Tool enables customers to select from one to three years growth. The cost of overinvestment in hardware is usually far less than the cumulative expense of troubleshooting problems caused by undersizing. 34

35 Step 3: Choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Considerations The VSPEX program has produced numerous solutions designed to simplify the deployment of a consolidated virtual infrastructure using vsphere, Hyper-V, the VNX and VNXe series of products, and EMC backup and recovery. When you have confirmed the application architecture using the VSPEX Sizing Tool, you can choose the right VSPEX Proven Infrastructure based on the calculated results. Note: While this is intended for SQL Server requirements, SQL Server may not be the only application deployed on the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. You must carefully take into account the requirements for each application you plan to deploy. If you are uncertain about the best VSPEX Proven Infrastructure to deploy, consult EMC before making the decision. Follow the steps shown in Table 6 when choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Table 6. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure: Selection steps Step Action 1 Use the VSPEX Sizing Tool to get the total number of required resources for virtual machines and any additional suggested storage layout for SQL Server. 2 Use the VSPEX Sizing Tool to design the resource requirements for other applications, based on business needs. The VSPEX Sizing Tool calculates the total number of required resources for virtual machines and additional recommended storage layouts for both SQL Server and other applications. 3 Discuss with your customers the maximum utilization of VSPEX Proven Infrastructure that meets their business requirements this is the maximum utilization for both SQL Server and other applications. Put the maximum utilization percentage of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure into the VSPEX Sizing Tool. The tool provides a minimum recommendation for the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure offering. 4 Select your network vendor and hypervisor software vendor for the recommended VSPEX Proven Infrastructure offering. For more information, visit the EMC VSPEX website. Examples Overview This section describes the following three scenarios and how to select the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for each one: A small-sized SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance with a single user database A medium-sized SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance with a single user database A medium-sized SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance with multiple user databases Example 1: Small-sized SQL Server OLTP instance with a single user database In this scenario, a customer would like to create a small-sized SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance on a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. The customer has a 50 GB user database. The expected number of transactions per second (TPS) on the database is 200, and 35

36 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure the expected IOPS is 525. The customer would like to use at most 75 percent of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for combined applications. After talking to the customer, complete the qualification worksheet for the production SQL Server 2012 database, as shown in Table 7. Table 7. Example of qualification worksheet: Small-sized SQL Server OLTP instance Question Do you have an existing SQL Server database that you would like to size for in the environment? Answer Yes How many databases do you want to deploy? 1 What is the size of user database (GB)? 50 What is the annual growth rate (%)? 30 Do you intend to use FAST VP? No What is the maximum number of IOPS? 525 What is the TPS at peak loads (optional question)? 200 What is the required tempdb size (optional question)? N/A After you put the answers from the qualification worksheet into the VSPEX Sizing Tool, the tool generates a series of recommendations for the resources needed from the VSPEX private cloud pool, as shown in Table 8. Table 8. Example of required resources: Small-sized SQL Server OLTP instance SQL Server vcpus Memory OS volume capacity OS volume Resource requirement 2 8 GB 100 GB 25 IOPS Note: In this guide, we used the resources shown in Table 8 for the small-sized SQL Server user database. The VSPEX Sizing Tool also lists recommendations for the storage layout, as shown in Table 9. Table 9. Example of SQL Server details in VSPEX Sizing Tool Recommended additional storage layout for SQL databases VSPEX private cloud pool name RAID type Disk type Disk capacity No. of disks SQL Server user database data pool RAID 5 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 5 SQL Server OLTP database log and tempdb pool RAID 1/0 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 2 36

37 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure The suggested storage layout is in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool, as shown in Figure 7. For more information, see Principles and guidelines on page 32 in the VSPEX Sizing Tool section. Figure 7. Storage layout and LUN design In this example, SQL Server is the only component planned for deployment on this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. For more details, refer to these Proven Infrastructure Guides: EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 200 virtual machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 200 virtual machines Note: This is not a hard limit; you can select a larger VSPEX Proven Infrastructure if requirements from multiple applications make it necessary. In the Implementation Guide, we used Microsoft Hyper-V for 200 virtual machines as a VSPEX solution example. For more information, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures section on page 15. Example 2: Medium-sized SQL Server OLTP instance with a single user database In this scenario, a customer would like to create a medium-sized SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance on a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. The customer has a 250 GB database. The expected TPS is 800, while the expected IOPS is 4,000. The customer also planned for other applications, such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint Server, in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. In addition, the customer would like to use at most 75 percent of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for combined applications. 37

