I want to deploy Exchange Server 2007 on Hyper-V. What works?



I found this useful TechNote on support boundaries for Exchange 2007 running on Hyper-V:


Terms You  Should Know:

Hypervisor— a layer of software sitting just  the hardware and beneath one or more operating systems

Root—the physical machine that runs the hardware virtualization software

Guest—a virtual machine that is running as a child machine of a hardware virtualization environment. The virtual machine typically runs at a second or third level above the hardware in the host machine

Pass-through—storage that is configured at the host level and dedicated to one guest machine


Support Policy and Recommendations for Exchange Server 2007

Microsoft supports Exchange Server 2007 in production on hardware virtualization software only when all the following conditions are met:

            - The hardware virtualization software is Windows 2008 with Hyper-V technology, Microsoft Hyper-V Server, or any   third party hypervisor that has been validated under the Windows Server Virtualization Validation program

            -Exchange application is not Hyper-V aware (no plans to change Setup experience)

            -Build out virtual machine configuration prior to installing Exchange

            -Exchange sizing guidance is the same for physical and Hyper-V systems


Root OS Configuration:

            -Separate LUN’s/Arrays for Root OS, Guest OS VHD’s and Hyper-V/VM Storage

                        -LUN’s should employ RAID to provide data protection and performance

            -Snapshot creation and differencing disks for VM’s are not supported for production Exchange systems

            -Oversubscribing CPU’s greater than 2:1 (Virtual Processor/Physical Core) is not supported for Exchange

            -No Exchange (or other applications) running in Root OS


Guest OS Configuration:

            -W2K8/E2K7 SP1 only

            -Fixed VHD’s for Virtual OS

                        -Need to account for page file consumption in addition to OS requirements        

                                      15GB+VM Memory Size = Minimum VHD Size

            Per VM Disk Requirements for Exchange Roles must include space for .VSV (even if it’s not used)


Exchange Storage Configuration:

            -Storage should be on spindles separate from Guest OS VHD physical storage

            -Exchange storage must be Fixed VHD, SCSI pass-through or iSCSI

            -FC/SCSI HBA’s must be configured to Root OS and LUN’s presented to VM’s as pass-through or VHD


Backup for Virtualized Exchange

            -No integration between Exchange VSS Writer and Hyper-V VSS Writer

            -Must backup from within guest

            -Hardware VSS/VDS does not work


Supported— Windows 2008 + Exchange 2007 SP1; Exchange 2003 SP2

Unsupported— Unified messaging server role; VHD Disks>2040 GB; dynamically expanding virtual disks; virtual disks that use differencing or delta mechanisms


A couple of other notes I have been informed about:

Exchange sizing rule of thumb is it runs at around 98% of physical on Hyper-V so using current sizing tools/guidelines of physical can be used.

For mailbox role, go physical where possible. More information around sizing the mailbox server for Hyper-V to come.

Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I get this question from schools around support for Exchange Server 2007 support on VMWARE and our answer

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mark posted earlier about Exchange 2007 virtualization . My goal is to extend that post with information

  3. Anonymous says:

      I found this useful TechNote on support boundaries for Exchange 2007 running on Hyper-V:  

  4. Anonymous says:

    Configuring Exchange Server 2007 Anti-Spam with Hub Transport What every Exchange admin should know about

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