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Exchange 2010 Storage Planning

Posted on 2011-03-08
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I am preparing to migrate from Exchange 2003 to 2010 with a current mailbox count of 300 and a 70GB DB.

My primary mailbox server will have 6 HD's:

OS - RAID1 (148GB 15krpm SAS)
DB - RAID1 (600GB 15krpm SAS)
Recovery/Logs - RAID1 (1TB 7.2krpm SAS)

There will be 4 DAG's to separate mailbox roles. There will be an active and passive DAG on the primary server on the DB LUN.

The Recover/Log's LUN will have all of the log files as well as space to load a Backup Exec Recovery LUN if necessary.

I will also have a secondary mailbox server in the same site that will have the same HD configuration. There will only be a passive DAG DB on that server.

Does anyone see a flaw in this design? My Sr. Sys Admin belives it is risky to not have a hotspare for the mailbox DB LUN's. He also wants to put the log files on a faster rpm disk (15krpm). I don't believe this is necessary. If we lose an HD in the DB LUN we'll be ok. Worse case scenario is that we lose 2 HD's and have to failover to the secondary server.

I also read that 2010 has changed a lot of things in the way the IOPS work for logging. There is less demand and they even say that we can store logs and DB on the same LUN. I doubt a 7.2krpm SAS HD will cause Exchange to be that much slower than 15krpm SAS HD's.

Is this a solid configuration with regards to storage on Exchange 2010 or am I not following "best practices" with what other admins are doing?

I think my sys admin is going too far with the need for a hotspare and requiring faster log LUNs.
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Question by:cogentsystems
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by:Amit
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by:cogentsystems
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I've seen that link before but I'm looking for a few opinions on whether a hotspare is really even necessary for the DB LUN (RAID1). I'm trying to keep everything on a single server and only have 6 HD bays.

I've also read some MS articles that say 7.2krpm SAS is "above average" for logging, but will there be a noticeable difference with 15krpm, or is it not worth the extra money for such a small environment.
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by:Amit
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As we knows that IOPS is greatly decreased in Exchange 2010. Again hardware design will be based on below scenario, and you can decide what you want to achieve

1) Server Resilency
2) Disk Resilency
3) Site Resilency

Above 3 are required for best Exchange, fault tolerance design.

Question regarding Faster Disk, It is alway good to use faster disk for Exchange servers. Specially Mailbox, as live database is keep updated regularly. Server Performance are revolves around 3 major factors:

Faster CPU
More RAM
Faster Hardisk

Apart from above, you need to see the long term solution. Exchange servers are designed for atleast to run 3 years. If you see MS trends, every 3-4 year they have new Exchange release.

You must also estimate the mail growth trend and according to that you can buy the best hardware.

Now answer for your questions
1) Hotspare is required?
If you can afford downtime for swaping HDD. Then it is not required.

2) 7.2K RPM SAS. These are MS minimum recommendations. Fasters are alway better.

Hope this clears your doubt
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by:cogentsystems
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Thanks for your detailed response. Yes, we can afford the downtime to swap the HDD although they are hot-swap so technically we would could do this live.

Understood that faster is always better, but do you think it will be noticeable between the two speeds of the HD's? Just curious.
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Amit earned 250 total points
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As you have already choose RAID 1 logs. Which is recommend. Below MS link give more understanding

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx

In this case I/O performance will be Average. With 15K it will be excellent. You will see the performance issue while writing to disk.

Hope, it clears all your doubts
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by:cogentsystems
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Thanks for you very quick responses. It was helpful.
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