Monday, June 22, 2009

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtualizing Exchange Server, Part 2

It isn't easy to measure the consumption of physical resources by servers in virtual machines, since each partition has its' own virtualised view of system resources. Not only that, but there is a subtle difference between virtual processors and physical processors. Brien Posey explains the special performance counters that can be used to get an accurate assessment, and goes on to describe how to test your physical servers to see if they are good candidates for virtualization.

If you read my first article in this series, then you got something of a crash course in Hyper-V’s architecture. Of everything that I covered in that article though, there are two main points that you need to keep in mind:

  1. When it comes to virtualizing Exchange Server, it is critical that you monitor resource consumption so that you can ensure that there are sufficient hardware resources available to effectively service Exchange and any other virtual machines that may be running on the server.
  2. Each of the various resource monitoring mechanisms that I showed you tells a completely different story regarding how much of the server’s physical resources are actually being consumed.

In other words, it is important to find out how much of the server’s resources are being consumed, but you are not going to be able to do so in the usual way.

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