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IOPS and Exchange

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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello

I have heard the term IOPS used in relation to Exchange server several times, especially in conjunction with Blackberry, but I'm still unsure what it actually means.

When someone says that a BES server can increase the IOPS by 3.4 times a normal user, could someone please explain how this works?
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IOPS means "Input/Output Operations per Second"
This is very critical parameter used while sizing your Exchange Server storage.
This link will provide some useful information:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125019(EXCHG.65).aspx
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Thanks all.

So Input/Output operations per second - that would be a measure of user activity, i.e. a heavy user would generate more IOPS since they were checking their mail more regularly or whatever? What I don't understand is how Blackberry can affect IOPS?

Also, what other factors affect IOPS? Can the number of disks/spindles etc affect IOPS too?
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I am sorry IOPS are not based on frequently checking
tigermattSite Reliability Engineer
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Commented:

Basically anything which is going to do read/write to the databases will generate IOPS. A user with a heavy mail profile will generate more IOPS than a user with a light mail profile.

The number of disks/spindles won't DIRECTLY affect the number of IOPS. IOPS is caused by user activity, the delivery of email, content indexing operations, user desktop search tools etc. However, in some cases dependent on the hardware subsystem additional spindles would add to the I/O per second a server is capable of serving. This might lead you to consolidate more users and databases onto that server, thus indirectly increasing the IOPS.

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Thank you everyone..

Back to the RIM/ Blackberry example. Are they saying that;

1. Assuming an average user generates IOPS activity of z, that having the user Blackberry activated means that they will generate 3.64 multiplied by z units of IOPS?

2. If a server generates y IOPS of activity, then having users Blackberry activated means that the server will generate 3.64 mulitplied by y?

The problem I'm having understanding is what exactly the 3.64 refers to and how it fits in
tigermattSite Reliability Engineer
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Commented:
Sorry, Joe, for the delay in getting back to you.

Yes, your understanding is correct, although bear in mind the quoted figure is an average and does vary. I think BES5 with E2007/2010 the average IOPS increase factor was x2.16. You'll want to take those figures with a pinch of salt, bearing in mind the profile of your Blackberry users are ultimately the ones who will decide what the ultimate increase is.

But, whatever the factor at play, you're correct in thinking it's an increase by a factor of your average figure for each Blackberry user you have.

Don't forget there are tools like the product group's free Mailbox Server sizer to help get your mailbox servers deployed correctly: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/01/22/453859.aspx

Matt
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