VMware vSAN is the technology providing the storage resource in VMware Cloud on AWS. Therefore, migrating to VMware Cloud on AWS might require revising the current virtual disk design of VMs hosting SQL Server workloads to achieve the best performance running on vSAN.

Note: You can use the set of recommendations created by the VMware vSAN and SQL Server experts for most of the optimization tasks. Bear in mind that these recommendations are created for on-premises deployments, and not all of them could apply to a managed service like VMware Cloud on AWS due to the nature of the environment. The bullet points below supersede the recommendations in the article.

The following configuration items should be considered:

  • Use the PVSCSI virtual controller type to attach virtual disks hosting SQL Server related data (including logs and tempdb) to achieve the best throughput. Do not use the LSI Logic SAS controller type.
  • Use multiply PVSCSI controllers (up to four) to balance the disk throughput between controllers.
  • Consider a multiple VMDK disk layout to redistribute load between vSAN nodes. This is especially important as vSAN is much more efficient with smaller disks, so a VM with multiple small in size VMDKs distributed between multiple vSCSI controllers is expected to perform better compared to a VM with the same workload but using just a single VMDK on a single vSCSI Controller.
  • We strongly advise using RAID1 for SQL Server transaction log and tempdb disks.  
  • RAID1 should be your primary choice for SQL Server database files if the performance of SQL Server is the main goal of your design.
  • Consider setting the Object Space Reservation (OSR) Advanced Policy Setting to “Thin provisioning”. OSR controls only the space reservation and has no performance advantages. While the control of the capacity is still very important for on-premises solutions, on VMware Cloud on AWS Elastic DRS (eDRS) ensures the cluster will not run out of free capacity. You can check this blog article for more details.


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