I have a Pharos 8.4 environment yet. We are around 15,000 student college. The Tia gateway is solid for me, but I have been surprised that the software for it seems to be the same when I installed it on our Pharos 8.1 environment some 5+ years ago and never gets updated....
I have 1 Print server, (Virtual Still Windows 2008 SP2 (32Bit) moving to Pharos 9.x this December and then moving the OS forward as well. I have 1 MobilePrint Server (Also Virtual) as a 2008R2 server. Both were on VmWare but migrated to HyperV this summer. Both hyper-visors have run stable.
FYI our SQL back-end is hosted on a physical server, but it too will be moving to a VM at some later date. This SQL has some other 30+ dbs on it and again stable.
Not sure if all this helps your question. But thought I would let you know our experience has been solid on both VMWare and HyperV. Sometimes good to hear others to valid how you build your environment.
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Here at the Wharton School at UPenn we suffered the same problem for 2 years + and with no one able to solve it for us. We invested a ton of time and developed a very robust set of Powershell scripts that run constantly to "defend" our system from the Blackboard Gateway issue. Since building our group of scripts Pharos and Blackboard have become rock solid (it just took time and sweat to fix), we have not had a problem foe 10 months. We had this critical problem on Pharos 8.3 on a VM and 9.0 on a VM. We also have a few other scripts built around Pharos to get it to the point of a fully automated service for us. I would be happy to share all we have done.
I will email you my contact info so I can share the PS scripts. - Doug