Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Microsoft Exchange Virtual Machines and your Calendar Migration Test Environment

These days everybody's doing migration testing in their virtual environments.  That's cool with us.

You should start your project by reading Best Practices for Virtualizing and Managing Exchange 2013.  It's a little dense and abstract.

But we also have a few Cliff's Notes (which is a trademark of somebody other than us which we use here metaphorically) to put in front of you for the calendar migration you are testing:

  • Space consumption is a constant battle. To sway the odds in your favor we recommend:
  • DNS vs Firewall. You want to get mail to flow locally, but not leave the testing sandbox.  This is always tricky and you should make sure you've got it right before you go to any appreciable scale with your testing.
  • Keep your Active Directory on a separate Virtual Machine from your Exchange components.  Why?
    • The Exchange VM already has enough to do – don’t add another function to its workload
    • Next, a separate VM for AD should mimic your production architecture. It allows different administrators to manage discrete roles. You might as well start by following best practices.

Keep in mind, these are guidelines for your testing phase to make sure you do not run out of space in defined and constrained virtual environments.  You will want to adopt other behavior when you move to production.

Further good reading:

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