One of the most important choices new vCommander administrators must make is which database platform to use: PostgreSQL or Microsoft SQL. There are some advantages and disadvantages to each, which are discussed below. However, the most important thing to understand is that it’s not possible to migrate between platforms. If you do need to switch platforms, Embotics Support can assist you with keeping some of the VM metadata, but other important data may be lost, and it will take some time to recreate various configuration choices.
Let’s look at the options.
Embotics recommends that PostgreSQL only be used for trial installs. Because the database is installed alongside vCommander on the application server, it’s a bit easier to get started, especially if you work for a large organization where there are separate teams for applications, database and networks. PostgreSQL is licensed under the PostgreSQL license, a liberal Open Source license, so there are no additional license fees involved.
It’s also simpler to recover from failures or undo experimental changes to the configuration, because you can snapshot a single machine, and revert whenever you like.
However, because the database is always installed on the same disk as the application, contention for disk I/O is a potential bottleneck for any but the smallest environments. PostgreSQL’s security requirements also enforce that their service be run by a local, non-administrator account, which may violate standards for service accounts for some organizations.
|✔︎||Single snapshot backup and recovery|
|✔︎||No additional license fees|
|X||May introduce disk bottleneck|
|X||Service requires local, non-administrator user|
Embotics recommends that Microsoft SQL be used for all production installs. The database is installed to a location of your choice: on the vCommander application server, on a separate dedicated or shared server, or on a database cluster. Some thought should go into this decision, based on a number of factors discussed in Embotics’ Hardware Requirements and the article Scaling vCommander Hardware Requirements. These also help you mitigate any concern about bottlenecks by describing best practices around disk configuration for your database, making it easy to reconfigure your systems as product use scales up.
There are also licensing considerations involved, and it may take some time to figure out what version and edition are appropriate for you.
When using MS-SQL, disaster recovery typically involves both a snapshot of the application server and one or more database backups, so it does require more coordination of resources and teams. Advice is provided surrounding this topic in our article Microsoft SQL Maintenance Planning for Embotics vCommander.
With MS-SQL, you are also free to use any domain, local or SQL Server user as best suits your organization’s security policies.
|✔︎||Improved database portability|
|✔︎||No service account limitations|
|✔︎||Greater control over performance|
|✔︎||Better management options|
|X||Additional license fee|
|X||More complicated disaster recovery|
In closing, I just want to highlight again that this is an important choice that’s best made considering all aspects of your operations. I encourage anyone who has any concerns or questions to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange to discuss your options further.