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Server hardware spec for Exchange 2010

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am migrating to Exchange 2010 from Exchange 2005 within the next few weeks.  We currently have only 40 Exchange mailboxes and although there may be new employees coming on board soon, there will probably not be more than 50 mailboxes over the next 3 years.

The question is, will the server I have chosen be enough to accommodate these mailboxes?

Server is a 3 year old Dell PowerEdge SC1435.

Spec is:
CPU: DUAL CORE OPTERON 2216 (2.4GHZ
RAM: 8GB
SCSI: SAS 5I/R CONTROLLER CARD FOR SATA AND SA
HDD: 2 x 750GB
RAID: Raid 1

I have taken out an extended warranty on it to cover it for the next 3 years.

I intend to install Win2008R2 64bit as the OS
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Question by:wannabecraig
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by:Akhater
ID: 34978620
This is not an official sizing but just an educated guess

I would add more RAMs 8 GB for exchange is "just" i will not go for less than 12 no matter the number of users.


for the CPU you will be OK although I'd advise you to add one more
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LVL 120
ID: 34978785
You may want to check the performance with two SATA disks in a RAID 1 configuration. SATA disks are poor performers when compared to SAS. Have you got options to exchange the disks for SAS?

As has already been stated, add more RAM, double it to 16GB.
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by:Akhater
ID: 34978801
@hanccocka no pun intended but exchange 2010 will live very happily on a raid 1 sata/esata i can guarantee this for 50 users
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by:wannabecraig
ID: 34978808
No options to exchnage for SAS.

I'm surprised to here that I need more than 8GB of RAM for this basic set-up.
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by:Akhater
ID: 34978821
Again you can run it on 8gb RAM and it would most probably work but I wouldn't run exchange on less than 8GB exchange is a memory hungry application. for 50 users keep it all the same just add 4 extra GB of ram
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 100 total points
ID: 34979257
Look, unless you can quantify how much mail each user gets, and are these users letting exchange function as a personal database where people keep email for 10 years and are searching it ...
or are they the other extreme and they get 1-2 emails a day which are promptly deleted?


So just go with the low-end config, and tell the powers-that-be that you may need more RAM, but it is just opinion now, so rather than waste company money by over configuring, you may be under-configured, so possibly may need more RAM later.
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by:wannabecraig
ID: 34979366
Yeah, the money isn't an issue for extra memory.  I just that all banks are full now and I would have to re-order different modules instead of extra. Also don't know if the server can defo' take 12GB.
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by:Akhater
Akhater earned 50 total points
ID: 34979419
in this case you start with 8gb and decide later on
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by:dlethe
ID: 34979588
Buy highest density memory to leave free slots.  
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 100 total points
ID: 34980234
According to the Exchange team blog, Exchange 2010 should perform well on SATA JBOD, which is as low performing disk as it comes (aside from maybe a dual disk rebuild of RAID6 ;-)  ). Of course you aren't going to risk putting the entire mail system on a server without any RAID protection, so the SATA RAID1 is good/good enough. Since you are using repurposed hardware adding more RAM is more costly and 8 GB is the minimum spec for an Exchange server with all roles. I think that your server will be fine for the specified needs. If you end up with way more users, add RAM.
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by:Justin Durrant
ID: 34985350
Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator :
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/01/22/453859.aspx
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by:cdjc
ID: 35003658
I agree wholeheartedly on the RAM.  The "recommended" Microsoft requirement is a system with 10GB.  I'd put at least 12GB in it, as I've historically found Microsoft's recommendations to be a bit on the "lean" side of things.
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cdjc earned 250 total points
ID: 35003682
That system can apparently take up to 32GB of DDR2 (PC2-5300) RAM.  8 Slots total in the system.  4GB MAX per slot.

You mentioned your system has all the DIMM slots full.  You should be able to take 2 of the 1GB DIMMs out, and replace them with 4GB DIMMs.  

NOTE: The memory must be installed in pairs.

So, if you add 2 x 4GB DIMMs in place of 2 x 1GB DIMMs, that would leave you with a system that has 14GB of RAM.
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