In the most general sense, virtualizing your Microsoft Exchange Server allows you the freedom to run separate servers on a single machine. While there are many different reasons why a business would want to integrate virtualization within your Microsoft Exchange Server, the most important element to consider is determining whether or not virtualization is right for you is by reviewing the various factors associated with this hosting technique.
Is Your Hardware Compatible?
Before delving into the specifics of hardware virtualization for Microsoft Exchange Servers, it’s essential that you understand the requirements for virtualization. As of 2014, the requirements for Exchange virtualization include:
- Any version of Windows Server that features Microsoft Hyper-V Server or Hyper-V Technology.
- Installation of a third-party hypervisor that’s been validated using the Validation Program by Windows Server Virtualization
- Guest virtual machines must run Exchange 2013 (or newer)
- Guest virtual machines much be deployed on Windows Server 2008 RS SP1
- Host machine running virtualization hardware must feature at least 10GB of free space; however, additional storage capacity is needed to support paging files, management software and dump (crash recovery) files.
Why Choose Virtualization for Microsoft Exchange Server
While there are many reasons why you should consider virtualizing your Microsoft Exchange Server, the exact reason why you may choose to implement this technology depends on your specific business communication goals. Even though these goals are dependent on your specific circumstance, the following reasons are universal benefits of virtualizing Microsoft Exchange:
- Effective Hardware Utilization – In the most general sense, virtualization allows your company to better utilize your existing hardware as you’re able to consolidate a host of services on fewer physical servers. By being able to place Exchange with other virtualized applications on a single server, you’re able to save on rack-space, cooling and power within your data center. In fact, the amount of saving has made virtualization the ideal technique for those looking to “go green” with their IT services.
- Faster Data Recovery – Should a disaster happen to your database, such as physical hardware damage or internal file corruption, Servers that are hosted in a virtualized environment provide a streamlined way to access backed up files and folders. This is an essential feature that may mean the difference between successfully restoring the functionality of your business or being left with years of lost data.
Flexible Testing Environment – Perhaps one of the most important reasons why you should consider virtualizing your Microsoft Exchange Server is to have a powerful, yet flexible, testing environment for applications. Virtualization allows administrators to easily remove or add severs without having to worry about altering the functionality of existing environments. If you’re looking to automatically test your web apps, you should be using a program that can monitor your server and apps. There are a variety of web application monitoring tools available to accomplish this task. One site that I like to look at is WebApplicationMonitoring.net, as they have a nice breakdown of the most popular solutions.