Microsoft removes SVVP Support Policy Wizard..and I think it’s a good thing

Microsoft first released the Server Virtualization Validation Program back in 2008 to help validate their products running on server virtualization technologies (both Microsoft and 3rd party).  Followed soon after that release was a tool called the SVVP Support Policy Wizard which made it very easy to simply plug in your application, OS version, and desired hypervisor and out would come…

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2012 – The Year of SQL Virtualization

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen me say this a few times – 2012 will be the year of SQL virtualization, specifically SQL on vSphere.  I figured it was about time to back that up with some facts and some opinions on just why I am so adamant about that statement. I spend a lot…

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Microsoft Jetstress 2010 now supported in virtual machines

Microsoft announced on the Exchange Team blog today that they now support running Jetstress 2010 inside a virtual machine.  You can read more about it and a little bit of the background on this one at the Exchange Team blog post here. If you aren’t familiar with Jetstress, here’s a two second version:  Jetstress is a tool from Microsoft that…

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Guest clustering on vSphere: A familiar topic revisited

Yes, it’s 2012 and we’re still talking about whether or not organizations should consider running a Microsoft Windows Failover Cluster (sometimes referred to as MSCS clustering) in a vSphere environment.  I know this topic has been written about before by others but I wanted to share some of my own thoughts and experiences around this topic.  My focus these days…

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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…

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Clearing up confusion regarding HA/vMotion support for Exchange 2010

As I discussed last week, Microsoft has updated their guidance and support regarding hypervisor high availability and live migration technologies with Exchange 2010.  This is welcome news for anyone looking to virtualize Exchange 2010 on vSphere, as it now allows you to take advantage of vMotion and HA on all Exchange servers, even those in a Database Availability Group (DAG).…

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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…

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Exploring the performance benefits of VAAI

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I decided to do some testing of one of the coolest new features in vSphere 4.1 – vStorage APIs for Array Integration.  My original thought was to see if the performance benefits of using VAAI would justify more heavily using the eagerzeroedthick VMDK format because of the faster deployment times.  I’ll get to the results…

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Right or wrong, go with what’s supported…

There has been a lot of drama recently between Microsoft and VMware with respect to virtualizing Exchange 2010.  The background and details are summarized well in this article (in which I’m quoted).  I think this situation brings up some important points about virtualizing critical Tier 1 applications – vendor support is very important, and disregarding vendor requirements for support can…

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Three (important) things you might not know about the vmkiscsid.log file

While working on an issue for a client recently I discovered a few things about the vmkiscsid.log file that I didn’t know.  I thought I’d share them in case others didn’t know this information. The vmkiscsid.log file, located in /var/log on your ESX host, maintains information and errors about iSCSI connections.  We had a problem with our SANs where a…

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