BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Hyper-V Guide

The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance for using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. The emphasis is on BizTalk Server, but the performance evaluation methods and performance testing scenarios are useful for analyzing the performance of virtualized server applications in general. This guidance will be of interest to both the IT Pro and Developer communities.

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The potential cost-saving benefits of server virtualization coupled with recent improvements in virtualization technologies has prompted IT departments to evaluate new and existing applications in an effort to identify candidate systems suitable for server virtualization. Most such evaluations seek to discover the total cost of virtualization. The total cost of virtualization is the sum of monetary costs for hardware and IT operations, and the performance cost of virtualization as compared to the performance attainable in a physical environment. This guide focuses exclusively on the performance cost of virtualization.

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V creates new opportunities for server virtualization. Compared to its worthy predecessor, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, Hyper-V demonstrates improved virtual machine performance and tight integration with the host operating system. Hyper-V makes more efficient use of physical system hardware and host operating system resources, and consequently reduces the overhead associated with virtualization. In other words, Hyper-V imposes a significantly lower performance cost of virtualization than Virtual Server. Lower performance cost of virtualization allows us to consider server virtualization of applications whose performance requirements are not easily (if at all) obtainable using virtual machines running on Virtual Server.

All of the performance test scenarios described in this guide were deployed on physical computers in a Microsoft test lab, and then extensive performance tests were run for each test scenario and system architecture. The virtual machines used for testing were set up with BizTalk Server 2006 R2 (or Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise, 64-Bit Edition, depending on the particular role of the virtual machine in the system architecture under test) running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, 64-Bit Edition as the guest operating system. The host operating system on the physical computer was a full installation of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, 64-Bit Edition, with the Hyper-V server role installed. The test scenarios, test methods, performance test results, and subsequent analysis were used to formulate a series of best practices and guidance for designing, implementing, and optimizing virtualized BizTalk Server.

Who Should Read This?

  • All IT Professionals who work with BizTalk Server

  • IT Professionals who deploy, optimize and maintain an application environment

  • IT Professionals who work with development teams to evaluate and optimize system architectures

  • Developers who create and maintain BizTalk Server applications

  • Developers interested in performance optimization and identifying performance bottlenecks

Goals of this Guide

The primary goal of this guide is to provide guidance about how to determine if BizTalk Server 2006 R2 running on Hyper-V is likely to meet performance expectations. This guidance will also be of value as an aid to optimization of a deployed BizTalk Server application.

This project was conducted with the following goals:

  • Provide specific guidance for anyone who is evaluating, designing, or implementing a virtualized BizTalk Server environment.

  • Provide an introduction to the performance monitor counters and tools used to measure the performance capabilities of a virtualized server platform.

  • Provide guidelines for determining the cost of virtualization as a function of the performance difference between physical and virtualized server environments.

  • Develop best practices for use when planning or optimizing a virtualized BizTalk Server environment.

  • Provide architectural guidance to help you determine how to deploy BizTalk Server in a virtualized environment.

  • Identify and document performance bottlenecks in a virtualized environment.

What’s in this Guide?

Guidance for implementing a BizTalk Server solution on a Hyper-V virtualized environment. This guide includes:

  • Getting Started: The Getting Started section provides conceptual information about Hyper-V, the virtualization technology introduced with Windows Server 2008, and an introduction to the Hyper-V architecture.

  • Deploying BizTalk Server on Hyper-V: Deploying BizTalk Server on Hyper-V describes the steps that were followed to set up the lab environment used to compare the performance of a BizTalk Server solution running on Hyper-V virtual machine to the same BizTalk Server solution running on physical hardware.

  • Evaluating BizTalk Server Performance on Hyper-V: Evaluating BizTalk Server Performance on Hyper-V details important considerations when measuring performance of a BizTalk Server solution running on a Hyper-V virtualized environment.

  • Testing BizTalk Server Performance on Hyper-V: Testing BizTalk Server Performance on Hyper-V provides detailed results of four distinct testing scenarios that compare the performance of a BizTalk Server solution running on Hyper-V virtual machine to the same BizTalk Server solution running on physical hardware.

  • Glossary: The Glossary defines key terms that are used throughout this guide.


The BizTalk Server User Education team gratefully acknowledge the outstanding contributions of the following individuals for providing both technical feedback and content for this guide:


  • Ewan Fairweather (Microsoft)

  • Petr Kratochvil (Microsoft)


  • Carl Luberti (Microsoft)

  • Shane Creamer (Microsoft)

  • Clint Huffman (Microsoft)


  • Paolo Salvatori (Microsoft)

  • Tim Wieman (Microsoft)

  • Quoc Bui (Microsoft)

  • Tony Voellm (Microsoft)


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