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Exchange 2010 on VMWare RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are looking at virtualising our Exchange 2010 environment, has anyone done this and is there anything from Microsoft to suggest that this should not be done?  We will also be deploying Unified messaging shortly which would be on VMWare, when I have looked into this before it was suggested that UM should be on physical kit as opposed to virtual!!! 

     

    Thanks

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:47 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    A lot of customer have Exchange 2010 installed on virtual servers in a VMware environment and this is fully supported.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794548(EXCHG.80).aspx

    UM is also supported on VMware after SP1 - it is however not supported to oversubscibe the processors as this would give the users a bad UM experience.

    Leif

    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:11 PM
  • This should be a quite clarifying article on UM and vMotion, as to supported. Just saw it right now:

    Demystifying Exchange 2010 SP1 Virtualization
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/10/11/demystifying-exchange-2010-sp1-virtualization.aspx


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M
    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:13 AM
  • UM is supported now (but look at the requirements), as well as Hyper-V and VMware HA features. For one and a half year we have been running Exchange DAG on two vSphere servers, two different locations, one site in terms of Active Directory without VMware HA.

    The link below mentions a new Microsoft white paper for Hyper-V. Check out if VMware has an updated one.

    Tony Redmond (Thoughts of an IdIdle Mind
    As of today [2011-05-16], the following support scenarios are being updated, for Exchange 2010 SP1, and later:

    * The Unified Messaging (UM) server role is supported in a virtualized environment. [if running Exchange 2010 SP1 - Exchange 2010 RTM is not supported]
    * Combining Exchange 2010 high availability solutions (database availability groups (DAGs)) with hypervisor-based clustering, high availability, or migration solutions that will move or automatically failover mailbox servers that are members of a DAG between clustered root servers, is now supported.”

    The updated support guidance applies to any hardware virtualization vendor participating in the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP)” means that both VMware and Hyper-V are supported.

    Updated virtualization guidelines for Exchange 2010
    http://thoughtsofanidlemind.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/updated-virtualization-guidelines-for-exchange-2010/

    Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on VMware vSphere
    http://www.vmware.com/solutions/business-critical-apps/exchange/resources.html


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M

    • Edited by Jon Alfred Smith Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:16 PM
    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:10 PM

All replies

  • UM is supported now (but look at the requirements), as well as Hyper-V and VMware HA features. For one and a half year we have been running Exchange DAG on two vSphere servers, two different locations, one site in terms of Active Directory without VMware HA.

    The link below mentions a new Microsoft white paper for Hyper-V. Check out if VMware has an updated one.

    Tony Redmond (Thoughts of an IdIdle Mind
    As of today [2011-05-16], the following support scenarios are being updated, for Exchange 2010 SP1, and later:

    * The Unified Messaging (UM) server role is supported in a virtualized environment. [if running Exchange 2010 SP1 - Exchange 2010 RTM is not supported]
    * Combining Exchange 2010 high availability solutions (database availability groups (DAGs)) with hypervisor-based clustering, high availability, or migration solutions that will move or automatically failover mailbox servers that are members of a DAG between clustered root servers, is now supported.”

    The updated support guidance applies to any hardware virtualization vendor participating in the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP)” means that both VMware and Hyper-V are supported.

    Updated virtualization guidelines for Exchange 2010
    http://thoughtsofanidlemind.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/updated-virtualization-guidelines-for-exchange-2010/

    Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on VMware vSphere
    http://www.vmware.com/solutions/business-critical-apps/exchange/resources.html


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M

    • Edited by Jon Alfred Smith Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:16 PM
    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:10 PM
  • Hi,

    A lot of customer have Exchange 2010 installed on virtual servers in a VMware environment and this is fully supported.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794548(EXCHG.80).aspx

    UM is also supported on VMware after SP1 - it is however not supported to oversubscibe the processors as this would give the users a bad UM experience.

    Leif

    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:11 PM
  • This should be a quite clarifying article on UM and vMotion, as to supported. Just saw it right now:

    Demystifying Exchange 2010 SP1 Virtualization
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/10/11/demystifying-exchange-2010-sp1-virtualization.aspx


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M
    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:12 AM
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:13 AM
  • Thanks all
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:13 AM
  • just to add my experience, and also ask for some advice on this.

    I'm running VMWare, with Exchange 2010. 2 CAS's and 2 DAGs spread over two hosts. One domain. It was installed by a 3rd party supplier who say this setup is pretty standard now.  We use Veeam to make backups of the DAGs, and Netbackup to make long-term backups.

    About 1 month after the installation, I noticed that outlook clients overnight would get disconnected from Exchange, prompting the HTTPS Basic password validation (so TCP had dropped).

    We also noticed, that about once a month, we'd see BSODs from the DAGs, both of them, within 20mins of each other.

    It was fairly random.  Since then (almost 4 months ago now)

    For the BSODs I found the blog here which matches my experience, and we examined the MEMORY.DMP files to find it was Clustering of the DAGs initiating the BSOD.  I then figured out that Veeam would start backups, and then the BSODs would happen sometime later, during that backup.  Most days Veeam backups finished in < 20mins. Some days it'd cause the BSOD.

    Via some try-it-and-see testing, we then found that in fact, it was the Snapshotting of VMware causing the cluster to initiate a crash (Veeam initiates a snapshot as part of its backup mechanism).

    Our current theory is that the cluster is doing this because of I/O not 'responding' the way it expects when a snapshot or de-snapshot is happening.

    I tried increasing the cluster timeouts to a full 2s, but we still saw the client disconnects, the BSODs and even Veeam failures to backup.

    Here where it gets tricky.

    -Microsoft says:

    "Some hypervisors include features for taking snapshots of virtual machines. Virtual machine snapshots capture the state of a virtual machine while it is running. This feature enables you to take multiple snapshots of a virtual machine and then revert the virtual machine to any of the previous states by applying a snapshot to the virtual machine. However, virtual machine snapshots are not application-aware, and using them can have unintended and unexpected consequences for a server application that maintains state data, such as Exchange Server. As a result, making virtual machine snapshots of an Exchange guest virtual machine is not supported."

    That says to me, that Microsoft don't support Snapshotting for Exchange.

    -VMWare tells my support company that our environment is supported.

    We've tried several tweaks to the VMs based on advice from VMware, so far no luck.

    -Veeam relies on VMwares snapshotting to even run.

     

    So I've ended up in a perfectly 'standard' setup, but 'possibly unsupported' depending on who you talk to. Very fustrating.


    We're now trying various different settings, even reverting back to some Exchange 2007 type of setup to try and stop it happening.

    Friday, November 4, 2011 10:13 AM
  • I got one prob when installing in vmware. install vmware tools before installing exchange. dont install vmware tools after intalling exchange server 2010.
    Friday, November 4, 2011 10:46 AM