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The Microsoft Exchange team is enhancing positioning by including additional supported scenarios regarding Exchange Server 2010 running under hardware virtualization software. As of today, the following support scenarios are being updated, for Exchange 2010 SP1, and later:

  • The Unified Messaging server role is supported in a virtualized environment.
  • Combining Exchange 2010 high availability solutions (database availability groups (DAGs)) with hypervisor-based clustering, high availability, or migration solutions that will move or automatically failover mailbox servers that are members of a DAG between clustered root servers, is now supported.

Due to improvements we made in Exchange Server 2010 SP1, along with more comprehensive testing of Exchange 2010 in a virtualized environment, we are happy to provide this additional deployment flexibility to our customers. The updated support guidance applies to any hardware virtualization vendor participating in the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).

In addition, we are also releasing the Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V whitepaper. This whitepaper is designed to provide technical guidance on Exchange server roles, capacity planning, sizing and performance, as well as high availability best practices.

Many customers, such as Convergent Computing, Swisscom, LUKoil Baltija R, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, and LAWIN, are already saving money through server consolidation and licensing costs running Exchange Server 2010 in a virtualized environment.

Complete system requirements for Exchange Server 2010 running under hardware virtualization software can be found in Exchange 2010 System Requirements. Also, the support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software can be found here.

Kevin Allison
General Manager
Exchange Customer Experience

25 Comments
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That's awesome news!!  Assuming VMWare HA/Live Migration is now fully support, we can breathe easy now! Thanks Exchange team - listening to customers, as always!!!

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@Jim: It says nothing about VMWare HA, unless you find that "online migration using technology such as Hyper-V live migration". I'd prefer a more clear statement, this is food for lively interpretation discussions.

@Kevin: Is that requirements document going to be updated with the updated support statement? This one rules out all forms of live migration; the best practices paper states, "All planned migration must either result in shut down and a cold start or an online migration that utilizes a technology such as Hyper-V live migration".

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@Michel: What does this tell you??

1. >>hypervisor-based clustering, high availability, or migration solutions that will move or automatically failover mailbox servers that are members of a DAG between clustered root servers, is now supported.

2. >>guidance applies to any hardware virtualization vendor participating in the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).

And the fact that VMWare is on the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP)??

The statement could be clearer - but why should MS advertise a competitor's products (when it has its own virtualization solution in Hyper-V)?

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Thanks for the heads-up; overlooked that SVVP reference. But it's good news. The statement in the whitepaper leaves room for interpretation ("like Hyper-V"); the statement on TechNet needs updating. I know it's hard to orchestrate and synchronize these changes, but customers looking in location A should see the same statement in location B. Ultimately.

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Great,

All we need now is support for NFS shares in VMWare to be supported.

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Is the article no longer valid? blogs.technet.com/.../3411471.aspx

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nice for business

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Based on this article, do you have an idea when the Technet documentation at technet.microsoft.com/.../aa996719.aspx will be updated with the new changes around Exchange 2010 virtualization support?

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@Phill - We are expecting that the updated support statement will go live on TechNet later today. I'll post a comment here when that happens.

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What does it mean - im a bit confused now - does it mean i can enable XenServer HA from now on without installing / updating anything?

Thanks

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@Mike: Supported virtualization platforms are listed on the SVVP Products page. Xen Server is on the list.

Note, the platform must be 64-bit.

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About time too, its been a longtime coming.  So has this message filtered down through the Microsoft "Exchange" teams across the globe?

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Don't forget to update the "Exchange 2010 System Requirements" technet article. Still states that UM role isn't supported!

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The updated support statement is now live at technet.microsoft.com/.../aa996719.aspx.

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I been installing and run on my machines hyper-v Virtualization with exchange on raid 1,2,3, for some time now.

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@Jim / @Kevin: The updated TechNet article might fuel support discussions again:

"Hypervisor migration of virtual machines is supported by the hypervisor vendor; therefore, you must ensure that your hypervisor vendor has tested and supports migration of Exchange virtual machines. Microsoft supports Hyper-V Live Migration of these virtual machines."

So, if VMWare has tested and supports DAG vMotions, Microsoft will support Live Migrations using Hyper-V of those systems? Now what kind of statement is that?

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Good news, got a few clients with exchange 2010 projects coming up and this will be a good selling point.

Is this for hyper-v only or any hypervisor like vmware?

Thanks,

Harron

Virtualization.net

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This is real good news. Updates to the Exchange 2010 system requirements section in your Exchange library needs updating though as it still states the opposite.

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@Virtualization.net: Supported virtualization platforms are listed on the SVVP Products page. VMWare is on the list of supported server virtualization products.

Note, the platform must be 64-bit.

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Any recomendations on CSV Design ? Size for example ? Can we have 100TB CSV ?

Also, do you place all you DB luns within the same CSV ? Having some documentation or the details of the setup that Microsoft used to test this would be great.

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Its very good...........

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Sumanth

<a href=“www.yahoo.com” rel=“dofollow”> hard ware</a>

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Though All the Exchange 2010 roles are supported on Virtualization platform except UM role, Any Idea when UM role is getting supported on Virtualization...Any Roadmap Plan...

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@Rajeev, support for UM virtualization is one of the announcements in this article.

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Scott, Thanks for writing...Yes You are right...Is this Microsoft Officially supported like through Microsoft Premier Support etc..

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@Rajeev, yes, it is supported by all official Microsoft support channels.