sqlMonitor and SQL Server on VMWare

SQL Server performance monitoring and alerting

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sqlMonitor and SQL Server on VMWare

Postby mipe10 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:10 am

Hi,
I was wondering if you have tested sqlMonitor on virtualized environments? We use sqlMonitor today and it works fine, but now we plan to start virtualize sql server (VMWare) and some questions regarding monitoring arose!

As far as I know sqlMonitor utilizes perfmon and perfmon asumes that physical hardware is static. It doesn't understand the possibility that the hardware assigned to the server is simply an abstraction and can be dynamically added and removed based on set conditions or that there is a 3rd party controlling limits on how much hardware the server can see.

Furthermore, there is an entire physical world occurring beneath the abstraction, which a tool like Perfmon cannot see. For example, if the CPU spikes Perfmon may see it, but have no idea that it was due to a new virtual machine being moved onto the host. A best practice (as far as I can gather) is to be leery of time based counters. The reason for this is virtual machines can be overcommitted, which means the host will present more dedicated resources than what is actually reserved. Over time it can look as if the resources are constrained or available, but this may not be the case

So the question is will sqlMonitor work in a virtualized environment?

Thanks
mipe10
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:08 pm

Postby RBA » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:21 pm

Hi,

Will you be virtualizing the machine hosting SQL Monitor itself, or the entities it monitors? Either or both is fine, though there are a couple points you may wish to be aware of.

SQL Monitor's licensing uses a machine hash to identify the hardware (or virtual hardware) that the software was activated on (just the base monitor itself, the monitored machines can change as much as you like). Adding RAM or moving about the instance the base monitor is installed on shouldn't invalidate this, though if you are concerned you can deactivate / activate the licence around the VM operation.

The data repository SQL Monitor uses can become busy when you're monitoring a lot of machines and as such, probably doesn't want to be on a virtual disk (pass-through or SAN is preferred).

As for the monitored entities, there should not no issues relating to virtualization.

Regards,
Robin Anderson
Development
Red-Gate Software
RBA
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:13 pm
Location: Cambridge

Postby mipe10 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:23 pm

Hi,
Can you explain how you calculate the hash value that you tie to the license? You say you create a hash value of the virtual hardware - are you talkning about a specific component? For example it's improbable we should change numbers of CPU or the number of network cards, but there are other things that might change and in that case woulden't it disable the license?

Just to clearify we will most likely virtualize all component that sqlMonitor consists of including the database instances that will be monitored.

Thanks
mipe10
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:08 pm

Postby RBA » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:37 pm

Hi,

Yes, the hash is based on the serial numbers specific components but the licensing system won't complain unless you change several of them.

In any respect, from the SQL Monitor UI it's easy to deactivate the license, so you can make the change (the move from physical to VM will definitely require this) and then reactivate which will re-calculate the hash.

Regards,
Robin Anderson
Development
Red-Gate Software
RBA
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:13 pm
Location: Cambridge


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