38 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure After talking to the customer, complete the VSPEX qualification worksheet for the production SQL Server 2012 database, as shown in Table 10. Table 10. Example of qualification worksheet: Medium-sized SQL Server user database Question Do you have an existing SQL Server database that you would like to size for in the environment? Answer Yes How many databases do you want to deploy? 1 What is the size of user database (GB)? 250 What is the annual growth rate (%)? 10 Do you intend to use FAST VP? Yes What is the maximum number of IOPS? 4,000 What is the TPS at peak loads (optional question)? 800 What is the required tempdb size (optional question)? N/A After putting the answers from the qualification worksheet into the VSPEX Sizing Tool, the tool generates a series of recommendations for the resources needed from the VSPEX private cloud pool, as shown in Table 11. Table 11. Example of required resources: Medium-sized SQL Server OLTP instance SQL Server vcpus Memory OS volume capacity OS volume Resource requirement 4 16 GB 100 GB 25 IOPS The VSPEX Sizing Tool also lists recommendations for the storage layout, as shown in Table 12. The suggested storage layout is in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool. For more information, see Principles and guidelines on page 32 in the VSPEX Sizing Tool section. Table 12. Example of summary: Medium-sized SQL Server user database in VSPEX Sizing Tool Recommended additional storage layout for SQL databases VSPEX private cloud pool name RAID type Disk type Disk capacity No. of disks SQL Server OLTP database data pool RAID 5 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 10 RAID 1 FAST VP solid state drives 100 GB 2 SQL Server OLTP log and tempdb pool RAID 1/0 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 4 38

39 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Because SQL Server is not the only application that the customer needs to plan for in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, EMC recommends using the VSPEX Sizing Tool to design the combined applications workload that has the best fit with the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure offering. For more details, refer to these Proven Infrastructure Guides: EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines The suggested storage layout for the SQL Server database is in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool. For more information, see Principles and guidelines on page 32 in the VSPEX Sizing Tool section. Example 3: Medium-sized SQL Server OLTP instance with multiple databases In this scenario, a customer would like to create several user databases on a SQL Server 2012 OLTP instance on a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. The customer has three user databases. Table 13 lists the database size and expected TPS and IOPS. In addition, the customer would like to use at most 75 percent of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for combined applications. Table 13. Example of user profiles: User database requirements Database profile Maximum DB size (GB) Maximum IOPS TPS at peak load (optional) db , db db After talking to the customer, complete the qualification worksheet for each production SQL Server 2012 database, as shown in Table 14. Table 14. Example of qualification worksheet: SQL Server OLTP instance with multiple user databases Question Do you have an existing SQL Server database that you would like to size for in the environment? Answer Yes How many databases do you want to deploy? 3 What is the size of user database (GB)? 500/250/250 What is the annual growth rate (%)? 30 Do you intend to use FAST VP? Yes What is the maximum number of IOPS? 1,500/700/100 What is the TPS at peak loads (optional question)? 300/200/30 39

40 Chapter 4: Choosing a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Question What is the required tempdb size (optional question)? Answer N/A After you put the answers from the qualification worksheet into the VSPEX Sizing Tool, the tool generates a series of recommendations for the resources needed from the resource pool, as shown in Table 15. Table 15. Example of required resources: SQL Server OLTP instance with multiple user databases SQL Server vcpus Memory OS volume capacity Resource requirement 8 32 GB 100 GB 25 OS volume IOPS The VSPEX Sizing Tool also lists recommendations for the storage layout, as shown in Table 16. The suggested storage layout is in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool. For more information, see Principles and guidelines on page 32 in the VSPEX Sizing Tool section. Table 16. Example of SQL Server details in VSPEX Sizing Tool Recommended additional storage layout for SQL databases VSPEX private cloud pool name RAID type Disk type Disk capacity No. of disks SQL Server OLTP database data pool RAID 5 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 10 RAID 1 FAST VP solid state drives 200 GB 2 SQL Server OLTP database log and tempdb pool RAID 1/0 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 4 Combined applications are planned for deployment on this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. For more details, refer to these Proven Infrastructure Guides: EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 1,000 virtual machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 1,000 virtual machines 40

41 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Chapter 5 Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices This chapter presents the following topics: Overview Network design considerations Storage layout and design considerations Virtualization design considerations Application design considerations EMC Powered Backup design considerations

42 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Overview This chapter provides best practices and considerations for the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for the virtualized SQL Server solution. We considered the following aspects during the solution design: Network design Storage layout design Virtualization design Application design For information on design considerations and best practices for EMC backup and recovery solutions for your SQL Server environment, refer to EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide. Network design considerations Overview Networking in the virtual world follows the same concepts as in the physical world, but some of these concepts are applied in the software instead of through the use of physical cables and switches. Although many of the best practices that apply in the physical world continue to apply in the virtual world, additional considerations apply for traffic segmentation, availability and throughput. The advanced networking features of the VNXe and VNX series provide protection against network connection failures at the array. Meanwhile, each hypervisor host has multiple connections to user and storage Ethernet networks to guard against link failures. These connections should be spread across multiple Ethernet switches to guard against component failure in the network. The network connection for the boot volume of the VSPEX virtualized SQL Server can be FC, FCoE, and iscsi for NFS and CIFS on VNX, and iscsi for CIFS and NFS on VNXe. For more information, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures section on page 15. To bring SQL Server into your VSPEX infrastructure on VNX or VNXe, you must set up additional iscsi connections for the SQL Server database, log, and tempdb files to be stored on the VNX iscsi storage. For more information, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures section on page 15. Network design best practices In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server, EMC recommends that you consider the following aspects for network design: Separate different network traffic Separate the virtual machine, storage, management, vsphere vmotion, or Microsoft Windows Hyper-V Live Migration network traffic and heartbeat using VLAN segmentation. 42

