Exchange 2010 - Virtualize or Not?

We have Exchange 2003 on a physical server and I need to migrate to 2010. I would like to virtualize but I'm not sureif there are any cons to this. Does anyone have any good suggestions as to which is more preferable? What are the pros and cons to each?
Anyone with experience in virtualizing that they would like to share with me?
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
I do not have any experience in consolidating Exchange 2010, came across this pdf which I thought would be useful to you.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 on VMware - Best Practices Guide
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

There is many articles in the Internet for virtualizing Exchange 2010.

Also there is a very good book talking about virtualize some type of servers(AD, SQL and Exchange). This is very good book and you can get plenty information and learn how to, but also what is the best approach on virtualizing some of this servers.

For Virtualize people, this is very good book.

As a complement for  message(that guide is very good and useful).

But also take a look at this:

Microsoft® Exchange 2010 on VMware® Availability and Recovery Options

Hope this can help.

There are many articles regarding running Exchange in a VM. I ran Exchange 2003 in a VM, and am currently running Exchange 2007 in VMs. The only Exchange role that isn't supported in a VM is Unified Messaging. The only other limitation is that Microsoft doesn't support Exchange database availability groups (DAG) in conjunction with VM high availability (Live Migration, VMotion). I have yet to hear why that is the case or what the problems might be, but it's not supported. If you don't plan on using DAG, then it's a non-issue. If you do plan on using DAG, Microsoft says to make the VM non-HA.

Other than the caveats listed above, running Exchange in a VM has all of the pros and cons of running everything else in a VM. Hardware is a lot cheaper when you can run multiple services on the same hardware, for example. Exchange 2010 is a lot less IO intensive than Exchange 2003, which makes it easier to virtualize. My suggestion would be that if you haven't virtualized anything before, you should get some experience before you start with something so central to your operation as Exchange.

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Forgot to add that I virtualize everything, but I have the experience and infrastructure to do it. If you have only 3 servers, for example, and none of them are virtual, it may not be worth it to learn how to do something new.
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

@kevinhsieh always worth learning something new ;)

PS: Good message.

This wizard will tell you what configurations are supported:
Server Virtualization Validation Program
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

@e_aravind did not know this tool/site. Its a good tool to check some Microsoft products on virtualization.

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