Well, after having attended TechEd last week and the Microsoft Management Summit in April it’s clear that virtualization, managed via the private cloud needs to be a critical part of a messaging administrator’s proficiencies. In this post I’m going to summarize some of the best practices when virtualizing your Exchange servers in a Hyper-V environment as referenced in a recent whitepaper released by Microsoft.
Scale-Up or Out?
The whitepaper generally recommends that organizations scale up (fewer server, more resources each) rather than out although both options are supported as it largely depends upon the customer’s environment.
Hyper-V Root Sizing
- For RAM calculations add an additional GB of RAM for Windows Server 2008 R2 management
- Dedicated management NIC for the Hyper-V root Server
- When using live migration dedicate a GB NIC
- Separate dedicated NICs for ISCSI
- Separate LUNs/Arrays for Management OS, Guest OS and VM storage
- RAID for data protection
- Blades with two local disks, host only. Guests on DAS or SAN
- BIN file planning, equal to the memory allocated for each VM, stored with the guest VHD
- 10% CPU overhead for hypervisor management of guests
Hyper-V Guest Configuration
- Sized according to physical deployments
- Disable dynamic memory adjustment
- Fixed VHD’s for the virtual OS
- Separate spindles for Exchange from guest OS
- Hub Transport, consider space for message queue database and logs
- Mailbox Role, consider databases, transaction logs, content index and other logs.
Determining Exchange Server Role VM locations
- Deploy the same roles across multiple physical server roots for HA and load balancing
- Do not deploy members of the same DAG or all CAS or HUB on the same root (defeats HA)
- Balance workload across guest VM’s
- Deployment Recommendations
- Design guest VMs according to standard Exchange 2010 deployment principles
- Balance all roles among the root servers in order to maximize physical resources
This is just a quick summary of some of the basic items to take into considering when virtualizing Exchange 2010 with Hyper-V. For full details I recommend reading the entire paper (39 Pages) which can be downloaded here.
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