43 Set up network redundancy Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices A goal of redundant topologies is to eliminate network downtime caused by a single point of failure. All networks need redundancy for enhanced reliability. Network reliability is achieved through reliable equipment and network designs that are tolerant to failures and faults. Networks should be designed to recover rapidly so that the fault is bypassed. In this solution, we have two network switches, and all three networks have their own redundant links. Use NIC teaming Aggregate multiple network connections in parallel to increase the throughput beyond what a single connection can sustain and to provide redundancy in case one of the links fails. For example, in the VMware virtualization environment, use two physical NICs per vswitch and uplink the physical NICs to separate physical switches. For the NIC teaming settings, best practice is to select no for the NIC teaming failback option. In case of some intermittent behavior in the network, this setting will prevent flip-flopping of the NIC cards being used. When setting up VMware high availability (VMware HA), a good starting point also is to set the following ESX Server timeouts and settings under the ESX Server Advanced Settings tab: NFS.HeartbeatFrequency = 12 NFS.HeartbeatTimeout = 5 NFS.HeartbeatMaxFailures = 10 For more NIC teaming best practices for VMware vsphere, refer to Best Practices for running VMware vsphere on Network Attached Storage. For the NIC teaming configuration of Windows 2012 R2 in a Hyper-V virtualized environment, refer to the Microsoft TechNet topic NIC Teaming Overview. Note: If you are using iscsi connections, we strongly recommend that you do not use NIC teaming. For other best practices in network design for the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, refer to the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures. Storage layout and design considerations Overview The best practices and design considerations in this section provide guidelines for effectively planning storage for various business requirements in SQL Server 2012 environments. Figure 8 shows the high-level architecture of the SQL Server components and storage elements validated in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server on a vsphere virtualization platform. All the SQL Server volumes are stored in Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) format in a VMware virtualized environment. 43

44 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Figure 8. SQL Server storage elements on VMware vsphere 5.5 platform In addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool for virtual machines, EMC recommends that you use the two additional VSPEX private cloud pools to store SQL Server data for different purposes. For more information, see Table 17. Table 17. SQL Server storage pools Pool name Purpose RAID recommendation VSPEX private cloud pool SQL Server data pool SQL Server log and tempdb pool The private cloud pool where all the virtual machines reside. For details, refer to the appropriate VSPEX Proven Infrastructures on page 15. The SQL Server data pool to serve the data LUNs for user databases. The SQL Server log and tempdb pool to serve the log and tempdb LUNs for user databases. Mixed pool including RAID 5 with SAS disks and RAID 1/0 with FAST VP SSD RAID 5 with SAS disks, or a mixed pool RAID 1/0 with SAS disks Figure 9 shows the high-level architecture of the SQL Server components and storage elements validated in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for SQL Server on a Microsoft Window Server 2012 Hyper-V virtualization platform. 44

45 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Figure 9. SQL Server storage elements on Hyper-V platform All the SQL Server volumes are stored in the new Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk Format (VHDX) on the cluster-shared volume (CSV). For more information on additional VSPEX private cloud pools to use for storing SQL Server data, see Table 17 on page 44. Storage design EMC recommends implementing the following storage design best practices. Application storage pool design In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server, consider the following best practices for application storage layout and design. SQL Server user database data pool: Use RAID 5 for the SQL Server data pool, unless the user database has an unusually high write ratio, which is over 30 percent. This pool consists of all the SQL Server user databases. Use RAID 5 SAS drives for a balance of performance and capacity. In our VSPEX Sizing Tool, the number of disks in each pool is calculated to meet both capacity and IOPS requirements. 45

46 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Add FAST VP SSDs to provide best performance for OLTP workloads with higher numbers of random reads. Use thin LUNs to store SQL Server data to improve the storage efficiency. After FAST VP SSDs are added, thin LUN metadata is promoted to the extreme performance tier to boost the performance. SQL Server log and tempdb pool: Use RAID 1/0 for the SQL Server log pool. This pool consists of all the log and tempdb LUNs for the user databases. Use SAS disks for both performance and capacity considerations. In our VSPEX Sizing Tool, the number of disks for each pool is calculated to meet both capacity and IOPS requirements. Do not enable FAST VP on the log pool. FAST VP SSDs do not outperform SAS drives for sequential writes. Use thin LUNs for the SQL Server log and tempdb pool to improve storage efficiency. For more information about best practices for the tempdb database, see SQL Server database settings on page 54 in the Application design considerations section. OS storage design In this solution, OS LUNs were created and provisioned by VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. For best practices about OS storage design, refer to the VSPEX Proven Infrastructures on page 15. OS LUN format unit Use 64 KB of the file allocation unit size (cluster size) for the SQL Server volumes. Cluster size is determined when the partition is formatted by the OS or user. For the best performance, EMC recommends using 64 KB for SQL databases. For more information, refer to the topic Disk Partition Alignment Best Practices for SQL Server in the MSDN Library. Component design best practices Usage patterns and workloads on SQL Server can vary greatly. This guide is designed for typical deployments, as described by Microsoft and experienced by EMC. However, some highly active SQL Server environments may demand additional storage performance requirements to meet or exceed customer-driven response-time SLAs and to continue to provide the best user experience. As SQL Server has various application scenarios, it can be difficult to manually analyze and provision storage designs, and to continue to meet those ever-changing requirements. EMC provides the following components to accelerate the OLTP performance dynamically and automatically: FAST Suite (includes FAST Cache and FAST VP) XtremCache 46

