SQL Server support on virtual servers

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The Microsoft knowledge base article on SQL Server virtualization support just got an update.  Here’s the interesting part:

“Versions of SQL Server after SQL Server 2005 will incorporate full support for running on a supported guest operating system that is installed on a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtual machine.”

That means SQL Server 2008 will be fully supported even as a virtual server – but only when it’s running inside Hyper-V. That gives Hyper-V a competitive advantage over VMware ESX.  Even if a company’s admins prefer to use VMware, they still might want to use Windows 2008 virtualization just to get full support when things break.

The interesting part to me is what comes next: hopefully, we’ll get virtualization support for Microsoft Project and Sharepoint running as virtual guests.  Those two have always been thorns in my side.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Brent,

    Thanks for the info.

    The terms “full support”, “supported”, and “not supported” tend to be relative, in my experience. For example, In Windows 2000 Server clustering (MSCS – and possibly Windows Server 2003), drive letters were supported by Microsoft for disk resources, but volume mount points were not. However, if you used Veritas Volume Manager, volume mount points could be used in Windows 2000 as disk resources, as supported by Veritas and Microsoft.

    In other words, when a third-party software product enables a capability that was not supported without that product present, the support for the added capability is the responsibility of the third-party software vendor, and not Microsoft.

    I agree that support from a single vendor is ideal (no finger-pointing), but can’t always be achieved. As another example, Microsoft can’t support the drivers for a specific HBA card vendor and model – that is and always will be the responsibility of the HBA vendor.

    Since Microsoft owns both SQL Server and the Hyper-V VM environments, it can offer full support on such combined environments.

    I’m not an expert on what VMware supports, but it will be up to them and Microsoft to determine if and how any given version of SQL Server will be supported in their environments (including limitations such as one HBA per LUN per guest OS on VMware VMs as well as on Microsoft Hyper-V VMs, as you noted in another recent blog entry – http://statisticsio.com/Home/tabid/36/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/201/Default.aspx).

    I will be interested to see if Microsoft clarifies this position further in the future.

    Scott R.


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