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I've a Virtual Private Server with Windows 2003 and root access. This server mainly acts as a web hosting machine (IIS, Apache). Additionally it is used as a mail server.

Is it possible to isolate a mailserver (for example HMailServer) by using VMware Server on Windows 2003 in order to avoid potential viruses moving from the guest into the host system?

Is this is a good direction to protect the web server from viruses?

Kind regards, Jakub

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Sure it's possible but either you haven't told the whole story or one of us is confused. How are the viruses expected to get on the mail server?

If you're concerned about infected emails being the problem you need to bear in mind that those viruses are dormant while traversing the system, so it makes no difference which system they travel through. A virus is only a problem when it is allowed to execute and there is no reason for that to occur on the mail server itself unless you are also running a mail client on that machine.

Consider also that if you are going to virtualise another server within your VPS performance is probably not going to be very good for either host or guest. From what I've seen of VPS specs there's normally not a lot of anything, let alone enough to spare.

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That's right. I'm concerned about infected emails being the problem. Would it affect the server if I install a antivirus? Could a virus be launched by a antivirus scanning the infected mail message? – user43279 May 17 '10 at 9:50
I would certainly recommend you use virus scanning and hMailserver does of course support that. Although it's theoretically possible for a virus scanner to screw up and execute a virus I can't say I've ever heard of that happening. So, infected emails will be a problem elsewhere but not while traveling through the server. – John Gardeniers May 17 '10 at 11:21

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