Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

3.01 and MS Exchange

Posted by martijnl on October 3, 2006

In earlier posts I commented on what we will not virtualize. One of the application I mentioned was MS Exchange due to the lack of 64bit support (needed for Exchange 2007).

With the release of VI3.01 today there is production support for W2003 64 bit edition but in the end we decided against virtualizing our Exchange environment. Apart from the extra licensing for VI3 which makes it more expensive than just replacing the servers we feel it will make our environment more complex a bit too soon.

Because of our experiences with Exchange we would still cluster the servers with MS Cluster Services but at the moment only a handful of SAN’s support VMotion for MS clustered servers so we would need to take extra measures with regards to which host an Exchange cluster VM is located.

Should the replacement of the Exchange servers have come somewhere in 2007 we might have made a different decision but at the moment we don’t want to make that step yet.

The projected Exchange environment is as follows:

  • 2 Exchange Frontend servers (IBM x3550) in loadbalanced cluster
  • 3 Exchange Backend servers (IBM x3650) in active-active-passive configuration
  • 1 Bridgehead server (IBM x336, will become available through virtualization)
  • 1 Global Catalog (IBM x346, will also become available through virtualization)

All the new servers (the x3550 and x3650) will have the new dual core Xeon’s. This is an environment sized for heavy traffic on 4000 mailboxes and 10000 public folders.

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