With the launch of SQL Server 2012, Microsoft is changing the game in the world of data management. The introduction of SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups delivers a new replication mechanism that gives customers unprecedented confidence to put mission critical applications on SQL Server. But Availability Groups do much more than provide failover and clustering. They enable rolling upgrades that can reduce OS patching by as much as 50-60%! Customers can now leverage active secondaries to distribute workloads, provide self-service business intelligence, and to offload backups operations. All of these enhancements combined provide greater piece of mind, flexibility, and efficiency.

Now add the EMC VNX Family to your configuration to optimize your SQL Server 2012 deployment! EMC’s industry leading FAST Suite allows SQL Server 2012 users to dramatically improve performance, lower TCO, and store your valuable data on a platform that is battle-hardened in the most mission critical environments. The efficiency dilemma starts with the fact that not all data is created equal. Most data does not require high-performing disk; yet, often, oversized systems are used to meet performance requirements. Tuning systems manually is a full time job, a luxury fewer and fewer companies can afford.

Deploying the VNX FAST Suite ensures that the hottest data is on the highest performing storage (usually solid state disks – SSD), while cold data is automatically moved to more cost-effective high capacity hard disks. The result? Up to 80% less time spent tuning and managing the workload, better performance, and fewer drives to purchase. In short, a more efficient and powerful system…...that automatically ensures that data is the right place at the right time!

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Back to SQL Server 2012. We set out to demonstrate how the VNX FAST Suite can enhance SQL Server 2012 and its AlwaysOn feature. EMC’s VNX has achieved compelling results leveraging FAST Cache, a VNX technology that moves hot spots onto SSD’s in real time. Based on extensive testing, VNX FAST Cache was able to accelerate transactions per second (TPS) of primary and active secondary copies by up to 4 times that of an all hard disk drive-based storage subsystem.

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While mileage will vary, it is clear that FAST Cache is ideal for SQL Server 2012 OLTP. Sequential decision support workloads, such as data warehousing, will see significant benefit from the VNX High-Bandwidth option with further enhancements coming out in the next VNX product release. This can dramatically improve access time to information, if customers decide to leverage active secondary database copies for self-service business intelligence.

EMC has had a long-standing history of solid integration between Microsoft and EMC’s management frameworks. This close cooperation ensures faster provisioning and issue resolution in SQL Server environments. EMC’s Storage Integrator (ESI) is a no cost and easy-to-use tool that streamlines Hyper-V provisioning and visualizes the storage to VM relationship. EMC is also introducing additional System Center management packs that map the relationships between physical disk, storage subsystem, Hyper-V VMs, SQL Server databases, and applications like Microsoft SharePoint. When a drive in a storage subsystem fails, administrators can determine which SharePoint farm or SQL Server instance is impacted and act accordingly based on pre-defined run books.

The powerful combination of EMC and Microsoft will continue. Come see how by visiting EMC at Microsoft Management Summit (MMS 2012), Microsoft TechEd 2012, and EMC World. See the power of VNX and SQL Server optimizing your business and IT infrastructure.

We encourage you to visit the Community: Everything EMC and Microsoft to learn more and  engage with EMC’s experts for Microsoft.