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Hardware requirement

Posted on 2008-06-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi Expert

We are gonna implement Exchange Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 for about approx 250 users.
Exchange server will used for mailing, and SQL server will be used for financial database.

So kindly suggest me the hardware requirments for both servers, it should not minimum hardware requirements as it should suffice about 250 users.


Thanks in Advance
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Question by:VINOD MORE
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 21776058
You haven't exactly provided a lot of information here.  If each person is receiving 10 small e-mails a day that's very different from each one receiving 100 e-mails a day with 5 MB attachments on most.

And since you're going with Exchange 2003, unless you go with the enterprsie version, you'll be stuck having to limit your users with about 250-300 MB quotas on their mailboxes (information store on Exchange 2003 standard is maxed out at 75 GB).

With SQL, if the system is NOT used an e-commerce app, then most servers should be fine... the difference will come in how well (or poorly) your database is designed and SQL is tuned.

Personally, from what I can imagine (and this is NOT a good way to gauge - imagining) I would probably go with a standard SINGLE Dual core system with 4 GB of RAM for Exchange.  Make sure the hardware can expand to two processors and ideally support quad core, but to start, there should be no reason you NEED two physical processors or a quad core (I've worked in organizations supporting 1000 users on machines FAR LESS powerful than anything available new today and they have no problem supporting hundreds of users (from a processor perspective).  I would suggest the disks for both servers look like this:

8 total SAS disks:
2x36 GB for the OS in a RAID 1 (bump to 73 GB if 36 aren't available)
2x73 GB for the Database Logs in a RAID 1
4x300 GB (or larger or more drives in an even number) for the Database Data drives in a RAID 10, depending on how much data you may need to store.

The SQL server I would probably start out the same way... though MAYBE I'd consider a single Quad Core CPU.  If you buy SQL licensed by the processor, this will be a very cost effective way to run it - MS licenses according to SOCKETED processors, NOT Cores.
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by:VINOD MORE
ID: 21776086
Thanks leew

Experts any more suggestions?
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by:CorpComp
ID: 21776111
I would tend to agree with leew with the following exception, buy quad core processors.  The reality is there is not a very large price ga between dual and quad, so you might as well spend the exta couple of $ and get the quad.

DEFINATELY DEFINATELY DEFINTELY buy SAS disks, it may look a little more attractive price wise, but SATA disks will slow you down.
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by:VINOD MORE
ID: 21776151
What are SAS disks?
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by:CorpComp
ID: 21776174
SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI.  A good definition can be found here:

http://webopedia.com/TERM/S/SAS.html
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 21776534
Most quad cores don't operate at the high MHz that dual core chips can.  A faster dual core can make more sense than a slower quad core.  In addition, I want to stress, you SHOULD get a system capable of supporting Quad Cores and you can always upgrade to them later with minimal downtime.
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Expert Comment

by:muneer_bom3
ID: 21777219
Hi,

there is tool call exchange loadsimulator which will give you some idea about server sizing.

but this toll need tobe run on test enviroment as it will create dummy users as per your requirement.

Rgds
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avishkarm earned 250 total points
ID: 21777276
Configuring SQL Server 2005
1. First, you must decide where to put the data and log files. Here are some guidelines to use Data and log files should be on separate physical drives so that, in case of a disaster, you have a better chance of recovering all data.
Transaction logs are best placed on a RAID-1 array because this has the fastest sequentialwrite speed.
Data files are best placed on a RAID-5 array because they have faster read speed thanother RAID arrays.  If you have access to a RAID-10 array ,you can place data and log files on it because it hasall the advantages of RAID-1 and RAID-5.
2. As your database size is unrestricted,  keep autogrowth column for the data file. In the dialog box that opens, check the Restricted File Growth radiobutton, and restrict the filegrowth to 20MB.
3. For better performance, use Hardware or Software Raid
4.My personal recommendation is at least 1.5 GB of RAM in the server, with 1 GB of RAM for SQL Server and 512 MB of RAM for Windows.
5. Hyper threading hurts SQL server performance which states that Hyper threading hurts server performance: With SQL Server  HT-enabled motherboards show markedly degraded performance under heavy load. Disabling HT restores expected levels.
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by:andyalder
ID: 21778268
>Data files are best placed on a RAID-5 array because they have faster read speed thanother RAID arrays

Where did you get that one from? RAID 10 read speed is the same as RAID 5 read speed as long as there are the same number of disks and the controller does balanced reads.
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by:VINOD MORE
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Thanx
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by:VINOD MORE
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Thanx
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