Exchange 2007 on VMware for Smaller Business
Running Exchange on VMware doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s a quick road map to help you get started.
- Establish a production-ready ESX platform.
- Build your Virtual Machines for Exchange
- Establish the connector between your existing exchange and your exchange 2007
- Migrate User Mailboxes
- Plan some Soak time and then retire your old exchange server
Establish a production-ready 64 bit ESX platform.
Does it make any sense to virtualize your exchange environment and fail to end up on a supportable production-ready platform? Use a reference architecture rather than re-inventing the wheel. Check the VMware compatibility list before choosing ESX hosts. Pay for the licensed version of ESX and seriously consider using a SAN or NAS. Put Virtualcenter on a box outside the ESX environment. Address backup and restore concerns before proceeding.
Build your Virtual Machines for Exchange
The simplest configuration would be to start with one Virtual Machine. However, you should consider at least splitting the exchange environment into two machines. Client Access and Mailbox Server (or servers).
Establish the connector between your existing exchange and your exchange 2007
You must configure the routing group connectors between Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2007 so that the two servers can co-exist.
Migrate User Mailboxes
Start with a test mailbox and migrate it to the new VMware environment. Don’t forget to test moving a mailbox back to your old environment. When you are satisfied, stage the mailbox migration of the remaining users.
Plan some Soak time and then retire your old exchange server
Let your new environment soak first before retiring your old exchange server.