This question comes from watching the keynote at msteched europe. In which the presenter, I dont remember the exact works, says, that sql server wouldnt need to be physical anymore or something like that.

IN technet and many whitepapers, its recommended to use sqlserver as a standalone physical server and not virtualized, this changes the entire game when designing sharepoint solutions

I would like to read some opiniions regarding this.

  • I am afraid if I will be able to help you with your question, but it will be nice if you post some reference or links to what you have heard :), (for others to read it as well) Cheers – Muhammad Raja Jun 26 '12 at 10:13
  • please watch the first 20 minutes of this video. channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY01 – Luis Valencia Jun 26 '12 at 10:17
  • This isn't really a question. I think this is a very good topic but I am concerned this will likely be closed unless it is rephrased in such a way it is both a question and one that can actually be answered. I suggest something like: "What are the new features of Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 that allow SQL Server 2012 to have such better performance in a virtual environment?" – Robert Kaucher Jun 28 '12 at 14:45
  • I will allow Q, but as discussed it needs to be more specific. Also I will make it CW since there is more tah one correct answer (which sort of makes it pointless to offer bounty) – Anders Rask Jul 1 '12 at 20:35
  • This question is not about SharePoint – Kirk Broadhurst Jul 1 '12 at 23:38

There is no right or wrong. It depends, regardless of version.

A single VM with 4GB Ram and you include your DB's in the same flat file, VM lives on 2 spindles, indexing massive amounts of data, it will suck.

Put the OS/SQL on VM with massive amounts of RAM, use RDM to mount LUNS on dedicated spindles to separate DB's / Logs, high I/O ceiling by using the correct amount of spindles, Size block size to match your SAN, Size SQL for your resources, and have a well maintained maintenance plan, and it will work great.

In some cases you may trade performance for the HA or increased flexibility virtualization will provide. Configurations options, and tradeoffs are limitless, and each one has different characteristics regardless of the new "tweaks" in 2012, 2008, or Oracle, or anything else for that matter.

Note MS is making a big push to Cloud/Private Cloud, it is in there interest to sell you an "optimized" SQL for virtualization as it is part of their overall plan. You should not virtualize anything just for the sake of virtualizing it. And vice versa, you should not write it off because there are a majority of SQL horror stories on VM's, which have to do more with not sizing resources correctly than virtualization itself. Best Practices are suggestions not rules, and need to be evaluated in your environment on a case by case basis.

  • 1
    Best answer in this thread yet. One point to observe here (is generally applicable for virtualisaton) that is often overlooked is, that virtualization introduces yet another technology that you will need to master to get the full potential of your farm. Also often getting full potential of a virtualized SQL server means pass thru to physical NIC and spindles which sort of makes it pointless to virtualize it. That being said we virtualize SQL often in both dev and prod with good performance, but physical will always be faster (yeah and this rant had noing to do with 2012 ver either ;) – Anders Rask Jul 1 '12 at 20:47

Best Practice, the most overused pointless term ever. I have ran SP2010 on virtual SQL boxes no problem but as people have said it depends on the envronment. Whilst it is not considered Best Practice, Best Practice should be considered guided or recommended practice


Your concern is one of the topics folks are debating so far. IMHO, using physical server is much better than virtualizing, because of stability, HA and something in terms of DR. Considering if virtualized SQL Server is very slow, and this obviously makes SharePoint databases stored in SQL Server slow.

Todd Klindt pointed out that using virtualized SQL Server is one of the top 10 mistakes of SharePoint administrator. http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/sharepoint/sharepoint-2010-misconfigurations-141636

The following posts written by MCM SQL Server 2008 Brent Ozar will help you clear some points of getting SQL Server whether virtualized or not.


  • FYI, all of this is kind of out-dated with SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 as there have been huge improvements made in the performance under a virtualized environment. This is really what the poster was getting at. Any link referencing earlier versions of Windows Server/SQL Server don't really apply. – Robert Kaucher Jun 28 '12 at 18:27
  • Hi Robert Kaucher. How do you think all of what you have heard from Microsoft is just a marketing stuff? Can you point out reasonably what all have been improved in SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, that make virtualization more effectively and efficiently. – Thuan Jun 29 '12 at 7:43
  • That is what the question is about. I have not used SQL Server 2012 with Windows Server 2012 in test so I am not qualified really to give an answer. But since the question is about improvements to the newer versions that have allowed MS to reverse their best practices for the 2012 versions, answering with material that is informed by older versions of the software that had a best practice of using a physical server isn't really applicable. If you think it's just marketing you should give evidence with the NEW versions. – Robert Kaucher Jun 29 '12 at 13:34

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