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Exchange 2010 drive configuration

Posted on 2010-11-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
We are transitioning from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010. I am building the servers and have come across a question I wanted some input on. How best should I partition the drives? Currently, Exchange 2003 is a MS cluster so we have broken the drives up as such:
C - OS
D – Exchange app
E – Quorum
F - Transaction logs
G - Exchange store (DBs)

For 2010 we will be utilizing DAG with approximately 6 database groups. So I think that takes care of the need for a Quorum drive, but what about the rest? I was thinking I would break it up as:
C -  OS
D – Exchange app
E -  Transaction logs
F - Exchange store

Let me know you suggestions and ideas including partition sizes.  Thanks.

Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit
IBM HS21 Blade
SAN storage – DS8300
400+ mailboxes - about 150GB of data per server
2 sites so 800 mailboxes distributed across two servers.
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Question by:dumamo
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by:AshwinRaj111
ID: 34084909
The Paritition that you Have mentioned looks Good.
It is recommended to have Databases in one Drive and Transaction Log Files in another Drive.
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by:dumamo
ID: 34085234
Out of curiosity, could I install the Exchange application on the C drive or would there be too much contention? We boot to SAN so it would be in the same LUN, but obviously on multiple disks.

Is there a ratio for drive sizes amoung the partitions? ie. if your database partition is 150GB you need X amount of space on the log drive? Thanks!
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by:Busbar
ID: 34085345
how much is your memory you might consider a driver for page file, also there is no need to separate logs and DB files.
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AshwinRaj111 earned 250 total points
ID: 34085426
You can Install Exchange Applications on the C Drive. It would not increase the Load on the C Drive.
There is no Ratio between the amount of space needed for the Transaction Log Files Storage and Database Storage Space.
It depends on the number of Transaction Log Files that get generated for a Day and how frequently you take a Full Back of the Exchange Database.
 
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by:dumamo
ID: 34085611
We have 8 GBs of RAM per server. I had read a MS articel about putting 1 LUN per database and leaving the logs on the same partition, but I decided not to use this as we really do not have a big Exchange environment. With that said, why do you feel there is not need to separate the log and DBs? Thanks.
 
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by:Busbar
ID: 34085652
separation is for large not small environment this will simplify your storage configuration and will waste less storage.
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by:Auric1983
ID: 34085669
The transaction logs have a maximum size (1meg I believe)

You get better performance if you have the Database on one set of drives and your transaction logs on another.  If you have a small userbase you probably won't notice a difference.

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by:Busbar
Busbar earned 250 total points
ID: 34085711
this recommendation is for 2007, there is no performance gain in separating logs and DBs, this is actually the recommended deployment by Microsoft
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by:Auric1983
ID: 34085831
@dumano,

After re-reading your original submission.

You will require Server 2008 R2 Enterprise for the DAG to work, as well if you plan on having more than 5 databases per server (Including DAG replication partner DB's) you will need Exchange 2010 Enterprise.

With a DAG, you can use circular logging, which overwrites the log file each time it is transferred to the replication partner so your logs do not grow.  If the mounted DB goes down the DAG picks up and makes the replication partner "live", it will automatically start queing new transactions to send back the other way once the other DB is available again.  Do not enable circular logging if you are not using a DAG

What is your current information store size?

I would run the Pre-Deployment Analyzer to get an idea of how your current environment stacks up and what needs to be done http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=88b304e7-9912-4cb0-8ead-7479dab1abf2&displaylang=en

Also if you are planning on having the DAG partner across the WAN connection, I hope your WAN connection has a lot of available bandwidth, in the event the local DB goes down all the clients will be pointing at the DB at site 2.




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by:dumamo
ID: 34086167
Good information guys! My SAN guy likes to carve large LUNs even when not needed, so I was worrying about wasting space. Plus, when using a SAN I am unsure if performance tweaks really matter since you have mutiple drives and SAN technology in play anyhow.

I already have 2008 Enterprise R2 up and running for my DAG plans, but did not realize you could use circular logging safely. Makes sense in that you would role over to the replica quickly so that helps with my storage design.

The current store is about 300GB total (I did not design this), but it is all located in one storage group on one node for all locations. I intend to spread it around via DAG across multiple servers and 2 sites. I will have active DAGs on different servers with replicas spread around as well. LAN is dual 100MB pipes.

Since we moved to talking about DAG, will I be able to control DAG replication to allow for multiple masters? I do not mean active\active, but for example can I set one database group to replicate to another in the same site and then have a replica in the other site pull from it? Then in turn have that replica act as a master to a 4th replica in the same site? In essence chain then so I don't get 3 servers requesting updates to one master. This may not even be a good idea, but the question was posed to me.

Thanks.
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by:Auric1983
ID: 34086256
RE: Circular logging, I would make sure you understand it and how it will fit in with your backup & recovery plans, but I don't think it will cause any problems.

You can have multiple replication partners (up to 16) but I don't believe you can define how the replication "chain" works. You just set up the partners, and it uses the same AD Sites & Services replication as the mail & other config info.

That being said with 1meg log files the transfer should be pretty seamless even with 3 replication partners.

If your primary db goes offline, I'm should failover to the best available alternative, which would be the replica in the same subnet.  

All of the DAG configuration is done at the database level,  so you could have different replication settings for each database.

(Example) if you have 500 users at Site 1 and 200 ate Site 2, the Site1 DB could replicate to Site 2, and the SIte 2 db could replicate to site 1.  etc.





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