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Exchange Server is running Virtual Server 2005 with another Exchange Server installed as a Guest

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=34707.]  

Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool reads values in the following registry key to determine whether the server is a virtual server:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Installer\Products\354F2D7F395B57846953B997DF778AC1

The Exchange Server Analyzer also checks for the following registry value:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Virtual Machine\Guest\Parameters

Additionally, the Exchange Server Analyzer queries the Win32_Service Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine whether the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service (MSExchangeIS) is running on the physical computer that is running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that the server is a virtual server, that the registry branch previously described exists, and MSExchangeIS is running on the physical computer, an error is displayed.

The presence of the HKLM\Software\Classes\Installer\Products\354F2D7F395B57846953B997DF778AC1 key indicates that the Exchange Server computer has Virtual Machine Additions installed. This, and the existence of the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Virtual Machine\Guest\Parameters key means that the Exchange Server computer is running as a guest virtual computer in Virtual Server 2005.

Microsoft does not support running any version of Exchange Server on a virtual computer or on an emulator. This is true for Exchange Server running on Virtual Server 2005, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, or any third-party virtual computer program. Exchange Server platforms are designed and tested to run only on physical hardware, particularly those hardware platforms that are listed in the Windows Server Catalog (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=17219).

Additionally, running Exchange as a virtual server guest on a computer that is running Exchange Server is not a best practice because it does not allow for adequate redundancy across services.

  1. Move the mailboxes from the Exchange Server running under Virtual Server 2005 to a non-virtual Exchange Server computer.

  2. Rehome any public folders and transfer any roles held by the virtual Exchange server as required.

  3. Uninstall Exchange from the virtual computer to decommission and remove from your Exchange infrastructure and from the Active Directory® directory service.

For more information about moving mailboxes, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

For more information about support for Exchange Server computers that are running in virtual environments, see the Knowledge Base article 320220, "Support Boundaries for Exchange Server on a Virtual Machine or an Emulation Machine" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=3052&kbid=320220).

For more information about Virtual Server 2005, see "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=34938).

For more information about Virtual PC 2004, see "Microsoft Virtual PC 2004" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=34663).

 
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