47 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices The following sections introduce the best practices for these additional components. FAST Suite The EMC FAST Suite FAST VP and FAST Cache provides two key technologies, available on the VNX series, that enable extreme performance in an automated fashion, when and where needed. FAST technology is an available option in VSPEX Proven Infrastructures. The VSPEX Proven Infrastructures on page 15 provide more information on FAST Suite for VSPEX Proven Infrastructures. Enabling FAST Cache or FAST VP is a transparent operation to SQL Server and requires no reconfiguration or downtime. To make the best use of either of the FAST technologies, first enable FAST VP on the SQL Server data storage pool by adding additional flash disks as an extreme performance tier into the SQL Server data pool. When using FAST VP, set the FAST policy for the participating pool LUNs to Start High then Auto-Tier (Recommended). If FAST technology is enabled on the SQL Server user database data pool, the data LUN latency and tempdb LUN latencies will improve to aid the SQL Server user experience. For more information about FAST Suite design best practices, refer to EMC VNX Unified Best Practices for Performance: Applied Best Practices Guide. FAST Cache design best practices By using flash drives in the array as an extended read-and-write cache, FAST Cache increases IOPS and dramatically decreases database response times compared to a high-cost, all-sas configuration. EMC allows caches from SAS tiers or Near-line Serial Attached SCSI tiers to FAST Cache SSDs at page granularity of 64 KB. Flash drives for FAST Cache design When using SSDs as FAST Cache, place all SSDs (up to eight drives) in enclosure 0_0. If you have more than eight drives, consider the following: Spread FAST Cache SSDs across all available buses. Mirror drives within one enclosure, to avoid mirroring across enclosure 0_0. Design considerations FAST Cache is best for small random I/O where data has skew. (The workload skew defines an asymmetry in data usage over time, which means that a small percentage of the data on the array may be servicing the majority of the workload on the array.) The higher the locality is, the better the FAST Cache benefits. EMC recommends that you use the available FAST Cache SSDs first for FAST Cache, which can globally benefit all LUNs in the storage system, and then supplement performance as needed with additional flash drives in the storage pool tiers. Preferred application workloads for FAST Cache are as follows: Small-block random I/O applications with high locality High frequency of access to the same data Systems where current performance is limited by HDD capability, not storage processor (SP) capability 47

48 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Enabled VNX Snapshots in the storage pools Avoid enabling FAST Cache for LUNs that are not expected to benefit, such as when: The primary workload is sequential. The primary workload is large-block I/O. Avoid enabling FAST Cache for LUNs where the workload is small-block sequential, including: Database logs Circular logs Enabling FAST Cache on a running system FAST Cache can improve overall system performance if the current bottleneck is driverelated. However, boosting the IOPS will result in an increase in CPU utilization on the VNX SPs. Systems should be sized so that the maximum sustained utilization is 70 percent. Use Unisphere to check the SP CPU utilization and then proceed as follows: SP CPU utilization less than 60 percent Enable groups of LUNs or one pool at a time until they are equalized in the cache. Ensure that the SP CPU utilization is still acceptable before turning on FAST Cache for more LUNs/pools. SP CPU utilization of 60 to 80 percent Scale in carefully. Enable FAST Cache on one or two LUNs at a time, and verify that the SP CPU utilization does not go above 80 percent. SP CPU utilization greater than 80 percent Do not activate FAST Cache. Avoid enabling FAST Cache for a group of LUNs where the aggregate LUN capacity exceeds 20 times the total FAST Cache capacity. Enable FAST Cache on a subset of the LUNs first, and allow the LUNs to be equalized before adding the other LUNs. Note: For storage pools, FAST Cache is a pool-wide feature so you have to enable/disable at the pool level (for all LUNs in the pool). FAST VP design best practices In VNX and VNXe, FAST VP allows for the movement of SQL data automatically between FAST VP SSDs. SAS tiers with a slice granularity of 256 MB help to reduce the response time dramatically and improve SQL OLTP performance with a lower cost. To make the best use of either of the FAST technologies, EMC recommends that you first enable FAST VP on the user database storage pool. Flash drives for extreme-performance FAST VP tier Adding additional FAST VP SSDs as an extreme performance tier into the SQL Server data pool enables FAST VP to adapt automatically to changes with business cycles. When using FAST VP SSDs as a FAST VP tier, consider the following best practices: Spread FAST VP SSDs across all available buses. 48

