Transitioning from Exchange 2003 Physical to Exchange 2007 Virtual

Compared to past versions, the architecture of Exchange 2007 is split up into various smaller roles, each of which can run on  a single physical box or a single virtual machine atop a larger physical box. Also, did you know there is no way to do an “in-place upgrade” to Exchange 2007 from a previous version.   So, you will need to buy new 64 bit hardware to support the new infrastructure, and you will be building this environment next to your existing Exchange 2000/2003 production deployment.  And then you will move mailboxes over… one server at a time.  And… almost forgot… the economy sucks, so people are looking for ways to save costs.

More than ever before, I think now is a great time to make the move to a virtualized environment for Exchange 2007.    Really, there are no major downsides anymore.


VMware has shown how you can reduce costs through server consolidation.  It’s supported.  It’s documented. And it scales.

Yep, have you how we put 16,000 Exchange users onto a single virtualized server?   (it’s very short, with lots of pics). 🙂


Besides taking the time to go out and learn about virtualization, what reasons is there for not virtualizing Exchange?

(this is a scheduled post. I’m actually on vacation somewhere in the middle of Florida. It’s got a monorail and rides and princesses(!) for the little ones.  Yeah, that place. Anyway, if you comment, don’t be offended if it takes me awhile to get back to you, I could be in a 2 hour long line to see Cinderella.)


2 thoughts on “Transitioning from Exchange 2003 Physical to Exchange 2007 Virtual

  1. Shawn Workman

    I am doing the exact opposite of this right now 🙂 We want to free up our virtual environment and leverage it a little more instead of allocating a large chunk of the resources to Exchange.

    I do feel a little more comfortable having my Exchange Organization on physical machines. I may change my mind at some point in the future, but for now, I am happy we are moving virtual to physical.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love our VMWare Environment, and our 2003 cluster has been chugging along for several years.

  2. Brian Post author

    Very interesting!

    If you are migrating to Exch 2007, it would clearly make sense to virtualize the infrastructure roles (everything but the mailbox servers). Virtualized mailbox servers are almost a religious war. We can show you our “bible” that says whatever, but in then end you believe what you want!

    But… I would agree that Exchange is probably something I would virtualize AFTER some of the other low hanging sweet things – DC’s, AD, DNS, DHCP, Web/IIS, etc come to mind.


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