Exchange 2010 hard drive setup

Posted on 2011-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I was wondering is there is a standard config for Exchange 2010 or anything I shouldn't do?

I've built a server (750GB HDD) as follows;

System 100GB (Pri part)
Program files 100GB (Pri part)
Logs 100Gb (logical part)
Database 400GB (logical Part)

Does all of this seem ok?
Question by:wannabecraig
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    The Exchange 2010 System Requirements can be found here:
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution

    The DB and log files drive size depends on your database sizes, retention policies etc.

    Have you used MS calculator to size the server?

    What RAID levels you have for these drives? How many users?
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    There are aprox 45 users, I have not used MS calc.

    The HDD is in a RAID1 config.
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution

    We cannot advise on how you should precisely configure your arrays or what disks should be used. It ultimately depends on the mail profile of your users, the storage requirements, redundancy and SLA requirements etc. The MS calculator is a significant aid in that regard.

    However, we can offer generic advice.

    Strictly, a single array is not a recommended configuration for a production environment. At the very least, the logs and the databases should each be situated on separate, redundant RAID arrays. One of the purposes of logs is for disaster recovery; they track every modification to the database and only get purged when an Exchange-aware full or incremental backup is run.

    If the array hosting your databases dies, you recover from backup which gets you back to the state of the system at the time of the backup. At that point, the logs are replayed which can restore to within minutes of failure. If your company relies on email and/or you backup infrequently, this can be a very attractive, future-proofed configuration.

    My recommendation would be to build an additional RAID 1 array and move either logs or databases to it. Strictly speaking, databases are best located on a RAID 10 for performance, but given Exchange 2010's reduced I/O demands and the number of users, I wouldn't be overly concerned about that.

    As far as partitions go, if you do stick to a single RAID 1 array, I would drop the partition for programs and simply run the binaries on the system partition. If necessary, bump that up to a 200GB partition, but 100GB should be more than plenty for the foreseeable future. Exchange's application footprint isn't overly large; focus on the data and logs instead.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    We backup to an on-line server every night.
    We have approx' 45 users who do not have huge mailboxes.
    The server only has on RAID card and can only take two HDDs so no room for expansion.

    During the Exchane install is there an option to choose where you locate the logs?
    Is this the same in 2003? Because I don't know where the log files are on my 2003 server.

    Current Database size is 28 GB for the edb file and 12 GB for the stm file.

    LVL 58

    Expert Comment


    >> choose where you locate the log

    That action will be performed when you make a new mailbox database. By default, the mailbox database installed with Exchange will have its logs on drive C:. You can either make a new database in the Management Console (which provides the option to move the logs elsewhere) or you can right-click the existing database and choose the "Move" option to relocate the logs.

    >> The server only has on RAID card and can only take two HDDs so no room for expansion

    The RAID issue isn't so much performance, it's for redundancy. That all comes down to how much your organisation values email - because having separate RAID arrays for logs/databases gives you the logs to recover from if you ever need to.

    I cannot say for sure, 100%, that performance will be fine -- but assuming the hardware is sound, modern and good quality, Exchange 2010 will run a fairly low load just fine on a single SATA RAID array. It has been deliberately designed to require less powerful, less expensive disks.


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