49 Avoid using enclosure 0_0. Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices For further information, refer to the best practices in the white paper EMC FAST VP for Unified Storage Systems. Pool capacity utilization Maintain some unallocated capacity within the pool to help with relocation schedules when using FAST VP. Relocation will reclaim 10 percent free per tier. This space will be used to optimize relocation operations but also helps when new LUNs that want to use the higher tiers are being created. Maintaining unallocated capacity within the pool is not a requirement; however, doing so does not result in lost capacity. Relocation Schedule relocations for off-hours, so that the primary workload does not contend with the relocation activity. Enable FAST VP on a pool, even if the pool has only one tier, to provide ongoing load balancing of LUNs across available drives. Considerations for VNX for file By default, a VNX for file system-defined storage pool is created for every VNX for block storage pool that contains LUNs available to file. (This is a mapped storage pool.) Assign the same FAST VP tiering policy to all LUNs in a given file storage pool. Create a user-defined storage pool to separate the file LUNs from the same block storage pools that have different tiering policies. Leverage the Continuous Availability feature when planning with storage availability in mind for business-critical SQL Server instances. XtremCache XtremCache can use a host-based PCIe card as the host-side storage cache. Along with SAN storage, XtremCache can dramatically reduce the I/O latency and improve the OLTP performance while keeping the advantage of SAN storage. XtremCache performance considerations and best practices EMC XtremCache is a server flash solution that reduces latency and increases throughput to dramatically improve application performance. XtremCache can be used as a server-side caching solution to accelerate block I/O reads. Combining with the SAN storage, XtremCache software can use a write-through cache to deliver dynamic optimization for performance, intelligence, and protection in both physical and virtual environments. Consider the following best practices when deploying XtremCache in a virtualized environment: XtremCache is most effective for workloads with a 70 percent or higher readwrite ratio and small random I/O (8 KB is ideal). 49

50 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices 1. By default, data larger than 64 KB is passed through to the disk and not cached. This size is correct for most applications. For some applications, however, caching is made more effective by enabling data up to 128 KB to be cached. Use the vfcmt command line or GUI to set the maximum I/O size to be cached by XtremCache. For more information, refer to EMC Xtrem Family: XtremCache Installation Guide XtremCache in Hyper-V When installing XtremCache in the Hyper-V environment, pay attention to the following details: The XtremCache card and driver, as well as the XtremCache software, are installed on the Hyper-V host machine. As a result: Virtual disks can be defined either before or after the LUN is configured as a source device. All virtual disks allocated on a LUN source device will be accelerated. The installation procedure is identical to the procedure for Windows. Microsoft CSV is not supported by the current released version of XtremCache (1.5.1). Therefore, the LUNs to be accelerated cannot be CSV LUNs in the Hyper- V cluster, but the clustered volumes in Hyper-V can be supported. For more information, refer to EMC Xtrem Family: XtremCache Installation Guide XtremCache in VMware When installing XtremCache in the VMware environment, pay attention to the following details: XtremCache can be enabled to use disks for server-based storage. To enable this split card functionality, you must disable the interrupt mapping on your ESX host. For more information, refer to EMC Xtrem Family: XtremCache Installation Guide Follow the XtremCache installation instructions to configure the components in a VMware environment. For detailed information, refer to EMC Xtrem Family: XtremCache Installation Guide Storage layout examples This section provides two examples of storage layouts in the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server one for VNXe based on VSPEX private cloud and the other for VNX based on VSPEX private cloud. Both of these examples follow the best practices and design considerations previously discussed. Table 18 shows an example of a storage layout dedicated for SQL Server database pools. The configuration can support approximately 700 host IOPS. Note: This is only an example for both the infrastructure pool and the SQL Server pools. The number of disks used in the example for the virtual infrastructure can be variable. Table 18. Storage layout example on VNXe SQL Server storage pool name RAID type Disk type Disk capacity No. of disks 50

51 SQL Server storage pool name RAID type Disk type Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Disk capacity SQL user database data pool RAID 5 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 5 No. of disks SQL user database log and tempdb pool RAID 1/0 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 2 Figure 10 shows an example of the storage layout for the SQL Server on the VNXe series. SQL Server virtual machine SQL Server user database data pool (5 disks) RAID 5 SQL Server user database log and tempdb pool (2 disks) RAID 10 Enclosure D E aa aa Operating system (4 disks) VStEX private cloud pool RAID 5 Hot spare Enclosure D E aa aa SAS Not Present Figure 10. Storage layout example: SQL Server for the VNXe series Table 19 shows an example of storage pools for SQL Server on VNX in addition to the VSPEX private cloud pool. The configuration can support approximately 2,000 host IOPS. Table 19. Storage layout example on VNX Storage pool name RAID type Disk type Disk capacity No. of disks SQL user database data pool RAID 5 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 5 RAID 1/0 FAST VP solid state drives 100 GB 2 SQL user database log and tempdb pool RAID 1/0 SAS disks 15,000 rpm 300 GB 4 Figure 11 shows an example of the storage layout for the SQL Server on the VNX series with the virtual machine infrastructure. 51

