Well, Hyper-V launched in June 2008 and the Exchange product group promised to revise their support strategy for running Exchange products within a virtual environment. That statement has been out for a few weeks now, so I thought it would be a good time to discuss what it actually means...
First of all here is a link to the support policy and recommendations paper for Exchange 2007 on Microsoft Virtualization technology.
So, if your using Hyper-V you can virtualize the Exchange 2007 SP1 64 bit versions of Mailbox, Hub Transport and Client Access Server Roles and remain supported. Unified Messaging is currently only supported on physical hardware.
So what if you want to run Exchange 2007 on your non Hyper-V virtual platform? Well, there is good news. Here is a link to the support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software.
So as long as your virtualization platform is listed under the SVVP agreement and the hypervisor has been validated, you get the same level of support as customers using Hyper-V. Currently the only other validated hypervisor is VMware ESX 3.5u2.
All things considered, it means that there are now viable options for running Exchange in a virtual environment.
Just to finish this post off, I wanted to provide this link which contains all of the Microsoft server software that is supported running in a validated hypervisor.
Neil Johnson, MCS