Monday, May 7, 2007

IS VMware Supported on Exchange Server?

This is going to be another short article, and the answers is going to be no. VMware is not supported by Microsoft.

"For customers who purchase VMware products directly or from an authorized reseller) and who do not have a Microsoft Premier-level support agreement, Microsoft's level of support is more restrictive. Microsoft support specialists may request that customers first replicate the issue on a physical machine. Item #897615 in Microsoft's Knowledge Base describes this policy"

Imagine, the efforts we will have to spend the simulate the same issues on hardware platform, before PS helps you out.

Read VMware

This is the biggest concern of mine. Otherwise VMware solution has no difference as hard ware platform from my Experience.

Since Microsoft is not supporting, I would say no, going for VMware solution, if paid Microsoft PS support is need, I am sure first thing the Microsoft PS person will find out, VMware is running and there will be no support. Okay let's forget about Microsoft support, assume you are the hero Exchange guru and can fix everything by your own,

You might have a big problem, because most of the Microsoft Tools will catch, notice the VMware platform and won't work. This will be big issues to get the work done.

Based on these reasons I have listed above, do not use VMware in production environment

I have configured two of our bridge head server on VMware, by knowing this. The performance or any other aspects anyone can think of is the same if these servers were on hard ware platform. But again if I ever need support I know I am not getting it, so it is catch 20 situation.

"Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software"



Oz Ozugurlu


Pat C said...

I have been using VM Ware for over 3 years mostly without incident. My base OS is Linux. I have tried MS virtual sever and it is far less reliable and stable. I firmly believe that MS virtualization stance is firstly another attempt to maintain thier monopoly by procluding other vendors. Secondly an easy cop out on their part to ignore what will most likely amount to 25% or more of their support requests. I find it very hard to believe that presemting a consistent virtual hadwsre platform to Windows is going to be less predictable to troubleshoot than the hundreds of physical hardware combinations available today.

I say we start a movemt either create a tool to mask the VMWare tagged identifiers in the Windows guest os or a simple find and replace tool that will parse the Windows diagnostic reports requested by MS support. I just had Partner support pull the VM Ware cop out on me this morning as a cause for their bug even though my other five server running that platform ran the software without an issue.

Oz Ozugurlu said...

Pat C, I agree the decision is very politic, and to be honest I never supported it personally. VMware is number one in virtualization with no questions. The point is that, we as administrators cannot implement solution, which is not supported by Microsoft in the production network. Even troubleshooting tools will not work. Other than this, I do not think there is any difference running Physical server or Virtual server as long as there are enough resources allocated.
Thanks one more time for the feedback

Best regards