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Exchange 2003 NLB/FE and BE server

Posted on 2007-12-04
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I have a question about the Exchange design that I'm proposing, the details are listed below. Should I use Front End, Bridge Head and NLB services on the same server? Note: all MX records for email point to Mail Gateway Appliance

Current Design
Mail Gateway Appliance for inbound and outbound emails
Mail Gateway Appliance forwards inbound email to Exchange BE servers in acctive/avitive/active/passive cluster.
Two FE servers with NLB for OWA, POP3 and IMAP

Proposed Solution
Mail Gateway for inbound and outbound emails
Two FE/BH servers with NLB for OWA, POP3, IMAP
Mail Gateway Appliance forwards inbound email FE/BH servers
(Outbound Emails) Exchange connectors to Mail Gateway Appliance
 Exchange BE servers in acctive/passvise active/passive cluster (Total 4 Exchange Servers).
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Question by:marvellt
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Expert Comment

by:ATIG
ID: 20407844
first question why do you want to break down into 2 cluster vs 1? or are you just doing a 2A/2P instead of 3A/1P?

Questions would be what is performance like no you BE now?

I always like mail to route to a BH before connecting to the mbx servers as you will gain some performance on the BE since its not acting as a mail router between the servers.

Unless you need 2 server failure I like the idea of doing 3A/1P which allows you to spread the users more to gain performance but I dont know what yours is like now or if you need the redundancy vs the performance the odds of 2 server failures togethor a highly unlikely as well.

I run Ex 2k7 in 2A/1P with 7k users

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Author Comment

by:marvellt
ID: 20408076
Current Exchange Environment
User Size 4000
Tumbleweed email gateway
Exchange 3A/1P
Exchange BH servers (Exch-V1, Exch-V2, Exch-V3)
Front End servers are NLB configured OWA, POP3, IMAP

first question why do you want to break down into 2 cluster vs 1? or are you just doing a 2A/2P instead of 3A/1P? Company wants 100% hardware redundancy and performance for the exchange 2003 environment so we  suggested going with 2A/2P
Should I have a dedicated BH server or use FE/BH on the same server?  
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Accepted Solution

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ATIG earned 500 total points
ID: 20408404
choice.....

If you have the $$ more is always more fun :)

in 2003 we use to split it our into 2 nlb owa
2 BH with same weight MX-- dont nlb the BH with WLBS it does not spread the load well use same weight mx
3 node cluster BE

depending on your traffic etc..... its best to break the roles out so that performance is not impacted....

Have you dont any perfs to see if performance is acceptable now?


our 07 setup is similar
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