52 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Figure 11. Storage layout example: SQL Server for VNX series with FAST VP enabled Note: Figures 9 and 10 are only two examples of a storage layout. To plan and design your own storage layouts for SQL Server over a VSPEX stack, follow the guidance in the VSPEX Sizing Tool and the best practices in the Storage layout and design considerations section on page 43. Virtualization design considerations Overview Virtualization design best practices SQL Server 2012 is fully supported when you deploy it in a virtual environment that is supported by Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vsphere. The following sections describe the best practices and design considerations for SQL Server 2012 virtualization. In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server, EMC recommends that you consider the best practices described here for virtualization design. Table 20 lists the recommended RAM for computers running SQL Server, based on the combined size of SQL Server user databases. 52

53 Table 20. Recommended RAM for SQL Server Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Combined size of SQL Server user databases Up to 50 GB RAM recommended for computers running SQL Server 8 GB 50 GB to 250 GB 16 GB 250 GB to 500 GB 32 GB Larger than 500 GB Contact EMC for validation Each SQL Server has its own data stores and virtual disks for its operating system. In VMware virtualized environments, the SQL Server OS/boot LUNs use a VMDK on their own data store, and in Hyper-V virtualized environments, the SQL Server OS/boot LUNs use a VHDX on their own data store. All database LUNs use VMDK in VMware or VHDX in Hyper-V. Because SQL Server 2012 can automatically detect NUMA, and the SQL Server processor and memory allocation can be optimized for NUMA, this solution implemented the following design best practices: Keep the number of physical cores and vcpus in a 1:1 ratio. Ensure that there are no overcommitted CPUs for running business-critical SQL Server instances. Consider the NUMA node size when sizing virtual machines. To avoid accessing remote memory in a NUMA-aware environment, size a SQL virtual machine's memory so that it is less than the amount available per NUMA node. Fully reserve the RAM for the SQL Server virtual machines. In VMware, enable the VMware HA, DRS, and vmotion functions. If you select vsphere as your hypervisor, enable the VMware HA, DRS, and vmotion functions on the ESXi servers to provide basic availability and scalability for multiple SQL Server deployments. The VMware DRS function can automatically balance the workload between the hosts by using the vmotion function. When SQL Server workloads increase, DRS automatically moves a bottlenecked virtual machine to another host with more available resources, without downtime. When you want to enable the DRS function, ensure that the automatic rebalancing is not too aggressive, as this can cause performance issues with constant VMotion. After you enable the DRS function, consider using DRS affinity and anti-affinity rules. EMC recommends that you use DRS affinity and anti-affinity rules for specific groups of virtual machines (for example, a group of web servers) that should never reside on the same host. DRS also enables the grouping of virtual machines by a common name and restricting their execution to a specific subset of hosts. For detailed steps on how to configure DRS, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15. In Hyper-V, enable the Hyper-V high availability and Live Migration functions. 53

54 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices Application design considerations Hyper-V with System Center integrated with System Center Operations Manager can provide the monitoring of resource utilization of the Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines, and can automatically balance resource utilization by using Live Migration to move virtual machines with no downtime. When you want to enable the DRS function, ensure that the automatic rebalancing is not too aggressive as this can cause performance issues with constant Live Migration. Monitor the performance of the entire VSPEX Proven infrastructure regularly. Monitoring performance not only happens at the virtual machine level, but also at the hypervisor level. For example, when the hypervisor is ESXi, you can use performance monitoring inside the SQL Server virtual machine to ensure virtual machine or SQL Server performance. Meanwhile, at the hypervisor level, you can use the esxtop command to monitor host performance. For detailed information on the performance monitoring tool, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15. Overview Application design best practices Design considerations for SQL Server 2012 involve many aspects. The best practices and design considerations in this section provide guidelines for those that are most common and important. In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server, EMC recommends that you consider the following best practices for the SQL Server 2012 design. SQL Server instance settings The Lock Pages in Memory privilege is granted to the SQL Server startup account. This privilege is designed to prevent the process working set (committed memory) from being paged out or trimmed by the operating system. For more information, refer to the Microsoft Support article How to enable the "locked pages" feature in SQL Server Note: After enabling the Lock Pages in Memory privilege, set the maximum server memory of the SQL Server instance to prevent the instance from reserving all memory from OS. The Enable Instant File Initialization privilege is granted to achieve better performance for database operations such as CREATE DATABASE, ALTER DATABASE, RESTORE, and AUTOGROW. It can significantly shorten the time to create or expand a datafile. For more information, refer to the Microsoft TechNet topic Database File Initialization. SQL Server database settings Consider the following best practices for user database settings: Use multiple datafiles for large databases. Use the full recovery model to enable administrators to back up the transaction logs incrementally. This model enables recovery of the SQL Server database from a specific point in time from the log backup, even if the datafiles of the 54

