Storage choices when virtualizing Exchange.

Alex Fontana over on the VMware blogs posted a great article on choosing between virtual disks (VMDK files) and Raw-device Mappings (RDM) when virtualizing an Exchange server.   Check it out here: http://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2011/11/virtualized-exchange-storage-vmdk-or-rdm-or.html

I have deployed virtualized Exchange servers on VMDK files in ESXi 4.1 environments without any issues.   I've also used the "In-guest iSCSI" method he talks about in the article, which is one of my personal favorites.  The In-guest iSCSI method is what I use for Exchange servers that reside in my budget lab along with the FreeNAS based Virtual SAN I demonstrated in that series.

For production environments, I've stuck with either RDM, or the In-guest ISCSI, depending on the SAN architecture.  I'll definitely consider VMDK from here on out.

Josh M. Bryant is currently a Director of Technical Account Management at Tanium where he helps customers overcome the challenges of managing very large scale computing environments. Prior to joining Tanium, he was a Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft specializing in Microsoft Exchange Server, and then later a Cybersecurity Architect specializing in Compromise Recovery. Josh is also a Master Sergeant in the Illinois Air National Guard where he manages a team of Systems Administrators maintaining the weapons system for an Air Operations Center.

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