Data Backup and Recovery

microsoft clustering with physical, virtual, or mix

This post was originally posted in the Virtualization section, but since i haven't received any feedback, i thought i'll post it here.

I  wasn't sure where to park this question and since it has something to  do with virtualization, I thought I'd put it here.  We're currently  looking to setup a new cluster based on Windows 2008 R2 and our NetApp  SAN (FC) w/Snapdrive 6.3.  This new cluster will be used for MS SQL 2008  R2 clustering.  We're continuing to do some research but just wanted to  get some of your input on either going virtual for the two host  machines (VM Guests on ESX 4.0), two physical boxes, or one physical and  the other a VM.  Thanks in advance.

We're also looking to leverage SM for SQL too.



virtual cluster members are currently only supported using FCP-attached shared storage.

Our organization are using in-guest iscsi initiators (an unsupported configuration) without any trouble, but its a risk.

We prefer the virtual cluster-across-boxes approach simply because using a physical box makes no sense in our datacenter, since our vmware setups are by far our most reliable platform....


Thanks Evilensky,

Have you ran into any issues managing or troubleshooting the cluster due to the virtualization layer?

We're really leaning towards a physical box for the active node while a VM guest machine for passive and hope others in the community can chim in and provide some additional info regarding this type of setup in their environment.  BTW, we're running FCP and NFS.



ESX for us has been stable as a rock, much more so than physical hardware alone.  Not a single issue has been due to the virtualization layer.

I also found this in the VMware best practice tech report.  I will investigate what it means but maybe support status is better than I thought:


More confusion...this time from the ESXi 4.1 Configuration Guide: