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Exchange 2003 on vmware ESX 3.0.2 or not ?

Posted on 2007-11-14
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Last Modified: 2008-02-25
Hi all

I have an exchange 2003 SP2 in a active/passive cluster environment.
Because we are using fiber and veritas enterprise manager to go to our san storage on netapp (which is not supported by netapp), we are planning to migrate to something else.
We have two options to do this:

Option1:
Install a new exchange 2003 cluster on new hardware and using iscsi to connect to our netapp storage. We also want to use snapdrive and snapmanager for exchange (netapp products).

Option2:
Install exchange 2003 on our vmware environment as a single server (no cluster) and use Vmotion, HA, ... to "replace" the cluster.
We have ESX 3.0.2 and connecting to our storage with NFS.


Which option would you guys prefer and why ?

Thanks,
Robin
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Question by:Geert Bettens
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4 Comments
 
LVL 6

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by:AbhijeetNigam
AbhijeetNigam earned 100 total points
ID: 20279845
I would suggest option one is good keeping performance in mind. I dont recommend keeping production on virtual environment untill we have a very less number of users
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by:ParvinderSohal
ParvinderSohal earned 100 total points
ID: 20279869
I would stick with option 1. for better performance.
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LVL 22

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robocat earned 400 total points
ID: 20280032
This is a well kept secret, but NFS actually outperforms iSCSI on VMWare by 30% to 45% if all else is kept the same. We can testify to this.

Is some cases NFS can even outperform Fibre Channel.

There are 2 reasons for this, the elimination of the slow VMFS filesystem (replaced by WAFL) and the fact that there's no longer a single I/O queue for each datastore.

Google for keywords: netapp nfs vmware datastore
This is currently a hot topic on lots of sites.
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LVL 22

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by:ATIG
ATIG earned 400 total points
ID: 20280261
You can look at my blog to see who I work with.......

even if going to vmware  vmotion give the ability to move the box while running,
HA is more of failover but could take 20 minutes to kick in...

with that said  vmware is a great solution but remember MS does not 100% support virtualisation of Exchange and if you run into problem may be ask to build a physical machine.

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