Yes, Exchange Server is being virtualized!

This is an interesting post by Scott Lowe for TechRepublic, where he did a survey/poll about “Long Term use of Exchange” and received about 443 responses:

Of particular note from this survey, 76% say that Exchange is in their long term plans, 54% say on-prem Exchange is what they will stay with and approximately 67% say that have already at least virtualized some of the Exchange infrastructure or will be considering it. Only 33% say they have no plans to virtualize Exchange. This is pretty compelling, even though it was a small sample factor.

Many customers that I am working with have already virtualized parts of their Exchange Server roles or are strongly considering it. Are there arguments for and against virtualizing Exchange Servers? Yes certainly, and for some it may not be a fit and others it can fit well within the overall Enterprise strategy to virtualize most application that can support it. And some roles like Exchange Unified Messaging role are not supported at all being virtualized.

Within EMC, our entire 40,000+ user infrastructure is virtualized on Exchange Server and the organization as a whole is moving towards virtualization of most all applications. Most all of the infrastructures we design and showcase within our Proven Solutions are geared toward virtualization, either with VMWare vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. See my previous blog post on what we recently did with the Tested Exchange Solutions Program case with Cisco and Microsoft where we showcased 34,000 users on Microsoft Hyper-V with Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC Unified Storage.

Some conclusions from Scott’s post about long term uses of Exchange:

  • “If 2/3 of Exchange shops are virtualizing or are considering virtualization, for example, there must be something there worth investigating.”
  • “If you’re wondering about Exchange’s future in light of competition from others, it looks like you don’t need to worry too much. Although there are competitors out there and there will be defections from Exchange to other platforms, many organizations are staying on Exchange, even if a number of them are considering new delivery models (e.g., the cloud).”

Very interesting data, so thanks to Scott for putting this survey together. Definately something to think about if you are currently looking to deploy Exchange 2010.

EMC Whitepaper, Exchange Tested Solutions Program

In my continuing quest to keep you updated on the cool stuff we are doing at EMC with Exchange Server, this update is definately interesting.

We have just released a new whitepaper “Business Continuity of Exchange 2010: Enabled by EMC Unified Storage, Cisco UCS, and Microsoft Hyper-V” that will be a part of Microsoft’s upcoming Exchange Tested Solutions Program (ETS). For those of you familar with the Exchange Solutions Reviewed Program (ESRP), this takes a different approach than ESPP which is primarily focused on storage sizing and JetStress results.  ETS takes solutions to a further step beyond the core performance validation that is done with ESRP. Microsoft will be announcing their formal page for the program soon.

What we are showcasing in this whitepaper is a result of our joint solution development with Microsoft and Cisco that was deployed and tested in Microsoft EEC labs in Redmond. In the whitepaper you will find the reference architecture for 32,400 users across a three site Exchange DAG scenario leveraging Microsoft Hyper-V, EMC NS480 Unified Storage, and Cisco UCS B-series blade servers along with analysis of testing results and key best practices on virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 on Hyper -V on EMC Unified storage and Cisco Unified Computing System.

One of the key things that is answered by this paper is, yes, there is a great fit for Exchange 2010 running in a virtualized infrastructure, be it on Microsoft Hyper-V or on other Hypervisors such as VMWare vSphere. EMC, Microsoft, and Cisco can show you how it’s done.

To read this excellent whitepaper, please see: