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Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX

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  • Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX

    I'm running out of storage for my database, so I'm thinking about moving it to my ESX server instead.

    How do I do that? keeping in mind that it is mission critical and downtime has to be minimal.

    A guide on how to do this would be appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX

    1. Disk space should not be the trigger for moving the Exchange server to VmWare.
    2. because Exchange is mission critical - I would not recommend you to move the Exchange to VmWare.

    * If you inssist to do it, you can install a new Exchange server on the VmWare and then move the mailboxes + PF to the new server:
    After you will finish to sync the servers, remove the old Exchange server.
    CNE 5, CCA, MCSE NT4.0-2003, MCSE 2003 messaging, Exchange Server MVP.
    Tzahi Kolber - IT Supervisor
    Polycom Israel.


    • #3
      Re: Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX

      Exchange on virtual machines is not supported and will be cause a significant performance hit. I would strongly recommend against putting Exchange on to any kind of virtual machine.

      If you are running out of space then the best option would be to either get some more storage for the server or buy a new machine with more space.

      Simon Butler
      Exchange MVP

      More Exchange Content:
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      In the UK? Hire me:

      Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.


      • #4
        Re: Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX


        Although the original thread dealt with ESX Server, I think that ever since Microsoft released Virtual Server 2005 R2, Exchange is supported as a VM. Correct me if I am wrong.

        The performance issues should be taken into account though, as Simon and Tzahi both said.
        Last edited by danielp; 9th January 2007, 13:20.

        Daniel Petri
        Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services


        • #5
          Re: Moving Exchange 2003 to ESX


          I am currently in the process of migrating from a physical Exchange 5.5 server to ESX VM running Exchange 2003.

          We have a total of 500 users and I am currently only up to 10 users in the VM.

          Definitely check out VMTN for recommendations on Exchange and ESX:

          I have thoroughly investigated Exchange on ESX and there are no practical reasons not to consider it.

          The easiest way to migrate is to create a new Exchange VM and move the mailboxes. The best part of this plan is if you have any issues, you can slow down the moves or even revert if need be.

          I would only consider this move if you have a skilled ESX Admin on site. Otherwise, you and your peers will always assume that perf issues on the new VM are related to ESX, when they may not....or they may but it is related to not configuring the VM/ESX server correctly.

          If you are using SAN I would recommend using RAW LUNS for your DATA drive in the VM. I/O is the biggest bottleneck with Exchange, it is best to have ESX pass as much native I/O request directly to the RAW LUN as possible.

          Good luck.