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I'm currently setting up an environment for our developers and I am faced with a problem. We're planning on having Crowd, JIRA, Confluence, Bamboo, etc (all by Atlassian; all running on Windows Server 2008). All these products need a back-end database, which will be Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

So the issue is: is it fine to have SQL Server running inside a guest OS (performance-wise) or performance will be sub-optimal in this environment?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

MS SQL will run fine in a virtual environment so long as it has enough memory. This is the same whether its in a real or virtual environment really. If your developers VM's have enough memory then it should be fine.

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We make heavy use of Virtualised SQL Server for testing Sam is correct that if there is enough memory it will run fine. Don't make the mistake of trying to run with 512 Meg - it just won't work! – Please Delete Me Oct 13 '09 at 9:37

I have a VM running SQL 2008 enterprise for development and QA.

The performance is not stellar, but it can serve quite a load. We had some problems, mostly regarding high performance reads, where the SQL would complain on incorrect checksum and would fail the action.

I would recommend using something more performance oriented, like ESX.

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You mean use ESX instead of Hyper-V as I originally planned? – Anton Gogolev Oct 13 '09 at 10:28
I have no experience with Hyper-V, mostly because I try to stay away of Microsoft products, but that's a personal bias. In my experience, low level virtualization is much more efficient. – Daniel Leiderman Oct 15 '09 at 19:42

We have a development server, that runs Hyper-V server. It serves up Server2008 Enterprise, running SQL2008 with no issues whatsoever. This is with supplying the VM with about 3GB of memory.

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I've been running confluence in a 2008 Server VM for several months, and it works like a champ. No real problems, it sees moderate usage. The database is hosted off of the vm on a dedicated SQL 2005 server. But this is a shared database server that hosts many other applications as well.

The best advice I can give for this development server is: make sure it has enough memory.

All of the java/tomcat apps that you mentioned need to preallocate their memory space, and SQL will gobble up the rest. I would recommend at least 3GB of RAM (at most 8GB). Each one of the Atlassian apps will want 256-512MB of RAM, and SQL will want at least 1GB, and then the OS will need a little too.

Also watch your disk IO, depending on what your devs are doing, this could be a serious bottle-neck.

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