Thursday, December 16, 2010

Exchange 2010 Virtualisation Support

I have decided to post this for those of you not familiar with Microsoft's stance on virtualising Exchange Server 2010 as there seems to be conflicting reports of what is and is not supported within a virtual environment.

Microsoft supports Exchange Server 2010 in a virtualised environment with just two exceptions.

Hyper V is of course supported as well as all vendors that are listed on the 'Server Virtualisation Validation Platform' listed here:

The Exchange 2010 UM role is the only role not supported in a virtual environment (it still works if you want to try it, just not supported by MS!)

Here's the catch however that most people are not aware of - Microsoft DO NOT support a virtualised DAG environment if the DAG servers are made Highly Available (HA) within the HyperVisor. Again, this configuration will work if you set it up this way, however, if you have problems and want to call Microsoft for support, they won't want to know if you have the DAG members Highly Available and configured to fail over to another host in the event of hardware failure.

Amazingly though, VMWare are quoted as recommending their VMWare HA Solution with the Exchange application-aware high availability solution which is an unsupported configuration!!

Here is a link from the Microsoft Exchange Team's Official Blog and it makes for some interesting reading on the subject!

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