This topic describes the high-level process for adding SQL Server environments, linking SQL Server databases to the Delphix Engine, and provisioning virtual databases.
Block Diagram of Linking Architecture between SQL Server Environments and the Delphix Engine
Block Diagram of SQL Server Provisioning Architecture
The Delphix Connector and Environment Set Up
The Delphix Connector is a Windows service that enables communication between the Delphix Engine and the Windows target environment where it is installed.
This target machine can serve three purposes in a Delphix Engine deployment. It can:
- serve as a proxy for database discovery on source hosts
- host a staging database for a linked dSource and run the validated sync process
- host a target environment for the provisioning of Virtual Databases (VDBs)
Database discovery is initiated during the environment set up process. When you specify a production source environment that contains the databases you want to manage with the Delphix Engine, you must also specify a target environment where you have installed the Delphix Connector to act as a proxy for communication with the source environment. This is necessary because Delphix does not require that you install the Delphix Connector software on the production source environment. When you register the source environment with the Delphix Engine, the Delphix Engine uses the Delphix Connector on the proxy environment to discover SQL Server instances and databases on the source. You can then create dSources from the discovered databases. If you later refresh the source environment, the Delphix Engine will execute instance and database re-discovery through the proxy host.
SQL Server dSources are backed by a staging database that runs on a target host, as shown in the diagram. There is no requirement for additional local storage on this target host, as the storage is mounted over iSCSI from the Delphix Engine. At Delphix, we refer to the creation and maintenance of this staging database on the staging host as "validated sync," because it prepares the dSource data on the Delphix Engine for provisioning VDBs later on. After the Delphix Engine creates the staging database, it continuously monitors the source database for new transaction log backups. When it detects a new transaction log backup, it restores that backup to the staging database. The result is a TimeFlow with consistent points from which you can provision a VDB, and a faster provisioning process, because there is no need for any database recovery during provisioning.
When you later provision a VDB, you can specify any environment as a target, including the environment that contains the staging database. However, for best performance, Delphix recommends that you choose a different target environment. The only requirements for the target are:
Workflow and Tasks for SQL Server Environments
- Install the Delphix Connector on the standalone hosts that you will use as provisioning targets for VDBs and for the discovery and validated sync processes, as described in Adding a SQL Server Standalone Target Environment.
- Install the Delphix Connector on all cluster nodes of Windows Failover Clusters which you will use for provisioning targets for VDBs as described in Adding a SQL Server Failover Cluster Target Environment.
- Set up the Windows source environments using standalone target environments where you have installed the Delphix Connector as proxies, as described in Adding a SQL Server Source Environment.
- Link to the source database as described in Linking a SQL Server dSource.
- Provision VDBs as described in Provisioning a SQL Server VDB.