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Enthusiast

Anyone have Experience or Advice on Migrating Existing Exchange to ESX 3.5?

Our organization would like to migrate and update our physical Exchange 2003 server (Information Store 300GB) from its tiring old server to our new soon to be purchased Servers and SAN to run our enterprise virtual servers. In the process upgrade it to Exchange 2007. We currently have 12 blades and several iSCSI SANs running about two dozen virtualized servers and hundreds of virtual desktops. I've been virtualizing all sorts of stuff for the last year including our web server but nothing quite as big as our Exchange server. Does anyone have any wise advice you can throw my way. Any gotchas? I really want to get this done this summer and in the process upgrade it to Exchange 2007.

I've been doing my homework but this is going to be a big one.

Thanks for any advice,

Ty

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7 Replies
jbruelasdgo
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

you could take a look at this:

http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1455

http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1181

hope it is helpful

regards

Jose Ruelas

Jose B Ruelas http://aservir.wordpress.com
MattG
Expert
Expert

I upgraded from Exchange 5.5 physical to Exchange 2003 virtual in ESX 2.5.

The easiest route is to create a Exchange 2003 VM and begin moving MBs to the new VM.

The biggest concern with virtualizing Exchange 2003 is disk IO. Make sure you throw enough dedicated IOs at the VM...just like what you would do in a physical instance. Going to 2007 just throw alot of memory at it and it should alleviate the disk IO concerns.

If I were in your situation, I would look into upgrading to vSphere before virtualizing Exchange as vSphere is supposed to have some serious IO enhancements.

-MattG






If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".

-MattG If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
Lightbulb
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Good docs jbruelasdgo.

I would skip trying to P2V the EX 2003 system fraught with possible problems and not really needed.

Migrate your exchange 2003 env to Virtual Exchange 2007

Take a look at

The most important thing is to setup the storage on the exchange 2007 VMs correctly (almost anything else in a virtual world can be tweaked latter) Think high performance RAID 10 LUNS presented to VMs as RDMs

Take your time and plan it all right with regression plans and you should be fine.

dconvery
Champion
Champion

I have done a couple Exch2003 migrations using P2V methods. Just disable ALL mail and transactional services before the P2V. DIsabling them prevent them from starting on the VM until you finish the cleanup step.

I have done migrations using SAN LUNs for the mail stores. Thes I just re-presented to the ESX cluster and made them RDMs. I have also done migrations to VMDKs without issues. The KEY is to disable the services before the P2V.

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Dave Convery, VCDX-DCV #20 ** http://www.tech-tap.com ** http://twitter.com/dconvery ** "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I am just curious what the best SAN configuration recommendation for a Exchange setup? I was thinking of getting a MD3000 with 13 10K drives. What would be the best raid setup/lun setup for this setup? Any opinions? How many mail stores would you be able to run off this kind of setup? (say I want to consolidate three physical mail servers into three separate vm's mail server, front end server, and a public folder server).

http://www.virtualizationimpact.com http://www.handsonvirtualization.com Twitter: @jfranconi
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JohnADCO
Expert
Expert

You want to end up on Exchange 2007? I'd set up a new VM from scratch and use MS migration tools.

Your biggest challenge if there is one, is support extremely busy transaction logging. We only have about 100 users on our exchange and have had no issues with this.

Your RAID plan sounds more than fine.

Any PtoV that large really should be done over USB drives. I mean, it's gonna take a looooooong time for that to PtoV over a gig network connection.

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dconvery
Champion
Champion

I agree with John and i should have specified in my post that this was for P2V of Exch2003 only if you did not plan on an upgrade in the near future. If you also plan on upgrading, then create fresh Exch 2007 VMs and perform a mailbox migration.

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Dave Convery, VCDX-DCV #20 ** http://www.tech-tap.com ** http://twitter.com/dconvery ** "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
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