This article describes the support policy for Microsoft SQL Server products that are running in a hardware virtualization environment.
Microsoft provides technical support for SQL Server 2005 and later versions for the following supported hardware virtualization environments:
- Windows Server 2008 and later versions with Hyper-V
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 and later versions
- Configurations that are validated through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).
For more information about certified vendors and about configurations for SVVP, visit the following SVVP website: Note The SVVP solution must be running on hardware that is certified for Windows Server 2008 R2 or a later version to be considered a valid SVVP configuration.
Microsoft provides technical support for SQL Server 2008 and later versions for the following supported hardware virtualization environments:
- Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services which includes Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines and Microsoft Azure Virtual Network (See the Frequently Asked Questions section for more details)
Microsoft may provide limited or no technical support for the following environments:
- Any version of SQL Server earlier than SQL Server 2005 (such as SQL Server 2000) that is running on any virtualization vendor or configuration.
- Any non-Microsoft virtualization software that is not a configuration that is validated through the SVVP program
This policy of limited support is based on the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software
Restrictions and Limitations
The following restrictions and limitations may affect the support policy of the above supported configurations:
- Guest Failover Clustering is supported for SQL Server 2005 and later versions in a virtual machine for the supported hardware virtualization environments listed in this article provided all of the following requirements are met:
- The Operating System running in the virtual machine (the "Guest Operating System") is Windows Server 2008 or a later version.
- The virtualization environment meets the requirements of Windows 2008 or Windows 2012 Failover Clustering, as documented in the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
The Microsoft Support Policy for Windows Server 2008 Failover Clusters
The Microsoft support policy for Windows Server 2012 failover clusters
- The SQL Server product must be a supported version under its current Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy. For more information about Microsoft Support Lifecycle policies, visit the following Microsoft Support website:
- SQL Server supports virtualization-aware backup solutions that use VSS (volume snapshots). For example, SQL Server supports Hyper-V backup.
Virtual machine snapshots that do not use VSS volume snapshots are not supported by SQL Server. Any snapshot technology that does a behind-the-scenes save of a VM’s point-in-time memory, disk, and device state without interacting with applications on the guest using VSS may leave SQL Server in an inconsistent state.
- SQL Server on Hyper-V Replica is supported provided the EnableWriteOrderPreservationAcrossDisks flag is set.
Note To set the EnableWriteOrderPreservationAcrossDisks flag, run the following cmdlet:
Set-VMReplication -VMName <vm-name> -EnableWriteOrderPreservationAcrossDisks 1
If multiple SQL VMs are tightly coupled with one another, individual VMs can failover to the disaster recovery (DR) site but SQL high availability (HA) features inside the VM need to be removed and re-configured after VM failover. For this reason the following SQL Server features are not supported on Hyper-VM Replica:
- Availability Groups
- Database mirroring
- Failover Cluster instances
- Log shipping
Frequently asked questionsQ1: What level of technical support will I receive if my non-Microsoft vendor configuration is certified through SVVP?A1:
Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) will work together with the customer and the SVVP certified vendor to investigate the problem with SQL Server that is running in the virtual machine. Microsoft CSS or the SVVP vendor will follow the process that is documented on the following SVVP website to use the TSANet program together with the customer’s permission in an attempt to resolve the problem: Q2: What if the non-Microsoft vendor virtualization configuration is not certified through SVVP?A2:
Microsoft CSS will follow the support policies that are documented in Knowledge Base article 897615. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software
If Microsoft CSS determines that the problem may be related to the vendor virtualization software, Microsoft CSS may require the customer to reproduce the problem outside the virtualization environment. It is important to carefully read about the configurations that are supported for SVVP at the following SVVP website:
Not all vendor configurations are considered certified by SVVP even though the vendor participates in the program. The list of validated configurations may be updated as vendors submit changes through this program.Q3: The SVVP program specifically lists the valid configurations for Windows Server 2008. Are other versions of Windows supported to be used as guest operating system?A3:
Yes. As documented at the following SVVP website, the products that passed the SVVP requirements for Windows Server 2012 are considered supported on Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 SP2 and later Service Packs, both x86 and x64
When running SQL Server on a guest operating system, the version of SQL Server must be supported on the version of the guest operating system, according to the requirements that are listed in the respective SQL Server product documentation.
For more information about the hardware and software requirements for SQL Server, visit the following Microsoft TechNet website: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506.aspxQ4: Are SQL Server features such as database mirroring supported to run in a virtualization environment?A4:
The only restrictions to install and use SQL Server in a virtualization environment are documented in this article or in the SQL Server product documentation. Any feature or usage that is not stated in this article or in the SQL Server product documentation is assumed to be supported in a virtualization environment by using the same restrictions and support as a “bare metal” hardware environment. For more information about the features that are supported by different editions of SQL Server, visit following TechNet website:
These same requirements apply to SQL Server 2005 and later versions that are running in a virtualization environment.Q5: Is Quick and Live Migration with Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V supported with SQL Server?A5:
Yes, Live Migration is supported for SQL Server 2005 and later versions when used with Windows Server 2008 R2 or later versions with Hyper-V and with Hyper-V server 2008 R2 or later versions. Quick Migration, which was introduced with Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server 2008, is also supported for SQL Server (All versions from SQL Server 2005 and later) in Windows Server 2008 (or later versions) with Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server 2008 (or later versions).Q6: What is the support policy for SQL Server when using a SVVP vendor virtualization feature such as snapshots or migration?A6:
Snapshots for any virtualization vendor that do not use VSS are not supported with SQL Server. Any other virtualization additional functionality of a SVVP vendor such as migration must be supported by the SVVP vendor. This includes any problems that might occur with SQL Server when using these features. Please read this resource for more information about the support policy for additional functionality of a virtualization product: Q7: Is Hyper-V Dynamic Memory supported for SQL Server?A7:
Hyper-V Dynamic Memory is fully supported with SQL Server. Only SQL Server versions and editions that support Hot Add Memory (Enterprise and Datacenter) can see memory that is added by using Hyper-V Dynamic Memory. SQL Server 2012 Standard edition also recognizes Hot Add memory when running in a virtual enviroment. SQL Server versions that do not support Hot Add Memory are still supported. But these versions will detect only the memory that is present in the operating system when SQL Server starts. Before you deploy Hyper-V Dynamic Memory, please read the following resources when you use Hyper-V Dynamic Memory with SQL Server:
Q8: Do you support SQL Server running in Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine?
Yes. Microsoft supports SQL Server 2008 and later versions in Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services which includes Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines and Microsoft Azure Virtual Network. Consider the following when you deploy SQL Server 2008 and later versions in Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine:
Q9: Can customers run SQL Server in the Microsoft Azure VM role?A9:
- Microsoft Azure Storage’s Geo-Replication is not supported if the data and log files of a database are stored in more than one disk.
- AlwaysOn Availability Groups (with Listeners) fully supported.
- AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances are not supported.
- We recommend a medium or larger VM size.
- Azure files are not currently supported to store SQL Server data or log files.
- For more information about Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine and SQL Server please see Getting started with SQL Server on a Microsoft Azure virtual machine.
Microsoft Azure VM role is a non-persistent role and not the same as Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine. It is not supported for SQL Server production use. Customers who want to deploy data platform capabilities today in the Microsoft Azure platform should use Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine or Microsoft Azure SQL Database.