Wednesday 18 May 2011

Microsoft Download: Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V

The following document is available for download on Microsoft’s Download site.


The document is an excellent source of great information on all aspects of virtualizing Exchange 2010.

Since SBS 2011 contains Exchange 2010, this document is for us! :)

From the document on sizing the host server:

Hyper-V Root Sizing

The largest consideration for sizing the Hyper-V root server is accommodating the guests it will support. However, there are a number of other factors to take into account:

  • When calculating the RAM requirements on the Hyper-V root server, plan for an additional 1 GB or more of RAM for management of Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Plan for a dedicated network interface card (NIC) for managing the Hyper‑V root server. This card should not be connected to a local Hyper-V virtual switch.
  • For a simple virtual network configuration that establishes connectivity to an external network, we recommend that you have at least two network adapters on the server running Hyper-V: one network adapter dedicated to the management operating system so you can access it remotely, and one or more network adapters dedicated to the virtual machines.
  • If using live migration, plan for a dedicated NIC of 1 GB or higher due to the large amount of data moved across network.
  • If Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage is being used, choose dedicated, separate NICs for iSCSI storage.
  • Plan for separate LUNs/arrays for the management operating system, guest operating system virtual hard disks (VHDs), and virtual machine storage.
  • Management operating system and VHD LUNs should employ a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) to provide data protection and improve performance.
  • For blade servers that have two physical disks, use the two physical disks for the host server only. Have the guests on direct-attached storage exposed as pass-through disks, or a separate storage area network (SAN),
  • In a Hyper-V environment, a temporary memory storage file (BIN file) is created and maintained for each guest virtual machine. The size of each BIN file is equal to the amount of memory allocated to the guest virtual machine. The BIN file is stored alongside the Hyper‑V guest virtual hard disk and should be taken into account when determining the amount of disk space required on the Hyper‑V root server.
  • The hypervisor running on the Hyper‑V root server has to manage each of the running Hyper‑V guests, resulting in extra load on the root server processors. This overhead can vary and a conservative allowance of 10 percent overhead should be allowed when sizing the host processors.

The document is definitely worth the read . . . right through.

For those of us that have been configuring hardware and/or building out hardware for server OSs hosted on Hyper-V the document provides a good guideline for us to investigate other avenues of systems design and configuration including Hyper-V Clusters.

It can also help us to tailor our standalone solutions for new SBS 2011 VM based deploys on standalone Hyper-V hosts since Exchange 2010 seems to be the number one question mark when it comes to configuring the host hardware.

Hat Tip: Susan Bradley

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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