Moving from Exchange 2003 to 2010, a couple of varied questions

Hi, after this company "saving" money for the last 8 years, I'm finally getting them to improve their infrastructure. We've upgraded our old Cisco PIX and VPN to ASA5510, and finally built a new server  to move domain controller/AD/DNS (was all in the same box with Exchange 2003 and BES!!!)

Working now on upgrading our Exchange Server form 2003 standard to 2010 standard. Ordering a brand new server I have a couple of questions to make sure I am doing it right. I'm not that familiar with Exchange

1.) Currently we have but one database (almost maxed at 70GB). Can we split this into multiple databases in the one store? This would of course make recovery (Symantec backup Exec) and defragmentation a lot faster. I was thinking on one for our executives, one for our lower level techs and one for the rest.

2.) We are planning on having a RAID 1 450GB (2 x 450GB) for the OS and Server and a RAID 5 2.7TB (4 x 900GB) to host the databases. Is that fine? (using an HP proliant DL380 Gen 8)

3.) Assuming later we continue to grow and run out of space, we can add another array in the server and add another database correct?

4.) Any pitfalls I should be looking out for?

Thanks!!
canuseeitAsked:
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Schnell SolutionsConnect With a Mentor Systems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
1.) Yes, you can split your database. It is even recommended to have many little databases than just a bing one. Be aware that the amount of maximul total database that you can have depend on the Exchange Version. Standard version allow you to have up to 5 database, Enterprise version allow you to have up to 100 database. It is  a good practice also to be able to create a new database at any moment, so... if your version is standard make your desing considering up to 4 databases. In your case your are planning about three, this is a great. If you are going to use public folder DB they are going to be four.

2.) The most recommended solution is that you use different arrays for your DataBases .edb files and your log files. So it means at least three arrays considering an additional one for the operating system. But these divisions even when they are recommended they impact a lot your budget. There are some cases where it is even not possible to use more than one array for everything toguether, OS and Exch data. In another cases where it is possible to use more resources everything is separated, OS, paging file, DB logs, DB databases, Exchange logs and temporal files. The idea is... the way you can separate it more... the best. Your plan is ok, you can validate your configuration also with the exchange sizing tool for getting specific recommendations. Because at the end it depends a lot with the total amount of users, mailbox limits, exchange use, etc


3.) Yes, if your hardware allows it. You can add more arrays, you can play with your exchange configuration and data at any moment moving it from one place to another and change your structure without any problem. YOu can also change your DataBases configuration, it means add more database, replate them, eliminate databases, etc. But remember, be aware that standard version won't allow you to have more than 5 Databases

4.) Any pitfalls I should be looking out for? THere are many of them. It always depend on your project desires and migration scope. In general terms, before starting your migration considere third party solutions relate to exchange (in case that you have them). For example... do you have an antivirus at the internal DataBase level? Does it work with the new exchange version... do you have a BES in your organization? It will means that you will need to migrate this application.... Do you have servers making relay with your exchange 2003 servers? These services will need to be migrated to the new ones, many times changing their internal applications... Do your backup application support the new exchange version? ... etc
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sadiaydinConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1) Yes exactly do that, you would save lots of time when you are restoring
2) That is the best way to do that with these disk you have.
3) With the Exchange 2010 you can even connect an external USB Drive and put a database on it. Which I should not Recommend :)
4) Be as careful as it should be to monitor the replication when you upgrade the AD to be able to install exchange 2010. And depending on the size of the organization I suggest to make the CAS role clustered

Regards
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
1). Currently we have but one database (almost maxed at 70GB). Can we split this into multiple databases in the one store? - With E2k10 Std you can have to a total of 5Databases :)

2). We are planning on having a RAID 1 450GB (2 x 450GB) for the OS and Server and a RAID 5 2.7TB (4 x 900GB) to host the databases. Is that fine? (using an HP proliant DL380 Gen 8) -
a) Why do we need 450GB for OS drive ? what are you planning to have in there ?
b) I would plan for RAID5 but with 4 drives 2 of 1TB for DB's and 2 of 350GB for Logs :)


3). Assuming later we continue to grow and run out of space, we can add another array in the server and add another database correct? - Still stick to my last recomendations

4).Any pitfalls I should be looking out for? - You truely never know what might come so no thoughts :)

- Rancy
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canuseeitAuthor Commented:
Ok thanks guys.

Yea I read up on the CAS and DAG, but needing multiple exchange servers isn't going to happen with our current budget. Maybe next year, lol.
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canuseeitAuthor Commented:
Sorry didn't see the last comment...

the 450GB drives are the smallest HP has now (well 300 is but they are the same price as the 450).
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
Oh No issues if 450 is the smallest and 300 is the same price than surely 450 would make the most sense :)

- Rancy
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