Virtual - Exchange 2010 for SMB

Hello,

Just to let everyone know that I am new at virtual network and still learning. I just need some guidance and I just want to vent out my thoughts.  

My question is in regards with virtualization. I know there are different virtual vendors such as XenServer, Vshere, and Hyper-v. I have read several best practice documents from Microsoft and vmware for configuring exchange 2010. Those documents discuss about companies that has 9k, 10k and 16k mailboxes. The recommendations are insane including the exchange 2010 calculator; I taken those information with a grain of salt. We are a small editorial company that has 300 mailboxes with a total size of 300GB that including public folders. The logs about 200GB worth if backups do not run for 7 days.
Server configuration:

Dell Power Edge R710
Intel Xeon x5550 (4 core x 2 slots = 8core)
32GB
HD 600GB 10k = 6 drives

Exchange profile:
Total send/receive message for each profile 150
Mailbox size limits -       900MB
Archive limits -            2GB
DAG setup -             Yes – I would like to implement.

I have read Hyper-v exchange 2010 for 500 mailboxes. It mentioned creating two instances for each physical server. Each physical server will have one cas/hub and one mailbox. Instead is it possible to have multi-role server, instead of having total of four instances, can there be two instances?

These are my general questions for all vendors “Instead is it possible to have multi-role server, instead of having total of four instances, can there be two instances?”

I am just looking for core requirements, storage, number of instances, and guidance. I am currently setting up the test lab, so I haven’t done any testing yet.

Thanks and I know it’s a lot to ask.
Tapion112Asked:
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Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
The roles you install on an Exchange server don't have any real dependance on the Virtualization vendor. What matters is how you want to configure your Exchange Environment.

You can actually have CAS/HUB/MBX installed on the same server with no major issues, and MS is starting to recommend this. This would require 2 Instances if you want a DAG setup, but it should be noted that having multiple Exchange servers with a DAG setup on the same Physical Server will basically give you no benefits, since if the physical Server goes down you'll lose both exchange servers. You would need to make sure you have each instance hosted on a completely different Virtual Server in order to actually have any kind of high-availability.

Also note that if you have CAS/HUB/MBX on the same server, you will have to have a Hardware Load Balancer if you want to have a truly high-availability solution. Otherwise, when one exchange server goes down you either have to change DNS records for Client access to point to the second server or change all the client settings to go to the second server.

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Tapion112Author Commented:
Thanks for the insight and I am glad to hear that I can implement multi role on virtual instance. I do understand that I need another instance to another physical server to make DAG work and have load balancer. I didn’t know about “Otherwise, when one exchange server goes down you either have to change DNS records for Client access to point to the second server or change all the client settings to go to the second server.”  That information is helpful.

Would you prefer Vmware over Hyper-V? As I mentioned before we are a small company with a total of 300GB worth of data. The only difference between is that Hyper-V has core limitation. I would like to hear you opinion.

Thanks for your help.
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