Over the last few months, I’ve had a number of conversations with customers regarding the virtualization of SQL Server for the database-tier of SharePoint Server 2010 deployments. Historically, administrators have been hesitant to virtualize SQL Server database servers out of concerns for performance. With advances in virtualization technology and the adoption of new IT standards, virtual deployments have become the new norm in many organizations.
Still, virtualization is not the right choice for every workload. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the key considerations that go into deciding whether to virtualize the SharePoint database-tier.
Support for Virtualization
The first thing to consider is the SQL Server support policy for virtualization. SQL Server 2005+ enjoys support on a wide range of virtualization platforms with two important limitations. First, mobility technologies, i.e. VMWare VMotion, are not supported with the exception of Hyper-V Live Migration which has received thorough testing with SQL Server. Second, virtualization snapshots are not supported on any platform, including Hyper-V.