A while back I published a couple of posts on virtualizing SQL Server, and in the light of developments in both the virtualization platform out there and SQL Server itself I feel the need to do a complete rewrite.
One option would be to use Availability Groups in SQL Server 2012 Enterprise edition. This combines the best of mirroring/ log shipping with Clustering:
Your next consideration is going to be making sure you get a predictable level of performance or your users might be phoning if there’s issues with speed as well. Tuning in a physical world has occupied many a mind and there’s tons of advice out there from MVPs, TechNet etc. Things get tricky in a virtual world as resources are shared. However if you are running a tier 1 on database then best practice would be:
The definitive white paper for virtualizing SQL Server 2012 is here. However the latest version of a best practices guide for running SQL Server on VMware I could find is here but it’s three years old and so applies to older versions of SQL Server (typically 2005/2008) and Windows Server 2008. Hopefully this will change as Windows Server 2012 & SQL Server 2012 are now supported and of course there’s going to be even more new stuff with SQL Server 2014 running on Windows Server 2012 R2. Whatever you decide to do you’ll want your HA design to be supported and the definitive word on that check KB956893.
Finally if you are a DBA reading this, one way to get to know your data centre admins is to help them with their SQL Server, as whether they are using System Center or VSphere it’s likely that the database underpinning these is SQL Server and it could probably do with a but of TLC, and a general discussion about protecting those databases too as they are vital components of your data centre.
Firstly the link to the KB article doesn@t seem to work? Secondly, use of third party tools such as Double-Take allows you to build HA for any version of SQL, on LAN or WAN, and across any combination of physical or virtual infrastructures. This could even include between virtual platforms, vmware and Hyper-V for example.
Sorry about the KB link - fixed now. I admit 3rd party solutions didn't occur to as I have no experience of any of them I'm afraid, so thanks fo rmentioning that. I assume Double-Take et al cope with planned maintenance as well then?