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BizTalk Server 2009 Hyper-V Guide

The purpose of this guide is to provide practical guidance for using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 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.

To download a copy of this guide, go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=149267.

Server virtualization offers companies the opportunity to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine. This enables the consolidation of underutilized servers onto a smaller number of fully utilized machines. By implementing virtualization, companies can minimize operational and capital expenditure costs associated with deploying and operating the servers required for enterprise applications.

The potential costs savings has prompted IT departments to evaluate new and existing applications to identify candidates 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 aspect 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.

A BizTalk Server deployment typically consists of a number of other components including: SQL Server, Windows Server and Internet Information Services (IIS). Server Virtualization enables BizTalk customers to minimize the hardware footprint of a BizTalk deployment by consolidating underutilized resources in a secure manner. To verify the potential of Hyper-V and BizTalk usage we compared the performance of BizTalk Server in a number of scenarios with different components virtualized. The results suggest that BizTalk Server is a strong candidate for virtualization – our analysis indicates there is approximately 5% to 13% overhead for virtualizing the BizTalk Server tier. Due to its stateless nature processing power can be achieved through adding additional BizTalk Servers. Hyper-V provides support for dynamic provisioning through System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) which makes provisioning on demand a realistic scenario.

Windows Server 2008 provides the Hyper-V technology to accommodate server consolidation through virtualization of multiple operating system instances onto a single physical server. Hyper-V is provided as a core part of Windows Server 2008 or as a stand-alone product to make it as easy as possible for customers to embrace virtualization in their organization. There are several key scenarios for implementing Hyper-V:

  • Server Consolidation – Minimize server footprint, operational and capital expenditure (TCO) associated with running applications by consolidating multiple physical servers onto one box.

  • Testing and Development – Using virtual machines, developers and architects can quickly provision new machines to try out new technology and scenarios in a safe environment that accurately reflects the characteristics of a physical environment. Virtualization enables new machines to be provisioned running on a wide platform of operating systems without new hardware being required. This provides a great platform for testing and development environments.

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Hyper-V includes powerful business continuity and Disaster Recovery features such as live backup and quick migration which enables businesses to meet their service level agreements.

    For information about how to back up Hyper-V virtual machines using Windows Server Backup, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 958662, “How to back up Hyper-V virtual machines from the parent partition on a Windows Server 2008-based computer by using Windows Server Backup” at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131207.

    For information about how to use the Hyper-V Live Migration Feature available in Windows Server 2008 R2, see “Hyper-V: Step-by-Step Guide to Using Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2” at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=139667. Note that as of the publication of this guide, Windows Server 2008 R2 is not yet a released product but should be available for release in 2009.

  • Dynamic Data Center – By combining Hyper-V with the Microsoft System Center suite of tools, organizations can automate virtual machine configuration and monitoring. For more information, see “System Center Virtual Machine Manager” at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111303.

The information in this guide directly relates to the Server Consolidation and Testing and Development scenarios for Hyper-V. The other two were out of scope for this guide.

For more information about Hyper-V, see the topic “Virtualization and Consolidation with Hyper-V” at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=121187 and the topics in the Appendices section of this guide.

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 2009 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:


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)

  • Paolo Salvatori (Microsoft)


  • Ben Cooper (Microsoft)

  • Valery Mizonov (Microsoft)

  • Tim Wieman (Microsoft)


  • Lindsey Allen (Microsoft)

  • Tony Voellm (Microsoft)

  • Todd Uhl (Microsoft)

  • Guy Lau (Microsoft)

  • Quoc Bui (Microsoft)

  • Saravana Kumar

  • Richard Seroter (Amgen)

  • Jim Allen (Research Machines)

  • Robert Hogg (Black Marble)

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