55 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices content databases are corrupt. EMC recommends that you take log backups regularly for the full recovery model. In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, EMC recommends that you use the following setting s for tempdb: Pre-allocate space and add a single datafile per LUN. Ensure that all files are of the same size. Assign the temp log files to one of the LUNs dedicated to log files. Enable the autogrow option. Set the database autogrow value to approximately 10 percent of the initial file size as a reasonable starting point. EMC recommends that you use the following configuration for the transaction logs: Create a single transaction log file per database on one of the LUNs assigned to the transaction log space. Spread log files for different databases across available LUNs or use multiple log files for log growth as required. Enable the autogrow option for log files. For detailed configuration steps, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15. SQL Server 2012 licensing consideration In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for virtualized SQL Server, EMC recommends that you consider the SQL Server licensing models to achieve better cost savings. With SQL Server 2012, customers have various licensing options, including the Server+CAL licensing model, which provides low-cost access to incremental SQL Server deployments, and core-based licensing, a new computing-power-based license model that shifted from physical processors to cores. The licensing options vary from the SQL Server versions you are using. Refer to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Licensing Guide on the Microsoft website. Under the core-based licensing model, customers count the total number of physical cores for each processor in the server and multiply the number of cores by an appropriate core factor to determine the number of licenses required for each processor. The core-based licensing model is appropriate when one or more of the following circumstances apply: Deploying SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition Implementing centralized deployments that span a large number of users or devices, whether direct or indirect Anticipating total licensing costs lower than that of using the Server+CAL licensing model Under the Server+CAL licensing model, EMC customers purchase a server license for each server and a client access license (CAL) for each device and/or user who will access SQL Server. 55

56 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices The Server+CAL licensing model is appropriate when one or more of the following circumstances apply: Deploying SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Edition Deploying SQL Server Standard Edition in scenarios where you can easily count users or devices and the total licensing costs are lower than that of using the core-based licensing model Planning to scale out use of SQL Server by adding new servers over time In this VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, to license the virtualized SQL Server, customers can choose either to license individual virtual machines or, for maximum virtualization in a highly virtualized private cloud, to license the entire physical server with Enterprise Edition core licenses. To choose an appropriate licensing model for SQL Server 2012 in various environments, refer to SQL Server 2012 Licensing Quick Reference Guide on the Microsoft website. EMC Powered Backup design considerations All VSPEX solutions are sized and tested with EMC Powered Backup products, including EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain. If your solution includes EMC Powered Backup components, refer to EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Design and Implementation Guide for detailed information on implementing these options into your VSPEX solution. Note: It s also feasible to use VNXe3200 or VNX series together with application-based replication. 56

57 Chapter 5: Solution Design Considerations and Best Practices 57

58 Chapter 6: Solution Verification Methodologies Chapter 6 Solution Verification Methodologies This chapter presents the following topics: Overview Baseline hardware verification methodology Application verification methodology EMC Powered Backup verification methodology

59 Chapter 6: Solution Verification Methodologies Overview This chapter provides a list of items that you should review after configuring the solution. Use the information in this chapter to verify the functionality and performance of the solution and its components and to ensure that the configuration supports core availability and performance requirements. Baseline hardware verification methodology The purpose of this chapter is to provide the verification methodologies for the hardware, application, and backup and recovery aspects of the solution. Hardware consists of the computer's physical resources such as processors, memory, and storage. Hardware also includes physical network components such as NICs, cables, switches, routers, and hardware load balancers. You can avoid many performance and capacity issues by using the correct hardware for the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution. Conversely, a single misapplication of a hardware resource, such as insufficient memory on a server, can affect performance of the SQL Server. For detailed steps on verifying the redundancy of the solution components, refer to the resources listed in the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15. Application verification methodology After you verify the hardware and redundancy of the solution components, perform SQL Server application testing and optimization, which is also a critical step of the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution. Test the new VSPEX Proven Infrastructure before deploying it to production to ensure that the architectures you designed achieve the required performance and capacity targets. This testing enables you to identify and optimize potential bottlenecks before they impact users in a live deployment. Before you start verifying your SQL Server performance on the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, ensure that you have deployed SQL Server 2012 in your VSPEX Proven Infrastructure based on the VSPEX Implementation Guides on page 15. Table 21 describes the high-level steps to be completed before you put the SQL Server environment into production. Table 21. High-level steps for application verification Step Description Reference 1 Understand the key metrics for your SQL Server environment to achieve the performance and capacity that meet your business requirements. 2 Use the VSPEX Sizing Tool for SQL Server to determine the architecture and resources of your VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. 3 Design and build the SQL Server solution on VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Understanding key metrics on page 60 EMC VSPEX website VSPEX Implementation Guides on page 15 59

