Conventional wisdom has it that e-mail servers are not one of the best applications to run on top of a virtual machine because of performance concerns.
And yet a new survey of over 200 IT professionals conducted at the recent VMworld 2010 conference by Sendmail finds that a large percentage of them are already running their mail store on top of a virtual server. In addition, a significant percentage are taking a modular approach to their e-mail systems by opting to run certain tasks, such as archiving, on a virtual server.
Nicholas Filippi, director of product management for Sendmail, says that while IT organizations are a little gun shy when it comes to mission-critical applications and virtualization, significant steps forward are now being taken in regards to e-mail systems that arguably are among the most mission-critical applications in any business.
Almost half the respondents conceded that they had performance concerns related to running e-mail systems on top of a virtual server when they started. But the need to increase server utilization rates in addition to providing higher levels of availability pushed them toward virtualization. And now almost half of them report that their virtual environments are meeting their expectations.
It may take a while for the rest of the mission-critical applications in the enterprise to migrate to virtual servers, but it looks like e-mail systems are well on their way.