Virtually Running Exchange 2007

A lot of people have asked me lately about Exchange 2007 and VMWare compatibility. I even saw today that Henrik Walther put out a step-by-step guide about how to setup SCC on Virtual Server. This is neat and I’m hoping Henrik has looked at VMWare for this as well since on VMWare you can add some SAN disks, perform VSS splits, replication, etc.

…………DISCLAIMER: I personally like both VMWare and Virtual Server, there are good things about both technologies. I do happen to work for EMC (who happens to own VMWare)……Robin on the other hand works for Microsoft (who happens to own Virtual Server)…….so both products doing well means I am not in the dog house (nothing like having more marketshare then your wife to start an argument) and the stock I own in both companies goes up, which means I can be a full time blogger earlier :)………

Microsoft can’t really come out and say that they support all of their applications on VMWare; however, they are not saying that it doesn’t work either. I personally have been using the Server product from VMWare since beta 1 of Exchange 2007 and it does work. I did have issues with some of my beta 1 tests during those builds but did not report them to Microsoft as they were very clear that I would have to remove the installations from VMWare before they would care. Beta 2 is….. well a whole different story!!! I have installed beta 2 on my VM servers which of course are clustered using CCR (I tried SCC on beta 1 with NO issues). Of course each side is attached to a different DMX array so I am able to seed with SRDF – WAY faster then network speeds…..even with TOE cards. I will see if I am allowed to post some perf data about it for you (perf data is in the “not allowed to blog about” category).

During the install there were not really any gotchas. I installed the File Share Witness patch 921181, ran through the setup described in the documentation and re-iterated by Scott. Started the cluster…. and voila. Of course this wasn’t too fancy, just a CCR setup, file share witness on the Hub, dbs on the SAN….. and CAS on the hub to access mail.

Have any of you looked at this yet? What are your experiences so far with Exchange 2007 on a virtual platform?

Let me know how it went…

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2 Responses to “Virtually Running Exchange 2007”

  1. Dustin Says:

    I’ve been playing with Beta 2 on both VMWare and Virtual Server. I have to say things seem to work pretty well. I am having some problems with my UM Server integration but I think it’s due to the fact I installed that piece on a very slow VM (500MHZ PIII). It seems to be choking. I’ll know for sure when I put it on something a little more beefy.

  2. joshmaher Says:

    Let us know how it goes, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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