Consolidation of Microsoft SQL Server Instances on the IBM System x3850 X5 with Microsoft Hyper-V

An IBM Redguide publication

This document is being moved!
In September 2015, this document will be moved to and will no longer be available on the IBM Redbooks site. Please bookmark the URL to access this specific document both today and after the migration in September.

Learn more


An increasing number of customers are adopting server consolidation these days to curb the growing cost of managing and maintaining their exploding infrastructure. IT administrators are surrounded by physical servers that run at low utilizations levels. With significant developments in server virtualization technology in the last few years, the timing is right to implement a server consolidation strategy. This strategy can help solve multiple issues that many IT administrators find themselves grappling with, such as the need to:

-- Maximize the investment in server hardware.
-- Rapidly respond to changing IT needs
-- Improve business continuity.
-- Simplify administration
-- Save space and power

In this IBM® Redguide™ publication we present a consolidation platform using IBM System x3850 X5 4-socket server, an IBM System Storage™ DS5300 mid-range storage subsystem and Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V. A viable solution is to virtualize multiple underutilized Microsoft SQL Server systems, each on separate two-way or four-way servers, onto a high-performance server such as the x3850 X5 running Hyper-V. This IT model provides several key elements such as flexibility, high availability, and standardized configuration.

There are several approaches that you can take to implement a server consolidation strategy. This Redguide focuses on the consolidation of existing physical servers on IBM System x3850 X5 servers using Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. Each SQL Server instance runs in an isolated virtual machine that is made highly available (HA) by configuring the host servers in the Microsoft HA cluster. With the ability to hold 1 TB of memory and 64 logical processors, the physical resources of the x3850 X5 can support the greatest density of high-performance virtual machines in the industry.

The proof of concept depicted in this Redguide shows SQL Servers running in 16 virtual machines on a pair of clustered x3850 X5 servers with 256 GB memory on each. Each virtual machine is configured with up to four virtual processors and 16 GB of memory. The ability of the x3850 X5 servers to be configured with up to 1 TB memory and 64 logical processors provides the flexibility to consolidate a larger number of very high-performance database virtual machines with up to four virtual processors and 64 GB or memory in a highly available environment.

Table of contents

Executive overview
Advantages of SQL Server virtualization
Consolidation components
Proof of concept


Publish Date
30 March 2010

Last Update
21 April 2010

Rating: Not yet rated


IBM Form Number

Number of pages