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we (our company) provide SAAS (software as a service) applications, and we think about virtualization to host our apache/php servers, and our mysql master/slave servers.
Is it a good idea?

Mysql servers need fast I/O and memory, and both need high network bandwith.
How to make the right choice?

Best regards

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It depends on what the underlying infrastructure is. Are your machines using local storage or are you backing everything with a fiber channel connected SAN? What kind of load will the mysql servers get? What virtualization solution are you using? You shouldn't really have any issue virtualizing the apache/php machines. – moshen Apr 1 '10 at 16:12
Local storage for sure, as we have confidentiality issues and we cannot buy or rent a filer. – Cédric Girard Apr 3 '10 at 22:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'll defer to the experts here but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask some questions that might help to formulate a more specific answer:

  • What type of virtualization infrastructure do you have? Are we talking about a single VM server? Multiple VM servers? Storage via fiber-connected SANs? Storage via local disks? How scalable is it to respond to additional resource needs? How many other VMs would be running on the same host?
  • How quickly do you anticipate load on mysql growing? What type of SQL transactions will be initiated by users and how often?

My limited experience with VMs have led me to believe that disk IO is where a significant bottleneck is. For that reason, I'd be more concerned about mysql than apache/php or network bandwidth.

Just my 0.02.


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It depends on your virtualisation solution and setup. If done correctly, it will have little difference compared to a physical machine. If done incorrectly, it will result in slow-downs. There are just too many possibilities.

If your storage-pool uses images residing on top of an existing file-system, it will be less efficient as compared to a raw partition or even fiber-channel storage. If your VM defaults to a 10Mbps NIC, it may slow things down. If you use OS-level virtualisation, it can help reduce memory requirements because the kernel and libraries can be shared across VMs.

You need to understand your requirements and study the different virtualisation platforms available and architecture best-practices used.

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