Q: Is Office Communications Server supported in a virtualization environment?

A: Yes, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is supported in a virtualized environment. There is now support for both a fully distributed virtualized topology across several hypervisors and for a single server virtualized topology. These topologies are supported both on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, or on any Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partner solution (http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx?svvppage=svvp.htm).

Q: Why is Microsoft not allowing previous versions of OCS to be virtualized (e.g. OCS 2007)?

A: We want to do what is best for the customer and based on their feedback, this was not a major priority. Previous versions of OCS have not been tested in a virtualized environment and therefore are not supported.

Q: Will Microsoft support virtualized environments of older versions of OCS in the future?

A: This is not a priority for customers and we therefore do not have plans to support previous versions of OCS in a virtualized environment at this time.

Q: Can you virtualize OCS 2007 R2 on VMware?

A: Yes. VMWare ESX 3.5 Update 2, VMWare ESX 3.5 Update 3, VMWare ESX 3.5 Update 4 and VMWare ESXi 3.5 Update 3 are all part of the SVVP program and have been tested. As such, these versions will be supported.

Q: What workloads are supported?

A: The workloads supported include presence, instant messaging (IM) (including remote access, federation, and Public IM Connectivity) and Group Chat. When other workloads are required for a set of users, a new pool will need to be installed on the physical hardware to move the set of users onto.

Q: Why aren’t workloads including voice, video, Live Meeting and application sharing supported?

A: Workloads such as voice, video and Live Meeting require fine-grained control over machine resources. Running these server roles in virtualized environments where OCS competes for resources with other workloads can lead to poor user experience, including high latency during voice calls.

Q: Do you recommend customers virtualize the unsupported roles?

A: No. We do not recommend customers virtualize unsupported server roles or workloads as it could result in a poor user experience.

Q. Can you mix virtual and physical servers as part of an OCS 2007 R2 pool?

A. No. It is not recommended that customers mix server roles.

Q: What is the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool?

A: The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool can simulate user load for the available workloads and can be used to plan both physical and virtualized topologies. This helps customers validating the hypervisor load and scalability before going to production.

Q: How does Microsoft define a ‘validated hypervisor’?

A: This refers to a virtualization configuration that has been validated under the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). Please see http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp/ for more information.

Q. Why does the TechNet site http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd572860(office.13).aspx state virtualization of Office Communication Server 2007 R2 is currently not supported?

A: TechNet is in the process of updating this statement and the update should be reflected on the site in couple of days. In the meantime, you can access the whitepaper "Running Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Virtualized Topology" at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0a45d921-3b48-44e4-b42b-19704a2b81b0&displaylang=en