60 Chapter 6: Solution Verification Methodologies Step Description Reference 4 Run the tests, analyze the results, and optimize your VSPEX architecture. Running tests, analyzing results, and optimization Understanding key metrics Understanding the goal of the SQL Server testing facilitates making decisions about which metrics to capture and what thresholds must be met for each metric when running the SQL Server validation tests. To validate the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution, we considered the key metrics shown in Table 22. Table 22. Key metrics Metric Threshold Average CPU utilization (%) Less than 85% Average disk latency Less than 20 milliseconds The VSPEX Sizing Tool helps you to understand the basic metrics and thresholds to meet your customer s business requirements. Running tests, analyzing results, and optimization After creating the database environment, run test applications to verify the performance of SQL Server In this solution, we ran the tests using a TPC-E-like application to validate the SQL Server performance. The TPC-E-like application is the server performance benchmark, which emulates the brokerage market transactions flow between market, customer, and broker. The benchmark cannot represent the real application in the customer environment. In the real customer environment, we highly recommend that customers do the following: Evaluate the TPC-E-like workload and I/O pattern. If it is acceptable and the real workload is similar, you can use the test results as a reference. However, customers need to consider the potential risks. Build a test environment first, and then copy and restore the production database to test the real workload themselves and to verify the SQL Server performance if the real application workload types are different from what we validated in our test environment. For detailed configuration information, refer to the documents listed in the VSPEX Implementation Guides section on page 15. EMC Powered Backup verification methodology All VSPEX solutions are sized and tested with EMC Powered Backup, including EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain. If your solution includes EMC Powered Backup components, refer to VSPEX with EMC Backup and Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint for detailed information on verifying the functionality and performance of these options in your VSPEX solution. 60

61 Chapter 6: Solution Verification Methodologies 61

62 Chapter 7: Reference Documentation Chapter 7 Reference Documentation This chapter presents the following topics: EMC documentation Other documentation Links

63 Chapter 7: Reference Documentation EMC documentation The following documents, available from EMC Online Support or EMC.com, provide additional and relevant information. If you do not have access to a document, contact your EMC representative. EMC VNXe3200 Installation Guide EMC VNX5600 Unified Installation Guide EMC VNX Installation Assistant for File/Unified Worksheet EMC Unisphere: Unified Storage Management Solution EMC PowerPath and PowerPath/VE for Windows Installation and Administration Guide EMC VSPEX Server Virtualization Solutions for Mid-market Businesses EMC VSPEX Server Virtualization Solutions for Small and Medium Business EMC Unisphere Remote: Next-Generation Storage Monitoring A Detailed Review EMC VNX Multicore FAST Cache VNX5200, VNX5400, VNX5600, VNX5800, VNX7600, and VNX8000 VNX FAST VP VNX5200, VNX5400, VNX5600, VNX5800, VNX7600, and VNX8000 A Detailed Review EMC VNX Unified Best Practices for Performance Applied Best Practices Guide EMC VNX Series Configuration Worksheet EMC VNXe Series Configuration Worksheet Using a VNXe System with VMware NFS or VMware VMFS Using a VNXe System with NFS File Systems Using EMC VNX Storage with VMware vsphere TechBook EMC VSI for VMware vsphere: Storage Viewer Product Guide EMC VSI for VMware vsphere: Unified Storage Management Product Guide EMC Host Connectivity Guide for VMware ESX Server EMC Host Connectivity Guide for Windows EMC VNX Operating Environment for File Release Notes EMC Avamar Compatibility and Interoperability Matrix EMC VSPEX Private Cloud VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 1,000 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud VMware vsphere 5.5 for up to 200 Virtual Machines EMC VSPEX Private Cloud Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V for up to 200 Virtual Machines 63

64 Chapter 7: Reference Documentation Other documentation Links EMC Xtrem Family: XtremCache Installation Guide EMC Backup and Recovery Solution Guide for VSPEX Virtualized Microsoft Applications EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX Private Clouds Design and Implementation Guide EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized End User Computing Design and Implementation Guide For information on Microsoft SQL Server, see the following documents: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on VMware Best Practices Guide Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on VMware Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on VMware Availability and Recovery Options Best Practices for Running VMware vsphere on Network Attached Storage SQL Server 2012 Licensing Quick Reference Guide For documentation on Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server, refer to the Microsoft website at For documentation on SQL Server 2012 on VMware, refer to the VMware website at MSDN Library Refer to the following topics in the MSDN Library: Books Online for SQL Server 2012 Disk Partition Alignment Best Practices for SQL Server Optimizing tempdb Performance TechNet Library Performance and Capacity Management (SharePoint Server 2010) NIC Teaming Overview Note: The links provided were working correctly at the time of publication. 64

65 Chapter 7: Reference Documentation 65

66 Appendix A: Qualification Worksheet Appendix A Qualification Worksheet This appendix presents the following topic: VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet

67 Appendix A: Qualification Worksheet VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 qualification worksheet Before you start sizing the VSPEX for virtualized SQL Server solution, gather information about the customer s business requirements by using the qualification worksheet. Table 23 provides a qualification worksheet for a SQL Server user database. Table 23. Qualification worksheet for a SQL Server user database Question Do you have an existing SQL Server database that you would like to size for in the environment? Answer Yes or No How many databases do you want to deploy? What is the size of user database (GB)? What is the annual growth rate (%)? Do you intend to use FAST VP? Yes or No What is the maximum number of IOPS? What is the TPS at peak loads? (optional question) What is the required tempdb size? (optional question) Printing the qualification worksheet A standalone copy of the qualification worksheet is attached to this document in PDF format. To view and print the worksheet: 1. In Adobe Reader, open the Attachments panel as follows: Select View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Attachments. or Click the Attachments icon as shown in Figure 12. Figure 12. Printable qualification worksheet 2. In the Attachments panel, double-click the attached file to open and print the qualification worksheet. 67

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