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Exchange Planning for performance and reliability

We are currently in the process of setting up Exchange 2010 in a virtual environment with the hub on a separate server, probably a standalone server.  Our organization consists of 100 users with 60 or so using ActiveSync for their mobile apss.  

Does anyone have any recommendation as the processor speed, memory and volume sizes?  Naturally I would put the database files on 1 volume (D) and the log files on a separate volume (E).   I was also thinking of breaking up the mailboxes up and creating 3 volumes for the database files and the log files.  So the final configuration would be

D - database 33% mailboxes
E - log files 33% mailboxes
F - database 33% mailboxes
G - log files 33% mailboxes
H - database 33% mailboxes
I - log files 33% mailboxes

Any thoughts on this?
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Mach03
Asked:
Mach03
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5 Solutions
 
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
For 100 users and 60 activesync users then you dont have a lot of balencing to do, honestly.

I know of exchange systems running on VMWare with 4 cores assigned, 24GB of RAM and ALL roles running on the same box handling over 200 users with no issues at all.
Splitting the database up will gain you no performance at all on your system.
In a virtual environment it is arguable as to the split of DB and log files across drives also.

Your gain in anything would be to have multiple servers for CAS, DB & HT for redundancy but that another matter all together.
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RadweldCommented:
Your permitted upto 500 users on a single virtual mailbox server and I wouldnt bother with multiple databases unless you want them. If your server is a single mailbox server then log isolation should be miltained. You can Combine the hub transport with the mailbox with not much overhead. What are you doing for the client access? The cas is now the endpoint for outlook clients so you need one. It can also be placed on the mailbox server with the hub.

Review the following guidelines for capacity planning

 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832795.aspx
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Mach03Author Commented:
Neilsr,

Thanks for the feedback. On your current example setup, how many processors did you have.  Also how did you setup your volumes?  On this current setup, in your opinion, how many users would be pushing the upper limits of memory and proc?

At some point down the road would you break off the CAS and HUB or just increase the server memory and volumes?


Radweld,
Thanks for the feedback and link.  However, I'm mus have missed something, where do you get the 500 user quota?  Right now everything is on a single server (CAS/HUB/MAIL).  



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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Hi Again,

Processors are 4, virtual processors. Memory is 16GB. Volumes on a virtual environment is a bit of a red hearing. Unless you have a large SAN with multiple LUNS then realistically any virtual disks you create, no matter how many, all get stored on the same RAID on a single set of disks. While spreading over multiple volumes might make you feel better, in reality in a small virtualised environment it has little effect on the system and performance.
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RadweldCommented:
Typically it's best to use the Exchange Mailbox capacity planner when sizing mailbox servers, mailboxdatabases can grow upto 18TB in Exchange 2010 however 2TB is a reccomended limit, depending on your number of users and storage capabilities you might be ok with a single database. If its a stand alone server then your advised to seperate the transaction logs however if your using a DAG then your advised to keep them together.

I read somewhere about the 500 host per mailbox server recomendation but typically cant find it now.

you best read this though

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Exchange_2010_on_VMware_-_Best_Practices_Guide.pdf
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Mach03Author Commented:
Thanks guy!
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