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SQL Server is running Virtual Server 2005 with 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 queries the Win32_ComputerSystem Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine whether the value for the Model key is set to Virtual Machine.

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

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Virtual Machine\Guest\Parameters

Additionally, the Exchange Server Analyzer queries the Win32_Services WMI class to determine whether the Microsoft SQL Server™ service (MSSQLSERVER) is running on the physical computer that is running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that the Model key contains the string Virtual Machine, that the above registry branch exists, and MSSQLSERVER is running, an error is displayed.

A value of Virtual Machine for the Model key indicates that the Exchange Server computer is running as a guest virtual machine on either Virtual Server 2005 or Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. Because the above registry branch is only created by Virtual Server 2005, its existence means that the Exchange Server computer is running as a guest virtual machine in Virtual Server 2005.

Microsoft does not support running any version of Microsoft Exchange on a virtual machine or on an emulator. This is true for Exchange Server running on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, or any third-party virtual machine program. Microsoft 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).

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

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

  2. Re-home any public folders and transfer any roles held by the virtual Exchange server as necessary.

  3. Uninstall Exchange from the virtual machine to decommission and remove it 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 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 Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, see the Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=34938).

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

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