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Best Practices for Virtualizing & Managing Exchange 2013

Best Practices for Virtualizing & Managing Exchange 2013

This guide provides high-level best practices and considerations for deploying and managing Microsoft Exchange 2013 on a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V-based virtualization infrastructure. The recommendations and guidance in this document aim to:

  • Complement the architectural design of an organization’s specific environment.
  • Help organizations take advantage of the key platform features in Microsoft Exchange 2013 to deliver the highest levels of performance and availability in a virtualized environment. 

To meet demanding and ever-changing business needs, organizations want their Exchange Server-based messaging solution to rapidly scale and to be highly available at all times. As the demand for Exchange Server resources increases within and across organizations, it becomes important for IT to quickly meet those requirements. At the same time, though, IT is challenged with the need to minimize the cost of underlying infrastructure, effectively manage risk, and save time and effort on management activities. One solution to this challenge is virtualization.

Virtualization is now common in organizations of all sizes. Many have moved beyond the nascent stage into being more advanced users of server virtualization for a variety of workloads, including their messaging systems. These organizations have gained benefits in the areas of cost, efficiency, operations, availability, agility, and resiliency.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, with its enhanced capabilities, can be used to effectively virtualize mission-critical workloads such as Exchange 2013. This guide explains these capabilities in the context of:

  • How organizations can virtualize Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
  • How organizations can benefit from managing this virtualized environment with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1.

Working together, these three industry-leading products deliver an integrated solution that provides low total cost of ownership (TCO) and offers mission-critical scale, performance, and high availability. The solution also provides more enhanced end-to-end security, management, and monitoring capabilities.

Further, many organizations now want to go a step beyond and adopt an IT infrastructure that is optimized for and ready to work in a cloud-based environment. They need an IT infrastructure that can seamlessly span from a private to a public cloud. To achieve this goal, many organizations choose a common virtualization platform across the infrastructure. In this regard, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V offers the best virtualization platform for Exchange 2013.

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