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Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: Building a Better Platform With VMware Infrastructure 3

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Executive Summary

Microsoft Exchange is the most widely used email system in the world. It's operational and performance characteristics are well understood and best practices for design, deployment and operation are readily accessible. Exchange continues to evolve through enhanced features and functionality and by addressing previous limitations with each successive new version. The Microsoft Support Considerations are Support for Exchange 2007 running on VMware Infrastructure 3 and Relaxed policies for application license mobility. The performance characteristics of Exchange 2003 directly correspond to those of the Windows 32-bit architecture and its inherent limitations. The type of disk I/O generated by Exchange 2003 can influence performance as well. Exchange 2003 was designed to generate highly randomized I/O traffic in very small (4Kb) chunks. Testing performed by VMware and its partners has demonstrated the viability of running Exchange 2003 with VMware Infrastructure 3. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 includes a number of enhancements in architecture, remote access, operational efficiency, and improved end-user experience. The improved roles include Mailbox, Edge transport, Hub transport, Client Access and Unified Messaging. An important benefit of virtualization is abstraction of the operating system and application from the underlying physical server hardware. The critical nature of messaging requires that any new platform chosen for hosting Exchange environments are as reliable and proven as the traditional physical server alternative. More than 100,000 customers worldwide use VMware products.

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