Nice Windows VM you’ve got there…

It would be a real shame if something happened to it — something that required Microsoft Product Support.

Every so often, VMware hears from a customer that has just spoken to Microsoft Product Support and has been erroneously told that Microsoft software is not supported on VMware products.  That’s just about the last thing you — and your management — want to hear in the middle of a significant server virtualization project.

Fortunately, these problems usually go away as fast as they appear.  A quick visit to the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) website is enough to assure all parties involved that recent VMware ESX releases are absolutely a supported virtualization solution for your Microsoft workloads.

This confusion is often initiated by a Microsoft KB article that states, in part:

Except as described in this article, Microsoft does not test or support Microsoft software running together with non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software.

At first glance, one may quickly draw the incorrect conclusion that VMware is not supported.  That’s unfortunate, and until more people — including everyone in Microsoft Product Support — know about the SVVP, this is likely to continue.

I was curious to know why Microsoft support would often not know about the SVVP and the official Microsoft stance on VMware ESX support, so I sent one of my spies to Redmond to dig a little deeper.  It turns out that the Hyper-V marketing team arranged for a special Outlook email filter to be added to every support mailbox:

Standard Outlook rule for Microsoft Product Support.

So there you have it — if Microsoft would just get the word out about SVVP, it would go a long way in satisfying the Microsoft/VMware customers in need of support.

By the way, Ryan Russell recently wrote about an experience he had when trying to get Microsoft to support an application on ESX, you might want to check it out.

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4 comments

  1. Ryan Russell’s avatar

    Thanks for the link.

    it’s worth noting that while Microsoft Support didn’t try to deny supporting Windows itself on ESX, they were reusing to support my exact combination of Exchange and Windows. They seem to have started a new thing where they have decided to “certify” the applications on VMs. Only on VMs, not physical hardware. And only if you use a non-Microsoft VM solution.

    1. Eric Gray’s avatar

      I suppose being late to market with an inferior solution does sort of force them down this path — unfortunately for customers.

    2. wharlie’s avatar

      I realise your post is light-hearted, but here is the skinny on Exchange support for virtaulization:
      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794548.aspx
      The following is a summary:

      Exchange Server 2003 only on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or later.

      Exchange Server 2007 on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, Hyper-V Server, or any third-party hypervisor that has been validated under the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program ie ESX 3.5 U2 or later. Exchange Server vm must be deployed on the Windows Server 2008.

      Sorry if this is already in Ryan’s blog but I’m at work and they block Blogspot 🙁

      1. Eric Gray’s avatar

        Wharlie, thanks for that input, it is valuable. What you outline is exactly the point of Ryan’s issue — when virtualized, Exchange needs to be on a particular OS, not just one of the several supported operating systems. In other words, why can’t Exchange be deployed on a virtual Windows 2003 system if that configuration is supported on physical?

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