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Coexistence Exchange 2010 and Active Directory in the same machine.

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2013-05-22
Hi guys,

I know that Microsoft does not recommend that AD is installed on the same machine with Exchange2010 roles with HUB, CAS and MAILBOX but I have to migrate a DC and Exchange 2003 on a single server.

The new server has windows 2008 R2 Enterprise license, and this license allows Hyper V virtualized domain controller, AD and Global Catalog and have physically installed running Exchange 2010.
That is, a machine with Exchange2010 Active Directory installed and virtualized on the same machine. Or would you rather, (Exchange 2010 Virtualized and AD, DC, physical GC?

What hardware requirements should have the server for good performance with these services and this infrastructure?

Which option is the best of the two described?

Please note:
850 Users Mailboxes
2 disks 300GB RAID1 with 2 Partitions (System and Logs)
3 disks 1TB RAID5  (3 Databases)

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:techosi
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 39165173
If possible i would say have Exchange and AD\DC on a separate servers

I dont think 850 Mailboxes will consume 3TB as you say and only 2 300GB ... where do you plan to have Logs and what is the number of Databases you plan to have ?

- Rancy
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Author Comment

by:techosi
ID: 39165374
Hi Rancy,

Not is possible have separate servers.

3TB in RAID5 are 1,66TB
The others 2 disk of 300GB in RAID1 are 150GB system and 150 GB Transaction Logs of Exchange.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 39165831
Do you really think Database would be so Large that you would need 1.66TB ? and logs on 150GB along with other stuff and as you know if backup issues for few days it can be an issue for you on this i assume

- rancy
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by:techosi
ID: 39167342
Currently weighs the DB 600GB, if we think of a future sizing .....
In addition to the initial question, what size disks you advise?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 39167351
Ohk so it 600GB and you can with Exchange 2010 STD version you can 5 Database of which one i assume with be PF database so we can have about 4 DB's to work with it

If its with 4 DB i would say from Exchange 2003 to 2010 we would even see some SIS break so DB size will be extended by a bit.

So i would say expect the SIS to raise the DB total size "600+100 GB" ...... so each Database could be about 175+ GB ...... so i would give a 300GB drives for 4 database (Total of minimum 1.2TB).

- Rancy
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Author Comment

by:techosi
ID: 39167479
Thank you for your response to the disks. Finally'll set 3 disks 600GB or 750GB in RAID5
The main question about the infrastructure you think?

Thanks!
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 39167878
With your enterprise license, you're OK for installing a base OS just for the purpose of running Hyper-V, and then up to 4 VMs running the same license on the same hardware.  Personally, I'd run two VMs..  One being the DC, and the other being the Exchange server.  That way, you're satistflying the recommendation of separating Exchange from AD, and can boot them independantly.

As for your drives, since both machines would be virtual, you can start them off minimally, and increase the volumes later only as needed.  I'd let the core system have the 300g mirror, and then MAYBE build the DC on that 300g, but then build the Exchange 2010 on the Raid 5.  There's no reason on Exchange 2010 to separate logs and DB for performance.   You could argue that you should for data integrity reasons, but in your situation, since it's on a RAID 5 and virtualized, I dont think I'd bother, given the hardware you have available.  If you want to be careful, you could build a separate Virtual drive for logs, but it's going to be on the same RAID 5 anyway.  Your best data protection would come from building a second machine later anyway, and creating a DAG for redundancy.

You've got plenty of hardware to do what you want to do, and I dont think you'll have any trouble.  The one thing I'd caution about is that if you join the PHYSICAL machine to the domain, and that virtual DC is the only domain controller, you're going to have a catch-22 in that the DC isn't available when the physical machine boots (because the VM isn't started yet) so dont rely on any machine GPOs protecting/configuring the physical box, and dont forget to keep a local admin account/password on that box, just in case you ever have to log on and troubleshoot your virtual DC when it's not running.
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Author Comment

by:techosi
ID: 39187982
So there is no conflict to be in the same disk RAID5 transaction logs and data from the database? Access read / write will be huge, right?
Two virtual machines ...... The DC will have a trust relationship with another domain and BES, no problem?
with anti-spam solution as Ironport? or other technological solution?

Could you give me an estimate of hardware for this virtual machine solution?

Thanks
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172pilotSteve earned 500 total points
ID: 39189063
Well,  Exchange 2010 did away with the "single instance store", which means that the database writing is a LOT more efficient, although you MIGHT increase your DB size over your previous versions, depending on how much advantage you were getting from the SiS.  The 2010 DB engine also has new compression features though, so largely, it's about the same as 2007 for storage SIZE..  Now, because of the efficiency, the storage SPEED requirements are greatly reduced.  

To give specific numbers, however, you're going to have a LOT of variables.  I'd say you should definitely look into the mailbox server role calculator (http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Exchange-2010-Mailbox-Server-Role-/)
You'll need numbers like how many mailboxes, how many messages per day per mailbox, how big the average message is, etc, to get REAL numbers.

BUT, I would also say that since you seem to be locked into a specific hardware configuration, there's not much you're going to be able to do..  It's either going to be satisfactory, or not, and to impose the hardware on yourself like you have, before a design, kind of means the users will have to deal with what they get.  It certainly will work, but if it's low on speed, there's not much you'll be able to do, since you've already said you're limited to one server...

The trust is no problem, nor will BES, although that adds to the load because it is a client constantly accessing the DB.

Just to give you an example of numbers..  When I ran the calculator for MY situation, I specified 30000 users with 500mb mailboxes (small, I know!) and with 1/2 of the users being "high end" users (meaning BES support).  I think it told me that I needed ONE mailbox server if I split the role out, or two if I had a combined "all roles" server.  For D/R purposes, I ended up building a WAY overkill system, but just to give you an idea, each of my mailbox servers has 18 databases of 500 users on it currently, and they're not breaking a sweat.  Granted, these servers are dual processor 6 core procs with hyper threading, so it looks like  24 cores to Windows, and I have 96 gigs of RAM, but for your 800 or so users, I can't imagine needing a VM with more than 4 cores, and maybe 16g of RAM to make it run really nicely.  

How many databases  you split your users up into is up to you.  There's no DB requirement to split that up, but for management purposes (different defaults for different classes of users, etc) or to be able to have a smaller chunk of users down in case of a DB failure, etc, you might want to split it up into more than one DB, but I wouldn't bother unless you have a reason to.  RAM is good..  the more, the better..  96gig is what the Microsoft calculator recommended for me at 10000 users per server.

Do  you already have the machine?  I'd recommend also getting "JetStress" (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=922) and run it to simulate the users activity to make sure your server and disk subsystem can handle the load.  In my case, I am running off of a SAN that I dont control, but I WISH I had local attached storage.   I think it would be better for Exchange these days. If you're only going to have one copy of the data (one server, not in a DAG / cluster) then DEFINITELY make a RAID or mirror set for the data.  My disk subsystem is providing about 0.3 IOPS  (IO operations per second) per user, so at 800 users, you'll want Jetstress to show that you can support a sustained 300 IOPs at least probably.  If your system can handle that, you'll probably be in good shape.
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Author Closing Comment

by:techosi
ID: 39189384
Thank you for your post. Excellent.
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