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C drive mailbox DB

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2015-02-25
Are there any risks in storing a mailbox database on the system drive. is there any official guidance and best practices from Microsoft about risks associated in such a design. I know from a SQL Server point of view its seen as bad practice to put databases on a local system drive, just wondered what if any risks existed in doing the same in exchange...
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Question by:pma111
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by:Amit
Amit earned 250 total points
ID: 40603043
It is good to keep your DB on separate drive. Why? As DB's size updates frequently. Imagine your DB eat up all your disk space on C:drive, which will bring your server down. Keeping DB on different drives will not impact OS functioning. Remember expanding C drive is not recommended or I will say, should not be done as chance of OS corruption is very high. I hope that answers your query.
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Guy Lidbetter earned 250 total points
ID: 40603058
Hi pma111

From a performance point of view it depends if the system is physical or virtual. If physical you will generally have quite a bit of IOPS hitting the same disk your system is on and the contention would severely hit performance. If virtual, the system disk is most likely on a datastore of many disks working together so it wont really make any difference at all whether separated or on the same logical disk.

From a best practice point of view, I wouldn't do it.  I imagine you would then have the logs, pagefile, databases etc all in the same place which is an accident waiting to happen. If  the drive fills you will take the server down.

In all honesty, a system drive should be just that... a system drive. In many places I have worked they even separate the application binaries, page files, data drives, log drives etc... so only the windows files are located there.

The only possible reason I could see you wanting to do this then is that the drives are local and you have one large partition?

Regards

Guy
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by:pma111
ID: 40613799
>the logs, pagefile, databases etc all in the same place which is an accident waiting to happen

Hi, can you elaborate why?
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by:Guy Lidbetter
ID: 40614052
Yes, as mentioned if the drive fills the server will go down.

The log directory will always grow, databases will grow, if you install additional software, or update windows temporary files remain etc... Miss a full backup and the log directory will continue to grow.

If you had a 2TB drive that always had 1TB free, then no problem, there is nothing stopping you. However, as I said, from a best practice point of view its not a great solution.
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by:pma111
ID: 40616054
ok thanks, from a log file point of view, which exchange log are you referring to, and is there an eay way to determine where that is located?
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by:Guy Lidbetter
ID: 40616064
Yes absolutely,

The log's are the Exchange Database Transaction Logs.

Run this script in the management shell to output a CSV.

Get-MailboxDatabase | select Name, EDBFilePath, LogFolderPath | export-csv c:\temp\paths.csv -NoTypeInformation

Open in new window


The Paths provided will be the same on all server members of a Database Group.

Regards

Guy
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by:pma111
ID: 40616076
Thanks Guy

So you would recommend a seperate volume for both the database and its log file?
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by:pma111
ID: 40616081
Totally respect your input, but I am struggling to find anything official from Microsft on locating databases and logfiles on the system drive, have you ever come across any official best practice guidance from them on this issue? Cant seem to find anything... Would be a useful reference to have.
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by:Guy Lidbetter
ID: 40616125
Have a look at Microsoft's Technet on Understanding Storage Configuration found here:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792(v=exchg.141).aspx

Under Best Practice for Storage Configurations is states on the "OS, System or Pagefile" table under "High availability: supported or best practice:"
"Use a dedicated array group; don't host both system LUN and data LUNs on the same array group."

Essentially saying, System Drives (OS, Exchange Binaries etc) should be kept separate from Data Drives (DB and Logs)

Regards

Guy
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