One of the themes I have been blogging on for a while is the relationship of BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Microsoft’s 2008 product stack including Windows Server 2008, SQL 2008, and Visual Studio 2008. As everyone should know, the 2008 product stack is not supported with BizTalk Server 2006 R2. Over the past couple of weeks I have learned that some of the BizTalk Server Performance Optimization Guide articles (starting at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc558617.aspx) should not be applied to Windows Server 2008 BizTalk implementations due to some performance differences between Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2008. Even though it is a best practice to avoid unsupported environment configurations, I know for a fact there are quite a few organizations that have BizTalk 2006 R2 running with Windows Server 2008. I recommend against this configuration on production boxes due to the supportability issues, but it is very valuable from a BizTalk vNext perspective especially if you are working on a BizTalk 2009 migration plan.
So what is the result of following the performance guide in an unsupported configuration of BizTalk 2006 R2 and Windows Server 2008? Well, the guide was made with the assumption that Windows Server 2003 was being used, so the optimizations made specifically for that OS will not be the best ones for 2008. So watch out for OS tuning parameters or options in the guide because these will not always be the best ones for Windows Server 2008. Microsoft will be releasing an updated performance optimization guide a couple weeks after BizTalk 2009 is released under RTM. So if you are working in a high performance BizTalk environment and want to migrate to Windows Server 2008 then I would wait to deploy your applications until after the new optimization guide is released because the newer guide will include optimizations for Windows Server 2008.
But wait, what if you want to use BizTalk 2006 R2 in the unsupported configuration in production? Unfortunately, I have not heard the configuration will ever be supported, but I would still wait for the updated optimization guide so you can at least optimize the OS settings. If I uncover any other snafus or gotchas of using the updated performance guide in the unsupported configuration, I will be sure to let you know about them. 🙂