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Exchange 2010 disk space sizing

Posted on 2013-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-28
Good afternoon.  I'm looking at building out an Exchange 2010 server and want to confirm some research I've done on required disk space required.  So, as a couple general question to the experts here.

1) I was going to virtualize this in a Hyper-V (Windows 2008 STD), any issue or dead end to growth?
2) How much drive space is required "roughly" for 200 Users? They were ball-parking 300GB, which must be some amazing compression/pointer work.
3) How much drive space is required "roughly" for 500 Users?  
4) Any issues with a RAID 5 configuration of the Host server?
5) What's the recommended mailbox size/user for these sizes?

I realize there are subtle nuances in all of that, but at this point I just would like to get hardware that will cover us to start and we'll build in redundancy over the years as we grow.  200 is the starting point and 500 is a year to two away.

Thanks for the insight.

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Question by:iMonkey69
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Expert Comment

by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39648717
1) I used Windows 2008 R2 and it works great.  OS has to be 64bit for exchange

2) Depends on how large you want their mailboxes to be.  Emails in general (text only) are very small as related to size.  Do you get large attachments?  I typically setup my users for 3gb and that's being very nice in my opinion. So if you were to go that route, if all 200 users were max capacity you would want more that 600gb.  Exchange has some pretty crazy compression so 400 should be a good start.

3)  With virtualizing you can always expand the drive if you need more room

4) Raid 5 should be good.  I would at least have a hot spare with the raid drive which you can get like (4) 1TB SAS drivers which would give you 2TB to work with + a hot spare

5) All depends on what you receive.  If your company gets blueprints and larger attachments on a daily basis you would want to bump up the size.  If it is just your standard email then 2-3gb should be fine.

As a Side note when you setup the Exchange Server I typically assign it 2 hard drives.  1 for the OS and Exchange, 2nd drive is for the database and logs
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FutureTechSysDOTcom earned 2000 total points
ID: 39648800
The database at one of my clients' is 65 GB, and they have about 6 users.  So a lot of it depends on which 200 users.  These particular users also all have home machines, iDevices, etc. so they hit the server pretty hard.

I would agree with most of the above expert says, and would love to be able to set my users for 3 GB.  The good thing about Exchange 2013 is in-line archiving which can help to manage those mailboxes for people who never want to archive.

I prefer RAID 10 to RAID 5, but that's personal preference.

I would honestly get the biggest hard drives and the most memory you can afford - 64 GB or 128 GB on the RAM, and definitely dual processors.
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Author Comment

by:iMonkey69
ID: 39648802
Thanks....then all that I was thinking was correct-ish;-)  
Now...from the OS are you talking a partition or physical drives separated. I was going to partition 3x3TB in RAID 5 with an OS drive of 100GB for room and the rest for Exchange.  That leaves room for other VM in the system for other tasks/testing.

Regards,
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Expert Comment

by:FutureTechSysDOTcom
ID: 39648813
separate physical drives for OS.

http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/raid5-vs-raid-10-safety-performance.html

There's an article on RAID 5 vs 10.

For the OS, I personally do mirroring, so 2-3 drives for OS, 4-5 drives for data/exchange.

You do not want exchange and windows to be installed on the same RAID volume for a variety of reasons.
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Author Closing Comment

by:iMonkey69
ID: 39684378
Very quick response and I'm very grateful for the insight.
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Expert Comment

by:FutureTechSysDOTcom
ID: 39684584
Most welcome.  I'm currently replacing a server for a client whose previous vendor was not aware of any of this :-)
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