Huge $avings on SQL Licensing
May 03, 2016

Huge $avings on SQL Licensing

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Hyper-V

Our Hyper-V infrastructure was built to reduce the cost of licensing for SQL Server that we previously had with systems running VMware. We have both a Test/Dev infrastructure and a Production infrastructure. Each contains a number of host servers with multi-path connections to storage systems (EMC VNX for less critical systems, and SolidFire for critical systems. SQL Servers were transitioned from stand-alone systems to SQL farms. We have, and will, save close to $7M over a five year lifespan just on the SQL licensing. These Hyper-V systems are used across numerous business organizations in our company, with both internal - and external-facing applications.
  • The greatest good the use of Hyper-V has done for our company is to significantly reduce the cost of SQL Server licensing.
  • Clustering in Hyper-V is well done, once you get used to the differences between Microsoft's way and VMware's way. Log into one of the hosts or at the cluster level, and get to work. In VMware, you have to log into a vCenter host first, then open the vSphere tool and wait for it to authenticate you.
  • Storage management is an one area that is a prime candidate for improvement. One should not have to shut down a host in order to balance out storage utilization across systems, but that is what we have to do here. We can't just juggle clients and their storage between systems to balance the disk storage utilization out.
  • For the novice, it can be confusing in trying to decide when to use the Cluster Failover Manager and when to use the Hyper-V Management Console. A lot of what an administrator needs to do is not, at first, intuitive. Finding where to go to pause and drain rolls -- while simple enough once one is accustomed to it -- can be very intimidating to the uninitiated.
  • The best, most obvious, and biggest benefit we have experienced by investing in the use of Hyper-V for our SQL Server farms, has been the TCO. We are, and will continue to experience over the next five years a huge savings (millions) in SQL Server licensing costs.
  • As stated previously, Hyper-V is difficult and cumbersome regarding balancing storage requirements. Where clients are consuming large datastores, balancing or moving that load around in order to bring balance, is difficult and time/personnel consuming.
Hyper-V can host more memory, CPUs per host, and logical processors than can VMware's vSphere, and while it is well integrated in my opinion to the Windows OS, it has significant drawbacks that VMware does not. You can better manage and balance storage needs with VMware than you can with Hyper-V - especially without the need to down servers. VMware uses data stores -- NFS or block based -- which can be presented to the hosts via fibre channel over Ethernet, plain fiber channel, or iSCSI. VMware's downfall there is that it uses a proprietary format (vmfs). Hyper-V uses SMB, or CIFS, and may also use iSCSI, fibre channel and fiber channel over Ethernet. Hyper-V storage uses either the Windows NDFS or ReFS file systems.

All the technical pros and cons aside, the one reason we have Hyper-V in our infrastructure is the huge cost saving we are experiencing with SQL Server licensing by putting them into farms on Hyper-V. We had these same clients previously in VMware, but the licensing based on CPUs and cores was millions of dollars more expensive over a five year lifespan.
The best case I can make for using Hyper-V over VMware is where the cost of licensing for SQL Server is skyrocketing. We are literally saving millions of dollars over a 5-year period by moving our SQL Server systems to Hyper-V. Where Hyper-V is not currently a good candidate is where the client server residing on Hyper-V have large and rapidly increasing storage requirements. Managing and balancing that kind of load becomes cumbersome and time consuming.

Hyper-V Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
Management console
Live virtual machine backup
Live virtual machine migration
Hypervisor-level security