Not long ago, the given wisdom was that virtualizing mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and SAP was just too risky. According to this world view, virtualization administrators who tried virtualizing applications such as these were just asking for trouble. The risk of incurring a hit to these mission-critical applications -- or worse, the prospect of data loss or breaches -- loomed too large to turn these critical applications over to virtual machines.
But today, some IT shops have begun to see the virtues of virtualizing high-throughput applications and to reap the benefits in terms of reduction of data center space and power usage, improved disaster recovery strategy and increased application deployment flexibility.
Consider just a few of the benefits of virtualizing mission-critical applications:
- improved hardware utilization and efficiency;
- ease of new system deployment;
- system mobility;
- improved disaster recovery; and
- painless development, testing and training.
In this guide to virtualizing applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and SAP, we explore the benefits and challenges of virtualizing applications that have high performance requirements. We explore key issues in virtualizing mission-critical applications, including the necessary support for a virtualized application, hardware requirements, identifying ideal server consolidation ratios, failover, snapshotting and more.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON VIRTUALIZING MISSION-CRITICAL APPLICATIONS:
- Interest grows in virtualized Exchange, SQL Server
- Running a virtualized SAP environment: Can your environment handle it?
- SAP virtualization becoming more prevalent, even for mission-critical applications
- VMware dispels virtualization myths (sort of)
- Microsoft Exchange Server virtualization tutorial
- Virtual SAP becomes a reality
This was first published in February 2010