Answering Exchange Virtualization Questions and Addressing Misleading VMware Guidance

Answering Exchange Virtualization Questions and Addressing Misleading VMware Guidance

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I recommend anyone who is considering virtualizing MS Exchange read Jim Lucey's blog post and the comments below his post. VMware's HA guidance on virtualizing Exchange could be mis-interpreted, resulting in increased storage costs and placing data at risk.

Here's an excerpt:

We love that our customers are excited to deploy Exchange Server within virtualized environments. While VMware leveraged Exchange performance and sizing tools to provide guidance, their recommendations casually tiptoe around Microsoft system requirements, unnecessarily increasing storage and maintenance costs and putting customers at risk. Exchange Server 2010 provides choice and flexibility in deployment options. We are committed to virtualization technology deeply, and will continuously review as the various technologies evolve. We hope to do even more in the future with our roadmap. As we work to test and update guidance pertaining to Exchange running under virtualized environments, our current system requirements are in place to give customers the most reliable email infrastructure possible.


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  • Yes, and Microsoft and VMWare /could/ work together on things like this, rather than splashing it out in passive-aggresive blog posts.  What do you think customers would appreciate more, collaboration that produced decent documentation, or sniping?

  • I agree with Mark. This is a Marketing material. It looks like Microsoft does not like the hypervisor based HAs.

  • I don't think that Microsoft has any issues with Hypervisor-based HA.  After all, their own virtualization solution provides HA via the hypervisor and nearly all of the products are supported in such a configuration.

    However, Microsoft recommends that you do not use the hypervisor's HA capability with Exchange's own HA capability and in fact do not support a scenario when you combine both HA feature sets.  It doesn't matter if you are using VMware or Hyper-V, you don't mix DAGs with HA or failover clustering.

    As to the whole "marketing material" thing, have either of you actually tried to build an HA solution using DAGs and hypervisor-based HA?

  • Your page doesn't display right in Chrome

  • For me it does display correctly in Chrome (and Firefox).

  • Fyi, official response from VMware.