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Exchange 2003 drive configuration

Posted on 2009-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We are running Exchange 2003 Enterprise. I am moving it to a server with more storage and off an older Server. I have 10 X 136 GB drives and 8 X 300 GB drives. I configured the arrays like this:
4 x 300 GB - raid 10 - Database
4 x 300 GB - raid 10 - Database
2 x 136 GB - raid 1- Trans log
2 x 136 GB - raid 1- Trans log
2 x 136 GB - raid 1 - OS and Applications
4 x 136 GB - raid 10 - SMTP and MTA queues
Is this a good drive config?
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Question by:InSearchOf
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by:numero_uno
ID: 24128158
The configuration seems to be an excellent one. However, please go through this for your reference:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124875(EXCHG.65).aspx
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24128411

Your drive configuration does look to be perfect for hosting a good performance Exchange Server. However, what type of disk are you using? SATA? SAS? SCSI? This will also have an impact; if you are using SATA disks, reconsider and switch to either SAS or SCSI. SATA does not have good write performance for use in servers, and in using it, you will eliminate the performance boosts given by the appropriate RAID arrays.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24130992
I am using 15K SAS drives
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24131334

15k RPM SAS drives would be fine in the configuration you describe.

My only recommendation would be to ensure the stores you spread across the two RAID 10 database arrays have mailboxes of similar load/demand by users spread equally between them, to ensure one array is not filled up and the other runs under capacity. If you did allow an imbalance, this could, of course, lead to potential issues.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24152258
The idea was to put the managers and supervisors on one raid 10 database with no limits and the rest of the users on the other raid 10 database with quotas.

I had a question with regard to the second exchange server. I installed it and when I open Exchange manager and expand the public folder I see all the public folders that are configured on the Ist Exchange Server on the 2nd as well. Is this correct. I choose the option of installing on a new server. I did not choose Domain/Forrest Prep.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24152742

The new Exchange Server is in the same domain as the existing one, though? In that case, you will see all the public folders listed; although they won't actually be stored on the second server unless you configure them to replicate there.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24166295
I see Thanks for the info. One last question. I keep getting the error in event log that says my "memory settings for this setting are not optimal for Exchange" even though I optimized my memory settings per Microsoft's recommendation. I made the changes to my boot.ini file and the registry. I am running Server 2003 Enterprise with 6GB of memory. Is there something else I should change?
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24166386

As a standard first test, look through http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998057(EXCHG.65).aspx if you have not done so already.
That article describes what causes that error to be logged and how you can correct it; if you have made the appropriate steps but it still logs, you can ignore it and follow the registry change to suppress the error.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24169524
Ok, I'll follow the steps and see how it goes. Thanks for all your assistance tigermatt.
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24186349
Should I also perform diskpart.exe on all my volumes? They are set as basic disks
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24186556

Once the RAID arrays are configured using the RAID controller's management tools, I simply go ahead and use Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to create the volumes.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24194659
AAAAH. That, what I did before posting my last question. I was going through the articles suggested by earlier responses and came across the Diskpar recommendation. I See that managing Exchange is a little different than installing and configuring Exchange. I appreciate all the help you have provided. I just have two questions. Given my drive configuration, where would be the best place to place the PagingFile? Also after moving all the Public Folders and mailboxes, how do I point the users to the new Exchange Server?i
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tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 24197134

Just like most technologies, Exchange installation is much more complicated than day-to-day management.

I'd locate the page file on the OS volume. However, you do have a rather powerful RAID 10 array for SMTP queues which probably won't be under much load, so you could also locate it there.

Simply move the mailboxes using the Exchange "Move Mailbox" wizard. That will update the internal Active Directory pointers for each user mailbox. Leave the old server running until all (most) users have logged in and opened Outlook for the first time, and they will be redirected automatically and the Outlook configuration updated.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24197884
OK Sounds good.Thank you tigermatt for all your assistance. You have been a great help.
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24223696
Will I have to manuall recreate the Distribution Lists I have on the old exchange to the new one?
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24226719

The Distribution Lists are stored in Active Directory. Provided the new Exchange Server is installed on a server in the same AD domain, the distribution groups will be available automatically on the new server.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24230668
Great. I started moving mailboxes over to the new server. I moved over 10 mailboxes and the Outlook clients picked them up with no problem. I noticed in some instances that the mailbox moved over completely (mailbox and contents) and in others the mailbox was moved contents and all but the mailbox itself still showed up in the old as well, but empty.  
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24231378

It's decided not to purge the old mailbox from the old server. If Outlook is picking one of these mailboxes up and connecting to the new server, you need not worry about the 'phantom' object left on the old server.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24244079
ok, thanks. I just have one last question. I imported the IIS settings from the original exchange server to the new one. Is this a good way of configuring IIS on the new Exchange Server?
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24272440

What is configured in IIS on the old server which requires the IIS settings to be migrated? I would *not* recommend attempting to do this, as it could have an adverse effect on Exchange. IIS should be reconfigured manually.

-Matt
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24274342
I see. I guess I should uninstall and reinstall IIS then on the new server then. I will Google it for more info. Thanks for all your help. Is there a way to increase the points for this post?  You certainly have earned every point and then some. Thank you for your time and patience.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24280868

That would be the best approach. On any normal server, migrating the IIS metabase would not generally be an issue. However, Exchange adds new entries into the metabase, and restoring a metabase from another server could cause an issue.

-Matt
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 24287066
Thanks for the update. Let me see how it goes.
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 24287098
I forgot. I did a replication of the public and system folders using PFMIGRATE. When I compare the size of the public store databases they don't match. IShould they?
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24287103

Not necessarily. The database files are a very loose representation of the amount of data they contain; the way the database engine works means the sizes may not match up due to whitespace etc.

The best way to compare would be to compare Folder Sizes of each folder using Outlook.

-Matt
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 24297655
I see. let me check that. On another note I started getting mta errors on both exchange servers shortley after redoing my IIS on the new Exchange Server. I have attached the errors I am getting from both Exchange Servers. Exchange1 is the main one and Exchange2 is the new one.
exchange1.txt
exchange2.txt
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24299448
Can I suggest that you close this question and open a new one? Only the idea behind EE is that there is one question per issue - and the root question behind this has been answered (regarding "Is this a good drive config?").

Plus, I'm not too sure about those errors myself, and would rather not try to guess but would rather you posted a new question which some more Experts to see.

-Matt
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 24304827
Sure thing. Thanks for everything Matt
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