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Consider Windows Server 2012 for SQL Server installations



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Consider Windows Server 2012 for SQL Server installations

Applies to: SQL Server 2012, SQL Server, Windows Server 2012

Why should you consider Windows Server 2012 for SQL Server and specially for SQL Server 2012? The following are some reasons to choose Windows Server 2012:

Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012: better together.

They were developed and tested together, and this fact makes them a great combination.

More, better and cheaper cluster storage topologies

A new component named iSCSI Software Target Cluster Integration allows you to simulate a SAN without having a SAN. You can eliminate a SAN as a single point of failure.

iSCSI Software Target provides centralized, software-based and hardware-independent iSCSI disk subsystems in storage area networks (SANs). It enables storage consolidation and provides sharing storage for applications hosted on a Windows failover cluster.

Fast and efficient file server.

The new Windows Server 2012 File Server and SMB 2.2 allow faster and more efficient file servers for server applications like SQL Server.

bullet With File Server and SMB you can add as much storage as needed, and you are no longer limited to 26 (or 22 if you substract drives A,B,C and D) letters for drives.

bullet SMB direct, part of the SMB storage protocol, allows network adapters coordinate the transfer of large amounts of data at line speed, allows fast responses to network requests, and allows the use of less CPU cycles when transferring data over the network.

bullet SMB is configured automatically.

bullet SMB Multichannel allows file servers to use multiple network connections simultaneously. This provides fault tolerance and increased throughput, since the server can transmit more data using multiple connections.

More, better and cheaper high availability scenarios.

Scale-Out File Server is designed to provide scale-out file shares that are continuously available for file-based server application storage. Scale-out file shares provides the ability to share the same folder from multiple nodes of the same cluster. SQL Server can store user database files on those file shares.

SQL Server is one of two Microsoft applications that are supported when using File Server for scale-out application data storage. SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 are supported in this scenario. SQL Server 2008 R2 is supported in a stand-alone configuration, and SQL Server 2012 adds support for clustered servers.

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target is now an in-box Windows feature, and is integrated with clustering.

About cluster validation, with Windows Server 2012 we have significantly faster storage validation times (650% faster).

Other improvements or new features for clusters are:

bullet The new vote weight feature, that allows control over which nodes have votes in determining quorum, and is configurable for 1 or 0 votes.

bullet Dynamic quorum. Quorum changes dynamically based on nodes in active membership.

New and improved features in Hyper-V.

The new Storage Migration feature, make it possible to move the virtual hard disks used by a virtual machine to a different physical storage while the virtual machine remains running.

You can now perform a live migration without setting up failover clustering and Cluster Shared Volumes, perform more than one live migration at the same time and use higher networks bandwidths.

More reasons.

bullet CHKDSK takes less than 3 seconds on large drives.

bullet Windows Server 2012 has better networking.

bullet Improvements for ODBC DSN Management. A unified view of all 32-bit and 64-bit System DSNs. Improved user interface in ODBC Data Source Administrator panel. You can manage an ODBC DSN programmatically and manage DSNs on remote machines using PowerShell.

bullet Virtual NUMA on Hyper-V. The virtual NUMA feature makes it possible for the guest operating system and NUMA-aware applications running in the virtual machine (such as SQL Server) to increase performance by considering NUMA when scheduling threads or allocating memory.


Information gathered from Rob Hindman (MSFT). Thank you Rob!

Deploy Scale-Out File Server.

Deploying Fast and Efficient File Servers for Server Applications.

ODBC DSN Management in the Next Release of Windows (code-named Windows 8 and Windows Server 8).

Server Message Block overview.
What's New in Hyper-V.



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