Exchange 2013 Deployment on VMware

We are planning an Exchange 2013 deployment with Server 2012 on a VM. It will be a new deployment (not an upgrade) that will only support 100 users. How much CPU and RAM would you all recommend for this type of deployment?
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JHMH IT StaffAsked:
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Mai Ali (MVP)Senior Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
You can use Exchange 2013 Calculator to determine Hardware requirement for this deployment. but you need to specify the quota of user mailbox for example user mailbox size will be 1 GB and if you need to deploy it with high availability or stand alone server.
After you feel this info. in Exchange calculator, it will show to you the CPU, Storage and RAM requirement.
For Exchange 2013 Calculator, you can check below link
https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/Exchange-2013-Server-Role-f8a61780
For more info., you can refer below link
http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/planning-architecture/exchange-2013-sizing-cheat-sheet-part1.html
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Are you looking for High Availability or just a stand alone box. According to that I can suggest you.
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
In addition to the above, please look through this guide from VMware.

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Exchange_2013_on_VMware_Best_Practices_Guide.pdf

No more than 24 cores and no more than 96 gig of RAM.

If you go above these numbers it will adversely affect performance.

Exchange 2013 is designed to be scaled out not up.

When I was with MS supporting Exchange we had quite a few customers who had 256 gig of memory and 48 or more cores.  It was difficult explaining that 2 servers with half the resources would have been better.

Also don't over subscribe processors and memory.
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JHMH IT StaffAuthor Commented:
I guess what we're looking for is the "cliff's notes"; that documentation is all very intense and a little beyond what we normally scope out. We currently run a virtualized Exchange 2003 server with 4 CPUs, 4 GB RAM, and serving 500 mailboxes on a 250 GB data drive (the server was P2V'd into our virtual environment). Looking at the documentation linked in the comments and fumbling with the calculator makes it seem as if we'll need almost 2 TB for only 100 mailboxes! I can't imagine that's actually the case.

What hard drive size would you recommend for a server which will only house 100 mailboxes, 20 mailboxes limited to 20 GB receiving 100 messages a day, the other 80 limited to 5 GB receiving 50 messages a day? We will be using Veeam backup for Exchange, so there is no need to keep several copies of the database locally, only the minimum.
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
Well for just what you described you will need 400 gig for your 20 users and 400 gig for your 80 users.  That's 800 gig.  You are pushing 1 TB right now.

Bumping that up to 2 TB is not unreasonable, especially with the low cost of storage now.  Get the extra storage now in the building stage rather than trying to expand it later when you have to.

Your Exchange server will need at least 16 Gig of memory.
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You should read this first:
http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-2010-mailbox-database-growing-big-fast/

Best to create multiple DB's. Smaller DB's are always good. Keep disk size to 500GB max with 10% free space. If you are using stand alone, then you can keep logs on other drive. If DAG then you need to keep logs on same drives.
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JHMH IT StaffAuthor Commented:
This is good info we were able to use as a guide.
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
Excellent. Glad we could help.
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