Deploy Multiple SQL Server Instance in Azure SQL VM

sydney 1 Reputation point
2020-06-29T18:10:31.537+00:00

Hello,

Is it possible to deploy multiple sql server instances on a single Azure SQL VM? If the answer is 'Yes', is there
anything I need to be concerned with? How is this different from traditional on-prem multi-instances install
on a single machine (if any) in terms of deployment and management?

I'd like to get some feedbacks from those who have some experience with this.

Thank you

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
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3 answers

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  1. Ronen Ariely 15,101 Reputation points
    2020-06-29T20:13:11.283+00:00

    Good ay @sydney and welcome to the QnA forums 😀

    Is it possible to deploy multiple sql server instances on a single Azure SQL VM?

    Yes

    If the answer is 'Yes', is there anything I need to be concerned with?

    Yes, but it is hard to just wrote everything in a single forum's message. You will need to be more focused in the question. In the meantime, out of my mind...

    (1) It is recommended to install the instances in the order of their versions from the old one first. For example if you install SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2019 then I recommend to install first 2014 version.

    (2) Multiple Instances means that they share resources. By default when you install SQL Server it does not limit the resources which it can use (for example default max memory is 2,147,483,647). It is HIGHLY recommended to manage resources manually and make sure that one instance will not get into resources issue as a result of what another instance do.

    (3) You must remember that certain components are shared by all instances! If all went well during the installation then these components are automatically upgraded to the latest version which you install. This mean that you will not get to actually use the older versions.

    This is important to know since if you mean to test for example the older version of these component, then you cannot in this architecture, and you might get wrong conclusions.

    (4) Only one instance can be default instance which mean the rest must be configured as a named instance.

    (5) Important to know that SQL Server SysPrep does not fully support multiple instances

    Considerations for Installing SQL Server Using SysPrep

    (6) It is much harder performance tuning and maintenance like reboot planning and it has some security challenges

    ... and more...

    You should search online for more information as this is a bit outside the scope on a single message in a foryum. There are good blogs about this topic

    How is this different from traditional on-prem multi-instances install on a single machine (if any) in terms of deployment and management?

    The installation itself can be done usng "click and forget"same as on-premises, but to get best performance the installation should be done after well designing your system and you hardware.

    In this case, configuration of SQL Server in VM should take many parameters into consideration and should not be done the same as installing on premises server. The same considerations should take place if you use multiple instances on VM. It is not a lot different from other aspects.

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  2. Ronen Ariely 15,101 Reputation points
    2020-07-01T16:29:25.97+00:00

    Hi

    What about storage? Use Azure storage or On-Prem disks? Why one is better than the other?

    It is a big question :-)

    Basically one is a virtual disk which mean it is a file which managed by the host, and one is a real physical device which is managed directly by the OS

    One is controlled by you and one is not and you have no information how it is physically hosted

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  3. sydney 1 Reputation point
    2020-06-30T12:36:33.573+00:00

    Hi Pituach,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    Sorry I did not provide specifics for my questions as I wasn't sure what to look for in the first place.
    That's why I framed my questions to be as 'general' as possible. But I also realize it would be hard for someone
    to respond with relevant details without specifics. Anyway I was just looking for someone who might have done
    this setup in Azure. What their experiences were? Any surprises, challenges they came across while implementing
    this type of solution. What you've outlined is certainly very good for me and it's a good start for me to begin
    thinking about these things. What about storage? Use Azure storage or On-Prem disks? Why one is better than
    the other?

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