Virtualization and Exchange Server 2007 Support

For serveral years, we have had heard in the industry how great virtualization is and how it can save us a fortune in reduced data center foot prints and make our companies more efficient as well as more effective when it comes to moving new products into production and consolidation of servers.
 
The big issue/concern has been whether we can get support from Microsoft for products that we are running in a virtualized environment. Who wants to invest in virtualization if it means that we won’t get the high levels of support that we need for our business critical applications?
 
I remember hearing that when Hyper-V was released that we would be seeing a whole new perspective from Microsoft when it comes to virtualization. One rumor that I heard was that the Hyper-V guys were pushing all of the other product groups to approve and support the use of their products running in Hyper-V instances. It may not be true, but it makes a great deal of sense to me. We can clearly see from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615/en-us that Microsoft’s stance is changing over time as this KB is now (as of 8/19/2008) at version 4.1. It is nice to see changes are taking place all the time.
 
Well, yesterday, Microsoft released a statement regarding virtualization, http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2008/08/19/449621.aspx. The key to this statement is that the product is Exchange Server 2007, which is a huge one when it comes to critical applications. Another key is that they mention Hyper-V and OTHER Hypervisors that have been approved under their new Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP), http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp. Think of it as an HCL for virtualization products. 🙂
 
I expect to hear more announcements in the future.
Personally, I am not a huge fan of virtualizing Exchange or SQL as they are so resource intensive in so many organizations. I can, though, see it in smaller organizations or for smaller implementations of many products where it doesn’t make sense to waste money on server hardware that is not being well utilized. Overall, though, I love virtualization.

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