We would like to use a virtual server (VMware) as the passive node in the cluster (still keep the active node as a physical server). Have you heard of other firms doing this on any sizeable scale? Microsoft only recently backed off on its stand of non-support for Microsoft Exchange on a virtual server. Any advice you have on possible pitfalls is appreciated.
Overall status: Common Engineering Criteria Report
I believe that Microsoft recognizes the importance that virtualization plays in the information technology space. Even after looking at the above link on Exchange 2003 SP2, I think you can pontificate some movement towards the virtualization trend.
Furthermore, Microsoft just released this week at IT FORUM in Barcelona that Exchange 12 will ship 64-bit only. (See: Bob Muglia's keynote address on November 15)
It would seem making the investment in total virtualization will come when 64-bit is available for both the underlying infrastructure, and the architecture of the messaging platform. 64-bit is the space to achieve worthwhile results in both performance and scalability.
I would personally avoid virtualizing the Exchange 2003 passive nodes at this point. I think it would be unadvisable. I would take a wait-and-see approach to the roadmap Microsoft is taking on this topic.
If I had to speculate, I believe you will see the complete support and implementation of virtual platforms in the forthcoming releases of both the operating system and applications.
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