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clustered virtual sharepoint database configuration

Hi All, I hope you can help.

We have resently had some consultancy for a sharepoint 2010 install and now have a 6 server setup; two web front ends, two application servers and a clustered (active/passive) SQL installation. This is all running windows server 2008 R2 on top of vmware (ESXi 4.1 hosts) and has all gone pretty well.

We intend to backup the sharepoint environment with snapmanager for sharepoint. However, we've since discovered that the storage configuration we have used for the sql servers might not be supported:

We have luns presented over iscsi to the virtual machines. These are managed by windows Failover Cluster Manager. What we have since been told (and I would like to confirm if this is the case) that snapmanager for sql only supports Failove Cluster Manager (Quorum disk witness etc.) if you present the storage over fcp, not iscsi.

If this is the case, we suspect that the only way out of this is to implement an FCP network (not cheap and certainly not budgeted for) or move the database to a non clustered sql server.

I hope someone can give some advice,

Thanks in advance

Andy

Re: clustered virtual sharepoint database configuration

Hi Andy and welcome to the Communities!

Your configuration is definitely not supported due to VMware stance on MSCS:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_mscs.pdf

The following environments and functions are not supported for MSCS setups with this release of vSphere:
- Clustering on iSCSI, FCoE, and NFS disks

So, to use MSCS & be supported, FC is a must.

Personally I like the idea of relying on VMware HA instead of using MSCS, yet your mileage may vary (e.g. HA approach will require some downtime for patching)

Regards,

Radek

Re: clustered virtual sharepoint database configuration

Hi Radek,

That's really useful information - many thanks.

So, we need fibre channel. Is that explicitly supported by snapmanager for sharepoint in this case?

Thanks

Andy

Re: clustered virtual sharepoint database configuration

Hi,

In general a SnapManager product will support any OS / protocol / hypervisor combination supported by underlying SnapDrive.

So we have:

- FC supported for MSCS in vSphere 4.1 guests

- requirement for RDM in physical compatibility (pass-through) or virtual compatibility (non-pass-through) mode - with VMware recommending the former

- SDW 6.3 which does support RDM in physical compatibility mode inside vSphere 4.1 guest

All should work fine in my opinion.

I just found this in SDW 6.3 release notes:

"MSCS within a VMware guest OS is not supported on iSCSI configurations."

So, using reverse logic, FC is supported

Regards,
Radek

Re: clustered virtual sharepoint database configuration

Perfect, Thanks for your time.

Andy