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Over the years virtualization has become more popular and mainstream. As states on Wikipedia it can be viewed as part of an overall trend in enterprise IT that includes autonomic computing, a scenario in which the IT environment will be able to manage itself based on perceived activity, and utility computing, in which computer processing power is seen as a utility that clients can pay for only as needed. The usual goal of virtualization is to centralize administrative tasks while improving scalability and overall hardware-resource utilization. Besides that if offers great flexibility to developers to have multiple virtual machines. It enables them to explore new technologies of product features without cluttering an Operating Systems on a laptop or desktop with divers products and CTP's. BizTalk is suitable to be virtualized and this article will provide you the necessary information and links to resources.

BizTalk Virtualization

Supportability and licensing are key when it comes to virtualization a BizTalk Server 2010 production or any other environment. It also provides a much easier scalability when it comes to adding server or resources. virtualization of the BizTalk servers are getting more and more common for all the different viritualzation platforms as the support get better. More and more big companies moves BizTalk over to the virtual platform to keep costs and downtime down to a minimum.

Microsoft BizTalk Server supportability on a virtual machine

The following table indicates the supportability of hosting a BizTalk Server virtual machine. In this table, "Yes" means that it is fully supported.

Virtualization program BizTalk Server 2010
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 No
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Yes
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, including Hypervisor Yes
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Yes
SVVP certified * Yes
Non-SVVP certified Commercially reasonable support

Table above is derived from Microsoft Support: Microsoft BizTalk Server supportability on a virtual machine

Note: SVVP lists products that have been tested and validated to work with Windows Server. Some SVVP companies have only been validated for Windows Server 2008 and later. For more information about SVVP, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

The following table describes the operating systems and the versions of SQL Server that are supported when you use different versions of BizTalk Server 2010:

   BizTalk Server 2010
Windows 2000   No
Windows XP  No
Windows XP Professional, 64-Bit Edition  No
Windows Server 2003  No
Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Edition  No
Windows Vista, including 64-bit  Yes, with Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or later service pack
Windows Server 2008, including 64-bit  Yes
Windows 7, including 64-bit  Yes
Windows Server 2008 R2, including 64-bit  Yes
SQL Server 7.0  No
SQL Server 2000
SQL Server 2000, 64-Bit Edition
SQL Server 2005, including 64-bit  No
SQL Server 2008, including 64-bit  Yes, with SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 or later service pack
SQL Server 2008 R2, including 64-bit  Yes
SQL Server Desktop Engine  SQL Server Express Edition is supported, but is not recommended

Table above is derived from Microsoft Support: Summary of 64-bit support, operating systems and SQL Server versions supported by BizTalk Server

The following table describes 64-bit support for the different versions and editions of BizTalk Server:

   64-bit Operating System Support  Native 64-bit Execution Support
 BizTalk Server 2010
 All Editions Enterprise Edition
Standard Edition
Developer Edition
Branch Edition
Evaluation Edition

Note The Standard Edition is supported for native 64-bit execution.

Licensing BizTalk Server on Virtual Machine

Similar to SQL Server Enterprise, BizTalk Server 2010 ENT can be licensed for unlimited virtualized processors that are available on a single physical server. As customer you will be required to license the number of physical processors on a server.

White papers explaining licensing in a virtual server environment are located at Volume Licensing Brief Downloads

Ready made BizTalk Server 2010 Virtual Machines (VHD)

Microsoft provides ready made BizTalk Server 2010 virtual machines you can download:

Building you BizTalk Server 2010 Virtual Machine

In case you desire to build your own BizTalk Server 2010 virtual machine for learning purposes you can use Hyper-V in case you have Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V to your disposal, or an alternative like VMWare or VirtualBox. The latter are appropriate in case you want to build a virtual machine on a laptop or desktop with a client OS like Vista or Windows 7. You can download the ready made VHD, yet you have to convert them either to VMDK or VDI format.

See Also

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