Microsoft Virtualization and Licensing Announcements


Today Microsoft announced some significant changes to its licensing and support policies for applications in hardware virtualization environments. There are two key parts of the announcement worth highlighting for Exchange customers:

  1. Microsoft now supports Exchange Server 2007 SP1 running Hyper-V or hypervisors validated under the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).
  2. Microsoft is waiving its 90-day license reassignment policy to enable customers who virtualize Exchange to move their licenses between servers within a data farm as often as necessary.

As part of the updated support policies, we have published an article called Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments. This article includes Microsoft’s support policy and recommendations for running Exchange Server 2003 in a Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 environment. It replaces Microsoft Knowledge Base article 320220, which previously detailed the policy and recommendations for this environment. In addition, this article includes Microsoft’s support policy and Microsoft’s recommendations for running Exchange Server 2007 SP1 in a hardware virtualization environment.

Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments is a must-read for anyone considering a virtualized Exchange environment.

To learn more about the Microsoft-wide changes to licensing and support, see:

Comments (10)
  1. bday says:

    Great! We really need more and more OEM support of applications on

    hypervisors to get a real ROI. Right now you sometimes have to take a risk of living in unsupportedville to utilize your virtual inrastructure. This is a great step forward.

    Knowing you guys probably dogfooded the hell out of this. How many mailboxes (and what kind of IOPS profile) did you get onto a single virtualzed mailbox server? :)

  2. JHizzie says:

    I didn’t see VMware listed on the supported vendors list….no surprise there, but still a disappointment.

  3. Mark says:

    So, I’m waiting for the catch. I reckon it’ll be something along the lines of "yes, we’ll support you on other hypervisor based solutions but we won’t support you unless you can prove that you shut the Exchange server down before you used VMotion to move it to another Host" (Which yes, isn’t actually what you’re supposed to do with Vmotion but it works for illustrative purposes).

    I hope VMware step up to the plate on this one and get on the list. I also hope that all the back channels are working to ensure that MS, for once, embrace the SAN, VMotion and VMware HA without any of those petty little caveats.

  4. Matt says:

    Need VMWare listed for this to mean anything…

  5. David says:

    VMware (and Cisco) is going to be on the list according to this link

    http://www.virtualization.info/2008/08/cisco-vmware-signs-microsoft.html

    So it makes the change pretty sunstantial I say. That and the changes listed here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/aug08/08-19EasyPathPR.mspx

    David

  6. Mark King says:

    Matt.  While VMware is not currently listed you should know that VMware is going to submit their hypervisor to be certified by Microsoft.  see here (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/081908-vmware.html)

    While I am a huge fan of Hyper-V and think it has enormous potential and in many ways is several steps beyond VMware (paravirtualization) I have far more clients on VMware at this point and this is a huge step for Microsoft and all the organizations that run non-Microsoft and Microsoft based virtualization platforms.

  7. Michael Ghekiere says:

    VMWare is there now.

  8. turkey says:

    I didn’t see VMware listed on the supported vendors list….no surprise there, but still a disappointment.

  9. Jb VERNEJOUX says:

    In the "Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments" , something is not very clear: Exchange 2003 and Hyper-V virtualization.

    So:

    Is Exchange 2003 officialy SUPPORTED OR NOT in some W2003 (32bits – of course-) guests virtualized in an Hyper-V host ?

    Cf section of your Support Policy:

    Support Policy and Recommendations for Exchange Server 2003:

    Microsoft supports Exchange Server 2003 in production on hardware virtualization software (virtual machines) only when all the following conditions are true:

    – The hardware virtualization software is Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or any later version of Microsoft Virtual Server.

    …/…

    ————–

    It could be said : Hyper-v is "the later version of Microsoft Virtual Server", isn’t it ?

    So Exchange 2003 could be supported in Hyper-v guests ?

    Wrong or right ?

  10. Exchange says:

    JB VERNEJOUX,

    Hyper-V is NOT a "later version of Virtual Server". It is in fact fundamentally different product that is architectured differently than Virtual Server. Because of that, the assumption that Exchange 2003 is supported on Hyper-V is not correct. The difference between those two go way beyond the name of the product.

Comments are closed.