Yes, Exchange Server is being virtualized!
This is an interesting post by Scott Lowe for TechRepublic, where he did a survey/poll about “Long Term use of Exchange” and received about 443 responses:
Of particular note from this survey, 76% say that Exchange is in their long term plans, 54% say on-prem Exchange is what they will stay with and approximately 67% say that have already at least virtualized some of the Exchange infrastructure or will be considering it. Only 33% say they have no plans to virtualize Exchange. This is pretty compelling, even though it was a small sample factor.
Many customers that I am working with have already virtualized parts of their Exchange Server roles or are strongly considering it. Are there arguments for and against virtualizing Exchange Servers? Yes certainly, and for some it may not be a fit and others it can fit well within the overall Enterprise strategy to virtualize most application that can support it. And some roles like Exchange Unified Messaging role are not supported at all being virtualized.
Within EMC, our entire 40,000+ user infrastructure is virtualized on Exchange Server and the organization as a whole is moving towards virtualization of most all applications. Most all of the infrastructures we design and showcase within our Proven Solutions are geared toward virtualization, either with VMWare vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. See my previous blog post on what we recently did with the Tested Exchange Solutions Program case with Cisco and Microsoft where we showcased 34,000 users on Microsoft Hyper-V with Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC Unified Storage.
Some conclusions from Scott’s post about long term uses of Exchange:
- “If 2/3 of Exchange shops are virtualizing or are considering virtualization, for example, there must be something there worth investigating.”
- “If you’re wondering about Exchange’s future in light of competition from others, it looks like you don’t need to worry too much. Although there are competitors out there and there will be defections from Exchange to other platforms, many organizations are staying on Exchange, even if a number of them are considering new delivery models (e.g., the cloud).”
Very interesting data, so thanks to Scott for putting this survey together. Definately something to think about if you are currently looking to deploy Exchange 2010.