Microsoft CRM & Virtualization

La Donna E Mobile...

Last week I got into a discussion with one of our partners about one of their clients who were running Microsoft CRM on VMware ESX Server 3 in their development and test environments. They were experiencing some performance issues in one of their environments but not the other, and were looking for any annecdotal evidence on how to solve this issue.

My first task was to understand what our Global Technical Support (GTSC) group say about providing support on non-Microsoft virtualization platforms such as VMware, and I soon uncovered the following KB Article - Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. Interestingly, for customers who have a Premier Support agreement we will use commercially reasonable efforts to investigate potential issues with Microsoft software and where issues are confirmed to be unrelated to the virtualization software, we will support our software in the standard way. However, for customers without this, issues will have to be reproduced in a non-virtualized environment first.

My next task was to find out what support policy is for Microsoft products running on the Microsoft Virtual Server virtualization platform. A while ago we issued a blanket support statement covering all products in the Windows Server System, with exceptions listed in the following KB Article - Windows Server System software not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment. This includes most of the Windows Server System platform servers that are deployed as part of a typical Microsoft CRM project, including:

  • Windows Server

  • SQL Server

  • Exchange Server

  • SharePoint Server

  • BizTalk Server

Finaly, I wanted to find out if the Microsoft CRM application server is supported running on a virtualization platform. I had to do a bit of digging, but eventually found this statement contained in the Optimizing the Performance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 White Paper:

Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a virtual environment is not supported in production. You can install Microsoft Dynamics CRM on computers that are running either Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 (or latest version). However, note the following support conditions:

  • Because of decreased performance, do not use Microsoft Dynamics CRM running on a virtual server as your main production business environment.

  • Microsoft Customer Support Services will consider Collaboration Requests and hotfix investigations for issues that involve Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Virtual Server or Microsoft Virtual PC only in test, development, and demonstration systems.

The upshot was that we were able to support this particular client because they already had a Premier Support agreement in place and they were only running virtualized Microsoft CRM in a non-production environments.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Laughing Boy

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