A lot of people are curious to know what Microsoft's official support policy is regarding OpsMgr 2007 running on a virtual machine (VM) so Clive Eastwood, Senior Program Manager for Operations Manager, recently wrote up some guidance that should add a little clarity to the issue:
This article discusses the running of Operations Manager 2007 roles on hardware virtualization software. Microsoft has the following two software offerings that provide this functionality:
- Microsoft Virtual PC
- Microsoft Virtual Server
Third parties also have software on the market that provides this functionality.
This article describes the Microsoft support policy for Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 running on hardware virtualization software (virtual machines).
Microsoft supports Operations Manager 2007 running on hardware virtualization software (virtual machines) only when all the following conditions are true:
- The hardware virtualization operating system is Virtual Server 2005 R2 or a later version.
- The hardware virtualization operating system is Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 or a later version (Only to be used for demonstrating Operations Manager functionality. Not to be used for production environments)
- The Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Virtual Machine Additions are installed on the guest operating system.
- Operations Manager 2007 is configured as a stand-alone server, not as part of a Windows cluster, when installing a Root Management Server (RMS).
Microsoft does not support the following Operations Manager 2007 virtualization scenarios:
- Clustering of the Root Management Server (RMS) on hardware virtualization software.
- Running the Audit Collection Server Collector role on hardware virtualization software
Performance and scalability considerations:
When you plan to deploy Operations Manager 2007 in a virtualized environment, the same performance and scalability aspects that are described in the "Operations Manager 2007 Performance and Scalability White Paper" apply when you size each virtual machine for Operations Manager 2007. However, there are some factors that directly affect the performance and scalability of Operations Manager 2007 when running on Virtual Server 2005 R2. These factors should be considered when you size both the host configurations and the guest configurations.
Virtual machine considerations:
1. Each virtual machine can have only one virtualized x86 CPU. This limits the processing power of the virtualized Operations Manager 2007 installation and restricts the Operations Manager role installations to 32-bit. The server should be sized in such a way that a single CPU can handle the estimated load on the server. Also, the number of virtual machines that are running at the same time on the host computer will affect the overall performance of the whole system. Therefore consider splitting roles such as RMS, Management Server, Gateway Server, Operational Database Server, Datawarehouse Database Server, Reporting Server and Web Console Server over multiple virtual machines and consider adding dedicated virtual network adapters between database server roles and the Root Management Server (RMS).
2. When you size the disk capacity of the virtual machine, the time that is required to perform a full online backup of the Operations Manager database servers (Operational and Datawarehouse) data over the network should be considered. Consider adding a dedicated virtual network adaptor for Operations Manager Database server backups.
Note: Although you can perform an offline backup of the virtual hard disk (.vhd) files at the host level, this does not replace the need for performing a regular SQL Server database backup of Operational and Datawarehouse databases. For more information about Operations Manager backup and restore processes, see the "Operations Manager 2007 Operations Guide."
3. Create separate fixed-size virtual disks for Operations Manager databases and log files and store them on separate physical drives on the host server.
4. Consider using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to deploy and manage Operations Manager virtual machines together with the Virtual Machine Manager Management Pack to monitor and assess performance of virtualized operations manager roles.
5. Operations Manager performance should be validated before production by testing appropriate agent and management pack installations comparable with those expected in production, where possible.
1. Make sure that the server that is running Virtual Server 2005 R2 is sized correctly to handle the number of virtual machines that you plan to deploy. This estimate should include CPU, memory, network adaptors, and disk configuration.
2. Use a hard disk solution that enables fast access. You can use a SCSI hard disk, a redundant array of independent disks (RAID), or storage area network (SAN) to store the .vhd files that are used by Operations Manager.
3. If an anti-virus program is installed on the host, the anti-virus program should be configured not to scan .vhd files.
Support policy for non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software:
Microsoft has a general support policy for running Microsoft software in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. The policy that is described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article also applies to any version of this product that is running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software:
For more information about the Microsoft Virtual Server support policy, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Note: Operations Manager agent monitoring with Microsoft virtualization software discovers the Windows Computer property “Virtual Machine” which is set to true when the Operations Manager Agent is installed on a virtual machine. This property will remain “False” when the agent is running on non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. Unless the 3rd party vendor supplies a Management Pack to discover their own virtual machine properties it may not be possible from Operations Manager console views to determine real vs virtualized hardware.
When you restart Root Management Server, the Health Service does not start in System Center Operations Manager 2007: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946417
For more information about Virtual Server 2005 R2 performance and scalability, see the "Virtual Server 2005 R2 Administrator’s Guide." To see the "Virtual Server 2005 R2 Administrator’s Guide," visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/virtualserver/2005/proddocs/default.mspx
For more information about Operations Manager 2007 Performance and Scalability, see the "Operations Manager 2007 Performance and Scalability Whitepaper." To see the " Operations Manager 2007 Performance and Scalability Whitepaper" visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/bb498235.aspx.
For more information about the Operations Manager Backup and Restore procedures, see the "Operations Manager 2007 Operations Guide." To see the " Operations Manager 2007 Operations Guide" visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/bb498235.aspx.
Hope this helps!
J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer