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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 on SQL Virtualization


Today I was doing some AX 2012 performance R&D to see how big is the contirbution of SQL to AX 2012 performance issues.

From my experience and following Microsoft guidelines, we would strongly recommend not to virtualize your Microsoft SQL server. For larger Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 installations a Microsoft SQL Server installation on physical hardware is recommended. However, Microsoft supports Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 installations with virtualized hardware for a number of virtualization solutions.

In the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 System Requirements guide you can read:

Virtual server support

Microsoft Dynamics AX is certified on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V Virtualization, and will support other virtualization solutions that participate in the Server Virtualization Validation Program, consistent with the guidelines that are listed for all Microsoft softwares as part of Knowledge Base article 897615.To use Hyper-V in a production environment, you must download the update for Windows Server 2008 that is described in Knowledge Base article 950050. The beta version of Hyper-V, which is included by default with Windows Server 2008,is not supported.

Regarding performance impact; in the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Virtualization benchmark study we can see:

The benchmark results showed 20.68% performance degradation in response time when all machines are virtualized, 13.79% degradation when only AOS Server and Enterprise Portal (IIS Server) are virtualized, and 3.44% degradation when only Enterprise Portal (IIS Server) is virtualized. Similar performance degradations in throughput were also seen in the virtualized machines. In a real world installation a higher performance degradation is possible.

Important to mention - this benchmark study was only testing Hyper-V (Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 R2 Enterprise edition) and not any other virtualization technology.

Feel free to let us know your comments !

About the Author

Anish Abslom

Anish Abslom

Anish is best described as a dedicated Dynamics student and an Microsoft Dynamics evangelist with more than 10 years of Architectural experience in various Microsoft product development platforms. He is always fascinated and hooked to anything that involves technical/process developments which can enhance operational/business opportunity for organisations. His current areas of interest are ERP, product consulting, object oriented development and design patterns.

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