Exchange Sever 2010 Deployment

I have a new server, that is running MS Server 2008 R2 and am preparing to deploy Exchange 2010 Standard on it.  I have approximately 70 mailboxes.  We don't do a lot of hiring so that number will stay steady with possibly a growth of maybe five mailboxes at maximum.

I will be migrating over our 2003 mailboxes once the 2010 server is up and running.  The existing 2003 database is approximately 50 GB's and we have been running this server for about 2.5 years.

My new server has six hard drives, 2-146GB drives and 4-300GB drives.  My plan is to RAID 1- 146GB drives, with two partitions, one for OS (75GB) and one for transaction logs (about 55GB).
For the 300GB drives, I plan on using 1 as a hot spare, and 3 for a RAID 5 array.  On the RAID5 array there will be two partitions, about 200 GB for an IT share point, and the remainder about 600GB for the Exchange Database.

I would just like some input / reccomendations on my proposed partitions.  

Also I would like some advise on setting up the transaction logs.  Circular logging vs. Log Truncation.  From my understanding the backup program we use (Barracudaware Server) has an Exchange agent which backs up the logs nightly after the changes have been commited.  Can you please offer me a little more insight and advice on which logging method to use?

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AustinComputerLabsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i think the partition sceme is sound, the logging will require a little research for you to determine the best way to go.


From MSDN (

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 databases should not be configured to use circular logging if you also plan to use the Volume Shadow Copy Service to enable third-party (or custom) backup and recovery operations. If circular logging is enabled, the following will occur:

The restoring of individual databases will be prohibited if circular logging was enabled during the backup operation or is enabled during the recovery operation.

Transaction logs in the same directory may be deleted when a database is restored, although those logs might be part of a different Exchange 2010 database. This means that if circular logging is enabled, only point-in-time recovery operations are possible.

Incremental and Differential backup operations will not be permitted.

Local Continuous Replication (LCR) and Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) are included in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, but are not available in Exchange 2010. Circular logging was not supported in LCR and CCR configurations.
B HCommented:
that all sounds pretty good - i'd set the logging for circular since you have the barracuda (which wont delete the old logs)

those logs can build up pretty quickly to thousands of times bigger than the database - depending on how many  emails your users send/receive... maybe better to leave the logs on the bigger partition just in case they stop getting cleaned up
ZorniacAuthor Commented:
When you say the bigger partition are you referring the RAID5 600GB partition?  If I do that, I was worried about a performance issue, because of the logs sharing and array with the database.   I have a pretty hefty server 24GB RAM, and Two Intel Xeon X5680 CPU's running @ 3.3GHz.  Do you think that is a concern?

I would say on average we have about 500 pieces of mail in / out of our organization per day.
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ZorniacAuthor Commented:
This is a single Exchange Server environment, well two eventually as I plan to deploy a frontend server in our DMZ down the road.

Perhaps I misunderstood how these transaction logs were being cleared out on our 2003 Exchange server.  My understanding was that the transaction logs were kept until the changes were commited to memory, and the Barracudaware agent, after doing the nightly incremental backup deleted these logs, somehow knowing the changes had been commited the database.  

But after reading the MSDN article AustingComputerLabs linked me to, it sounds like Exchange is actually the one that removes the logs after they have been comiited to the on disk database.

In the Expert Exchange article Austin linked me to, it sounds like the poster was saying their Backup Exec was clearing the logs.

Can you tell me exactly who clears these logs off the disk, Exchange or the backup program?
Without circular logging the logs are clears upon the completion of a succesfull backup. The logs are retained by exchange in the case of a failure, the database can be restored using the last backup and the logs that followed.

The data in the logs has already been commited to the exchange DB, but if it corrupted you would need the previous backup and the logs to restore completely.
ZorniacAuthor Commented:
Now that makes perfect sense.  Since posting that last question I have been reading more about the logs and restoration from a catastrophic failure.  In addition I reviewed my current configuration on the 2003 Exchange server, and we DON'T use cirucular logging.

So just to review.  You think that the orignal partition scheme I wrote when posting the question is sound?

Don't use cirucular logging, continue to run the night incremental backups?
I would agree with that completely.
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