Testing that virtualization

On October 12, 2008, in sbs 2008, by

So last night I put some Banana Gloss and Epic wax on my 4 week old baby.  And before I even put it on anything important….

I waxed the entire inside of the car doors before I applied it on any paint surface that one could see.  Why?  Because I wanted to test it out before I destroyed the finish of the car.  And it made me think of the Virtualization of Servers we are all thinking about.

So what does car waxing have to do with discussions of virtualization and thoughts of Dave Sobel and Mark Crall and their talk on Virtualization at SMBnation?


 (image courtesy of http://www.greatlittlebook.com/)

Because it’s all about testing and doing your homework.  I read the back of the bottle in detail first and ensure that I tested the product before I applied it anywhere else.

Do that same homework and testing before you begin to virtualize.

First off understand that when you build a virtual platform you will also be PATCHING that virtual platform.  I may not be comfortable with command line and love GUI but that also means that if I decide that my virtualization platform will be a full Windows 2008 Server OS, that’s RAM I need to count on and rebooting twice a month, possibly once a month.  Why?  Because every other month you are guaranteed to have an IE security patch.  IE demands a reboot.  DEMANDS it.  And while for some patches you might be savvy enough to realize what services are impacted by the patch, turn them off ahead of time, patch and then restart them to not need a reboot, IE is so intertwined that it needs the reboot.  “But Susan”, you say “I won’t be surfing on that server”  Good for you, but I still have a rule that all systems potentially at risk should get the patches they need.  That virtualization platform has to have Internet access through it for that Virtual SBS/DC underneath.  Plan accordingly.

Hardware.  This should not be taken lightly here.  Rememember how Ofer talked about Exchange Backpressure?  And we’re not talking about a pain in your back but the impact on your servers.  Vlad talks about it on his NOC blog – http://www.ownwebnow.com/noc/2008/10/07/exchange-2007-hosting-and-back-pressure-delays/ 

Don’t skimp on the hardware, the drives, the specs of a SBS 2008 machine and REALLY don’t skimp on one that you are going to virtualize….

Read about the Exchange and HyperV information — http://blogs.technet.com/scottschnoll/archive/2008/06/15/exchange-server-2007-and-hyper-v.aspx

And in particular — here — http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794548(EXCHG.80).aspx


Read these threads and in particular watch out for the impact of antivirus on that system – http://forums.msexchange.org/Back_pressure_event_id_15007/m_1800483141/tm.htm




Bottom line, do you homework first.  Wax your doors and test before rolling it out to the rest of the car is my motto!  Conversely understand the impact of the parent on that virtualization as well as the hardware recommendations, Disk I/O and all that stuff you should be thinking of so that you don’t see stress on that virtual platform.  This should not be done on a $699 Dell box special.  Plan and test accordingly.

P.S.  Picture doesn’t do it justice…but you get the idea…



One Response to Testing that virtualization

  1. Dean says:

    The best wax you can get is this


    Don’t argue with me.

    You should use either a clay block like this FIRST


    or a liquid clay.

    The surface will come out as smooth as a babys ass.

    And speaking of babys I thought you were talking about a real baby at first.