Exchange 2010 - Split or Multi Role

Customer upgrading from 2003 to 2010 (already has purchased some licenses) circa 3000 users

In the past I have always split the roles to HT+CAS and MBX but seen as Microsoft now recommend multi role servers where possible I am struggling to find a valid reason to recommend splitting any more

Customer will use a L7 hardware load balancer, so NLB won't be used

Has anyone recently implemented a similar environment? What did you decide and why?
StuartTechnical Architect - CloudAsked:
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
With Exchange 2016, you have only one role. that is mailbox role left. CAS is now merged as service in MBX role. Only one more role is edge, which is in DMZ. Why MS is suggesting to use multi-role server. First you reduce cost on buying extra hardware and software license. If you are splitting roles on different server you need more windows/exchange license. Secondly, you won't be using server to is full capacity. As each role hardware requirement is different.

So, if you ask my advise, install multi-role server MBX/CAS/HUB all on one server. Size your server properly using Exchange 2010 calculator. Let me know, if that answers your query.

Read more here:
StuartTechnical Architect - CloudAuthor Commented:
Hi Amit,

Thanks for your comments, I am aware that that is the way Microsoft is headed and I have kind of already made my mind up to go multi role.

Two multi role servers (correctly sized) would add resilience and allow one server to fail/maintenance but shadow redundancy would not work as intended in this scenario so I may suggest 3 servers.. Thoughts on this?
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Specifically when Exchange 2013 came out was the actual time it was a "best practice" / "recommeded" approch, to install all of the Roles on a single Exchagne 2013 Server.  This was specifically recommeneded because Exchange 2013 is more efficient running the roles on a single server.

Exchange 2007 and 2010 are built on a completely different architecture then Exchange 2013. So with Exchange 2007 and 2010 it was recommended to split the mailbox from the CAS and Hub roles initally. However you can run them on the same server without any issues.

When you are running all Exchange roles on a single server it simplifies the configuration and also as Amit stated saves on additional hardware/licensing costs.

As long as you can provide your Exchange server with adequet resources RAM/CPU/Disk I/O, you will have no issues implementing this on a single server.

Typically any type of deployment i do I recommened installing all of the roles on a single server due to simplify the environment and the added dependancies for added servers/network etc.


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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
That is part of Hub role. It is enabled by default even on single server. Read more here:

So two server should be fine. More are always good. That will give you more HA. So, if  you have option to go for three server, that is also good. However, that doesn't have anything to do with shadow redundancy.
StuartTechnical Architect - CloudAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your thoughts guys
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