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Hardware Sizing for Exchange 2010

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-12-05
I'm going to be migrating from Exchange 2003 to 2010 over the course of the next few months and will be purchasing a new server for 2010. I currently have 47 mailboxes on the Exchange 2003 server.

My first question is whether or not to split up the Exchange roles by server. I would either do a CAS/HT server and a MBOX server, or CAS/HT/MBOX all on the same server. I'm leaning towards putting all the roles on a single server since this is such a small environment, but I'd like to hear some opinions on this.

Concerning hardware, assuming I put all roles on the same physical server, I was looking at a single 6 core processor with 16GB RAM. I was also going to do all SATA drives since Microsoft has approved SATA with Exchange 2010. RAID 1 for OS and logs, RAID10 for mailbox database.

The processor recommendations are a pretty wide range and I want to know if I'm going overboard (or underboard) with my choices. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Question by:jschweg
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Adam Brown earned 500 total points
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What you are looking at is more than adequate for your environment. MS is starting, with Exchange 2010 SP2, to recommend installing all roles on each Exchange server. If high availability is necessary, they recommend using DAGs for Mailbox availability, Hardware Load Balancing for Client Access, and MX load balancing for Transport.
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by:jschweg
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Okay, so all roles on single server, easy enough.

Is 16GB RAM overkill here, would 8 or 12 work?
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by:Adam Brown
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16 is a good point to have it at, actually. Exchange will use everything you throw at it.
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by:jschweg
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Okay, but you don't think I need an additional processor right? One six core Xeon E Series should be ok?

Okay, last question I forgot to include in the original topic was for RAID.

I was planning on doing a RAID 1 for the OS and Trans Logs, and then either another RAID1 or a RAID 10 for the mailbox volume. I'm thinking that doing that RAID 10 is probably a waste being that I have 47 mailboxes. Thinking about just doing 2 RAID 1's.
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by:Adam Brown
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You could get away with a dual core for the number of users you have. 6 should be great. For RAID, RAID 1 on the OS and Logs drive is just fine. RAID 10 might be a bit overkill, but it'll work well for you. RAID 5 or 6 with hotspares is usually sufficient on smaller exchange environments.
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