Blog: All Things Nortec

Virtualizing Exchange

I am on vacation these two weeks so here is a guest Blog Post:

Tom Raisbeck
VP Professional Service
Nortec

I often get asked about virtualizing Exchange on Hyper-V or VMware? Some people think it is a bad idea to virtualize Exchange under all circumstances – this is not true! You get many advantages from virtualizing Exchange if you spec it out right. However, no matter if you spec it out perfectly or not, there is the question of whether Microsofft will support your build. Here are some tips to keep Microsoft support:

1. Exchange 2007 is supported on 64-bit hypervisors or kernels only. 32-bit is not supported. VMware 3.x is 32-bit and although Microsoft has not said they will not support this it does seem they moved the goal posts.
2. Dynamic disks are not supported.
3. Differencing disks are not supported.
4. Snapshots are not supported.
5. Exchange 2007 SP1 or better is supported on Hyper-V.
6. Exchange 2003 SP2 or better is only supported on Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2.
7. More than two virtual processors per physical core is not supported
8. Unified Messaging role is not supported
9. Storage must be fixed, pass-through SCSI, or iSCSI. Set up all advanced packet management at the host level.
10. Hardware-based VSS or VDS not supported
11. 2040GB limit for the VHD file.