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January 19, 2009


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Why virtualize Exchange on VMWare? Hyper-V is better installed, supported, and is free. And, EMC is a Microsoft partner. They just forget that sometimes ;-)


Yeah, why go with a superior product like VMware, I mean, Hyper-V is good enough...*gack*

Chad Sakac

George - we don't forget... There's a huge group within EMC that support Hyper-V. Like all big companies, we're not monolithic. Perhaps most importantly, we support what our customers ask us for.

Right now, when it comes to "virtualizing the datacenter" (as opposed to "virtualize test and dev", there's just no comparison - I haven't met a customer yet using Hyper-V in that context.

I would disagree with "better installed" (not sure what that means per se), "supported" (the SVVP program is clear and simple - Microsoft supports VMware, period - it's old news - and heck, there are more ESX SVVP submissions than anything else). Regarding "free" - both Hypervisors are free.

Customers themselves tell me, though that when they do the full analysis of the capex picture and the opex picture, they're sticking with, and in fact accelerating their VMware adoption (Bill's point in the thread here)

We DO have similar reference architectures starting up on Hyper-V (it is simply newer so there are less). My colleague Brian Henderson heads up this effort (damn you Brian! :-), and you can find his blog here: http://powerwindows.wordpress.com/


Great Points Chad;
I(and my team) test both hypervisors for EMC, along with many other test teams at EMC. And as stated above did take convincing to even virtualize Exchange in any form. Being a Ranger back then meant using the known best practices, and never recommend anything else.

Chad convinced me, just test it and see. If it works or not at least we tested it. Well folks I can tell you it worked great. To date not a single corrupted database or log in any VMware testing. Have you tried Vmotion/DRS with Exchange, nothing like being able to perform hardware maintenance without server/user downtime.

Now that Hyper-V has RTM'ed we are also testing W2k8/Exchange 2007 SP1 vigorously as we did VMware with all EMC products, and retesting anything that was pre-SVVP.

I am far from a drone and never afraid to express my feelings, and trust me there were some very heated discussions between Chad and I about this, which is the great part about Chad, he has not problem hearing all sides. In the end, it worked and still working great. No caveats.

Derrick Baxter
Microsoft Certified Master |Exchange 2003
MCITP EA 2008 | MCSE 2000/2003 Messaging | MCSE 4.0 +I
MasterCNE Connectivity
MOF/ITIL/Six Sigma Yellow Belt
(many more but you get the idea)

And its still funny when I read it :)
Save those Penguins.

Brian Henderson

Thanks for the damning, i mean the plug :)

You can be sure when those Hyper-V architectures roll out they will be in heavy rotation over at the Power Windows blog.

One thing we're seeing in early testing and reports from Microsoft confirm this... for pure consolidation, it really doesn't matter which hypervisor you go with - virtualized Exchange makes sense from a cost, management, and flexibility perspective. The Microsoft hypervisor implementation is better in some ways by offering tighter integration with core Windows technologies such as clustering, VDS, VSS, SCOM, SCCM, etc. For example, Cluster Enablers with Hyper-V work really well...

But it's worse in some ways by blocking certain SCSI commands due to excessive but justified security fears (VMware has figured this out a few versions back). It's also behind in some major features that customers like, such as memory 'ballooning' and the eagerly awaited Live Migration functionality coming in the 2008 R2 release.

The VMware hypervisor implementation is more generic and less focused on pure MS shops but since it's been around longer, there is more integration, less growing pains, and more stability overall.

We are very interested to see how Hyper-V and ESX scale in comparison to each other without a biased slant.

In the field, I am not yet seeing a lot of uptake in pure, Microsoft only (Exchange and Hyper-V) virtualization deployments.

This is because Microsoft's product hasn't been around long, because people like to go with the trusted/mature solution, and perhaps because of some of Microsoft's own conflicting messages regarding the benefits of virtualization.

Microsoft is an important EMC partner and we are working with joint customers regardless of their hypervisor choice.

And I'm thrilled I get to work with smart people like Derrick to help prove these points.


Werner Ladders

Hyper-V is a really good product.

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