Exchange environment

Posted on 2007-03-18
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I'm going to be building up a new site here shortly and need to figure out what the best way to build out my exchange environment will be.  I currently have two locations.  One location has 3 exchange servers and the other just has 1 server.  The location with 3 will be going away and i'll be building up this new site.   Now the 3 currently there 2 of them have mailboxes on them and I'm not exactly sure what the other one does at this point.  I'll verify this tomorrow to see what it does.  Might be the bridgehead or something.  Currently all the exchange storage is SAN based.  However, this new site we are not going to be doing any SAN infrastrucrue.  So when the 3 servers go away at the other location (I know there is lots to do here with AD and all) All i believe i should need to do is route inbound mail to my exchange server here (right now it all goes to 1 of the other ones that is going away).  Anyone think of anything else I need to do to get that going?  Now on to the build.  I found this tech net on a microsoft recomended way to build exchange stuff.  This site will have about 100 users.  What are the recomendataions for how to build the raid arrays and the storage space?  I see lots of options in that tech net article but not sure what is the optimal config.
Question by:stamperb
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Expert Comment

ID: 18747835
Here is a great article on best practices for back-end storage.

Author Comment

ID: 18748187
Great article.  So I'm presuming then that I should have a C:\ mirror for the OS and exchange to be installed on.  Since I'll have 2 DB's A D: mirrored set of drives for 1 DB and a  E: mirror mirrored set of drives for the other DB.  Then another Mirrored set of drives F: for the logs?  And the pagefile gets stored on C:\?

Author Comment

ID: 18748192
This since I can't do raid 0+1 within a singe server.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18748249
Personally would do the following for two databases:

C:\ System and boot (mirror set)
D:\ Page file
E:\ Transaction log files for storage group 1 (mirror set)
F:\ Transaction log files for storage group 2 (mirror set)
G:\ Database files for storage group 1 (multiple drives configured as hardware stripe set with parity)
H:\ Database files for storage group 2 (multiple drives configured as hardware stripe set with parity)

Its definately overkill for the number of users you currently have, BUT if you grow you will never need to chang the configuration.  You can put the pagefile on the local drive and see no performance issues, but if you can do the above I would go for it.

Author Comment

ID: 18748285
Do normal servers support (multiple drives configured as hardware stripe with parity)?  I mean an IBM or HP server?  Also this proves to be quite a few drives.   Way more than I see fitting into 1 server.  I was shooting for 8 as some of the servers till allow 8 internal.  However, this solution would be many more.  Again I wont have a san infrastructure here.

Accepted Solution

mmudry earned 500 total points
ID: 18748421
I understand...  Just keep in mind this the optimal way to configure you Exchange server.  Not the needed way, especially with the small amount of users you currently have accessing your server.  For your config if drives are an issue I would do the following:

C:\ System root, boot, and pagefile (mirror set)
E:\ Transaction logs
F:\ Database files

If you can, and only if you can, break apart the trasaction log files for each storage group.  This is defaintely not necesary.  I tend to over architect...  :)

As for Raid on the servers I believe they can support Raid 0, Raid 1, and Raid 5 with or without a Raid controller.  Keep in mind if you don't have the disk you can defiantely get away with a Raid 1 configuration.  You don't need Raid 5...  

Typically the specs I gave you are for a large Exchange implementation.


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