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Virtualizing Exchange and Scaling Up

I have to admit – Exchange virtualization is one of my favorite topics.  I love talking about it with customers, colleagues, or anyone who will listen. It has a very well known workload profile which makes sizing consistent, it’s virtualization friendly in that it supports vSphere features like vMotion and HA, and I like talking about the challenges and creative solutions that are sometimes required to virtualize it. Yep, Exchange virtualization is my pal. I’m also very familiar with its

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Changes in support for virtual machine snapshots for SQL Server

First off, I have to say that writing a book and working on a challenging project for a customer at the same time does not translate well into having a lot of time to blog.  Shame on me – I need to do better. Back to business.  Last year I wrote an article about using virtual machine snapshots with business critical applications like Exchange and SQL.  In it I provided a quote from Microsoft’s support policy for running SQL Server

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Isolated clusters for mission critical applications?

I’ve seen a theme at several customers who are virtualizing mission critical applications on vSphere: The isolated vSphere cluster used just for that application.  I’ve seen organizations do this many times when virtualizing Exchange 2010, often dedicating two or three vSphere hosts just for Exchange and related components (domain controller, virtual load balancer, etc). There are several (understandable) reasons why organizations choose to go down this road.  The most common I’ve heard are: 1) “I don’t want my Exchange/SQL/SharePoint guys

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vSphere and Exchange admins can live in harmony – Microsoft finally supports HA and vMotion

This Saturday, Microsoft published a new white paper entitled “Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper V” that provides a lot of great info that is applicable to VMware as well.  One of the most important things in this entire document is a change in policy regarding supporting virtualized Exchange 2010 with Database Availability Groups (DAG) in combination with hypervisor high availability and live migration.  Previously Microsoft did not support the use of high

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