Considerations for installing SQL Server on VMWare

You still need to follow the standard SQL Server best practices, security, and preparation when you install on a VMware VM. Below are some additional considerations with regards to VMware.


Key points:

·         You must double check that your combination of VMWare, Windows, and SQL will be supported.

o   By Microsoft:,

o   By VMware:

·         Just as with a physical system you must provide a well-configured IO subsystem. Follow standard SQL Server IO best practices. Use separate VMware VMFS partitions on independent disk arrays.

·         Again, just like with a physical machine, you must use hardware with sufficient resources.

·         Do not overcommit resources to the virtual machine (VM). For example, if the physical box has 4 cores and is running 4 VMs, do not assign 2 cores to each VM as this would overcommit the cores. The same applies to memory and disk.

·         VMWare recommends using ESX Server for production virtual machines if you want the best performance.

·         ” If SQL Server’s “lock pages in memory” parameter has been set, provide set the VM’s reservations to the amount of memory in the VM. This setting can adversely interfere with ESX Server’s balloon driver. Setting reservations will stop the balloon driver from inflating into the VM’s memory space.”

·         Consider configuring “large pages” for some types of workloads.


References from VMware:

·         Best Practices for SQL Server

·         Performance and Scalability of Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere 4

·         Database Scenarios

·         VirtualCenter Database Performance for Microsoft SQL Server 2005

·         SQL Server Workload Consolidation (VMware ESX 3.5)

·         SQL Server Performance in a WMware Infrastructure 3 Environment

One thought on “Considerations for installing SQL Server on VMWare

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: