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Spec for an Exchange 2013 server

Posted on 2014-03-27
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Last Modified: 2014-03-28
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Having tried the MS Exchange 2013 sizer and got myself thoroughly confused, can anyone offer a straightforward answer to what spec server I should be looking at for the following:

Server will be a dedicated 2012 R2 VM (VMware), hosted in a remote data centre.
All Exchange roles on one "box".
No other Windows Roles.

190 Mailboxes
150GB mail database
<1GB Public folder database



Currently have Exchange 2007 running on Server 2008 Standard, with 8GB RAM, 4x 2.8GHz. Performance is acceptable, if a little on the slow side.

I've read that Exchange 2013 requires 3x the performance of Exchange 2010 (let alone 2007).

I'd obviously rather overspec than get it bang on as there should always be some room for growth.
Any input would be appreciated.

Many thanks
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Question by:eddiewickens
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by:Brad Bouchard
Brad Bouchard earned 150 total points
ID: 39959519
The reason your old box might not have the performance you want is RAM.  The more RAM the merrier Exchange is, so bump that up quite a bit.  I'd say at least 16 if not 24-32 GB.  Also, since this is a VM it can't have physical cores, but I'd give it 4-8 vCPUs.

As far as size goes, I always try to use the 2-3 times what the actual storage is.  So based off of your info, I'd go with 300-450 GB of space for just the data drive.  Then factor in the C/System drive and room to grow beyond the 2-3 multiplier and you're looking at more like 500-650 GB for an organization with almost 200 mailboxes.
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LVL 14

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Schnell Solutions earned 350 total points
ID: 39959531
The recommendation is to use the sizing tool as you did

But generic approximations say that you can use 8 GB RAM + 5 MB per user. For this instance... (190 MB * 5) + 8 GB = ~ 9 GB. So you could configure 12 GB for your VM

The actual processors configuration that you have is OK

For the storage subsystem this is recommended that you separate Logs and EDB files on different disks. If your actual DB has 150 GB and you are using Exchange Standard you can create around three DBs with ~50 GB. Public folders are actually saved on MailboxDatabases, so you can decide if create a forth DB for this purpose or just use the same ones. In this case, considering any maintenance, some growth, mail retention, etc. You can configure 250 GB of space for your DB disk and a separate one for the logs. The size for this one will depend on transactions per day and backup frequency that applies to your environment

Remember to use, if possible, fast disks or arrays and take care of sharing LUNs/Arrays with other disks, aplications or servers. As far as it can affect the performance

This is just an approximation that could work great, but the ideal solution is that you complete the sizing tool
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 39959542
Remember to use, if possible, fast disks or arrays and take care of sharing LUNs/Arrays with other disks, aplications or servers. As far as it can affect the performance

I'd agree with this... 15k SAS drives will be your friend here.
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Author Closing Comment

by:eddiewickens
ID: 39961507
Thanks all for your advice.
Schnell was slightly more helpful with the breakdown for RAM etc. and more or less confirmed what I was thinking myself.
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