Earlier this week, I picked up an e-mail from one of my colleagues where he asked
“Do Microsoft officially support Exchange 2007 on VMware ESX virtual machines?”
That seems a fair enough question – and not an uncommon one either in a world where many organisations operate a virtualise-first policy and so are reluctant to deploy infrastructure applications such as Exchange on physical hardware.
One of our colleagues who specialises in messaging technologies referred us to a post on the Exchange Team blog (should you virtualise your Exchange Server 2007 SP1 environment – of course “should you” and “can you” are very different issues and it may be that the best way to consolidate mailbox servers is fewer, larger servers rather than lots of little virtualised ones) as well as to the excessively wordy Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments on TechNet.
After reading Microsoft knowledge base article 957006 (which Clive Watson referred me to a few months ago) I was pretty confident that Exchange running virtualised was supported as long as the virtualisation platform was either Hyper-V or another technology covered by the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) but we wanted better than “pretty confident” – if the supportability of an environment that we design is called into question later it could be very costly and I wanted a 100% cast iron guarantee.
Then I read Matt McSpirit’s blog post about the SVVP Wizard. This three-step process not only confirmed that the environment was covered but it also gave me the low down on exactly which features were and were not supported.
So, if you’re still not sure if a Microsoft product is supported in a virtualised environment, I recommend checking out the SVVP Wizard.