Is Virtualization supported for SharePoint?

Yes, virtualization is fully supported by Microsoft.  Virtualization is not at all new but is one of the biggest IT advancements, maybe ever.  I’m pretty sure that IBM was one of the earliest pioneers of this ‘pseudo machine’ concept in the mid 1960’s.  How’s that for a ‘new technology’ that is nearly 50 years old?  Virtualization for SharePoint isn’t new either, but it is still gaining a comparatively slower adoption than other systems.  Once you do decide that virtualization is the way for you, the next logical question should be ‘What virtualization platforms are supported for SharePoint 2010?’ 

Of course, Microsoft’s own virtualization platform is supported (Hyper-V).  Most people don’t realize that Microsoft will also provide support if you are running an approved virtualized environment.  The current vendors that have approved virtualized environments for running Windows 2008 Server R2 are (in no particular order):

  • VMWare (ESX and vSphere)
  • Cisco (WAAS Virtual Blades)
  • HITACHI (Virtualization Manager / Virtage)
  • Citrix Systems (XEN Server)
  • Red Hat (Virtualization Hypervisor)
  • Novell (SuSE)
  • Riverbed Technology (Steelhead Appliance)
  • Stratus Technologies (Stratus Avance)

Of course, you can also run Oracle VirtualBox (which is FREE), though this is not an officially supported virtualization vendor registered with Microsoft’s Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).

By John Stover

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