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Should you host email on virtual machines?
This article is part of the Virtual Data Center issue of May 2008, Vol 2
For IT departments in recent years, deploying and managing email systems have become core missions fraught with challenges. Messaging began as a set of disparate noncritical systems and grew into integrated mission-critical systems with high transaction rates and data retention requirements. But unlike other production systems, they lack the software pieces that make delivery easy or manageable. In addition, messaging systems touch many other IT systems, so they must be somewhat accessible to users outside the enterprise, and they are user interaction intensive. In hopes of curing some of the ills of managing messaging systems, some IT managers now virtualize them. Is this a risky venture that will pose more problems than solutions, or can server virtualization actually reduce deployment risks, overall costs and the management burden? Can portable virtual machines be used to more easily scale growing email systems? Can they simplify disaster recovery? And can they help consolidate satellite servers? In this exploration of ...
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Features in this issue
Virtualization deployments often introduce I/O bottlenecks at various levels of your physical infrastructure and undercut the gains of virtual servers. But with today’s tools, you can identify and loosen I/O choke holds at their source.
Virtualizing mission-critical systems like email can aid with storage and disaster recovery. But without understanding system requirements and mandates like Sarbanes-Oxley, you’ll get derailed
Virtualizing only certain aspects of Microsoft Exchange helps you get the benefits without undermining performance, says an expert.