Suggestion Required for exchange 2013

Dear Experts,

With the help of Experts  I have configured Exchange 2013 Standard edition. It is installed on Windows server 2012. It is installed in single server. Its a Vmware environment. In my D: drive created a folder & made it DB. Currently my total no.of users are 300.  Users are increasing day by day. I am worried because it is configured in a single server with all the roles.
Is this configuration fine or not. Currently my exchange server is working fine without any issues.

Waiting for your valuable suggestions.

Regards,

JCT
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jct_777Asked:
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Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
what are the current specs ?
you have to:
monitor RAM consumption continuously and add more for better response.
NIC Teaming for load balancing / fail over.
monitor storage status continuously.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

The config is:- Intel cpu e5-2620 2 processors with 16gb memory. two partitions . Second partition contains the mail box folder.

I thing NIC teaming is configured in Vmware. But still how can I check that also how to monitor storage status. Please help. As I am totally new to this server world.

Regards,

JCT
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
please also write a little bit more about operating systems you have..

regarding RAM consumption start task manager in your Exchange VM and in performance tab you will see RAM statistics, try to make 2GB idle for safe side.

and regarding disk capacity you have to monitor Physical DISKS as well as VM's partition where exchange files are supposed to be stored (Mailboxes, etc.).

for NIC teaming check Network Configuration in VMware console.
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jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

The OS is Windows server 2012 Standard.

Regards,

JCT
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi,

In the task manager CPU is showing 10% for 2.00GHZ

Memory showing 15/16GB (94%)

Regards,

JCT
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
Host and Guest both are on 2012 ?
is there only one VM (Exchange) on host ?
please share VM's specs too.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

There are total 4 vm's in this host server. the summary of the host server:- system x3650 12cpusX 1.999GHZ.
Processor sockets=2
Cores per socket=6
no.of NIcs =5
Ram=32gb out of which 26gb is used .
hdd =300gbX2 (only 2 hdd's is installed physically in this server)

Please recommend if I need to upgrade this server or not.
Also how many VM's can I create in one physical server.

Regards,

JCT
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
you have to add HDDs in future for sure, as you already service 300+ users (Mailboxes).
rest of the components are seems to be good enough.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

So as per your advice I need to add more HDD's to the server. Also i will upgrade the memory. If I upgrade these 2 then there is not to worry. What if i need to upgrade the San Storage.

Regards,

JCT
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
no need to upgrade physical RAMs, but you must increase Exchange's RAM to 1GB for now as we can see 94% is already consumed..make at least 2GB free in exchange in future also.

are those 300GB are on Raid 1 or Raid 0 ?
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi,

In the beginning the server was configured by another Engineer. I think its Raid 1.

Is it good if i increase the Ram along with the HDD.  Also there is currently 2 hdd with 300gb each . If I purchase 2 more HDD do I need to configure raid 5 or will it take it automatically i.e. Raid 1.

Regards,

JCT
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

As per your advice i have increased the memory to 20gb for the exchange server . Now it shows 41% used.

Regards,

JCT
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
you can add RAMs but this process wants system shutdown.

nothing in RAID will configure automatically after adding HDDs. You have to configure it after adding disks.
you have to add three HDDs and configure your RAID with new Virtual Disk.
"DO NOT TOUCH CURRENT/EXISTING VIRTUAL DISK" in which two HDDs are populated RAID configuration.
Create new Virtual Disk and add those three new HDDs in it then select RAID LEVEL 5 and quit with initialize disks. Once initializing completes, reboot and let server boot.
In server manager you have to format that partition which you created and then you have to shutdown VMs one by one and copy all of the VHDs and files into new partition and start VMs from new location.
you have your OS in previous 2 HDDs so please DO not touch your previous drives or virtual disk in raid.
after adding new HHDs and testing them, we will add those 2 HDDs too with the new configuration.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

I will better ask the supplier to install the new hdd's.  Is it possible to move the mailbox folder to another storage. I mean a NAS Storage.  

Regards,

JCT
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

Just a doubt. As I have already mentioned its a VMWare environment. Do I need to increase the HDD of the host server or do I need to increase the HDD of the San Storage.

Because the drive space I am getting from the Storage

Regards,

JCT
kevinhsiehCommented:
You have mention SAN storage and NAS storage, as well as some hard drives. I don't know why the server has any hard drives if you have NAS or SAN storage available (as long as you have quality storage kit). Normal thing to do is install VMware on an internal USB key or SD card, so no internal hard drives are necessary.

If your Exchange server is located on NAS or SAN, what is it? Questions one would normally ask are do you have enough space, do you have enough performance,  and does it have sufficient availability? You can use esxtop to check on storage performance.
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1008205

A single server is fine if that meets your availability requirements.  How long can you be down for? I would expect that an issue with the services could lead to an outage of at least one business day while someone works to restore the server to a working state. If that much downtime is not acceptable,  you should look at moving to Office 365, a service such as one from Mimecast that can provide DR services,  or add a second Exchange server (on different server and storage).

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wolfcamelCommented:
There are a lot of open ended questions in there.
A lot depends on the usage.
The server cpu, ram and storage are relatively easy to monitor and upgrade as you see fit.
More and faster will never go astray.
Bandwidth of getting the data in and out of the server can be important, especially as more people send large attachments.

However - there is no mention of your backup/recovery plans. Exchange is one big data file that can take a long time to repair/recover if it screws up. Also, users will regularly delete mail that you will need to recover, sometimes accidentally, other times maliciously. Your strategies for these things can easily be more important than performance.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

For the backup we are using BackupExec. All the backups are going to our SAN Storage i.e. IBM. Till now I didn't faced any issue. All is working fine. My exchange server 2013 standard is installed in one server only.

Regards,

JCT
SteveCommented:
No offence intended, but sounds like you've managed to get a pretty complicated system set up without having much understanding of it. This is a dangerous position as no-one on forums offer any kind of warranty on their advice and how you choose to implement it.

I'd like to firstly recommend you seek proper support in person, with some form of contract backing it up.
Secondly, you should consider the impact it would have on your business if there was an issue or outage on this system, as you may struggle to support/diagnose at present.

Anyway, with regard to your questions, if it is working well you don't HAVE to do anything. sounds like it's working fairly well so far.
I would recommend considering two things though: growth & resilience.

growth is down to making sure the server is right as you grow. adding a second RAID set is a good start as noted above.
More memory is often good too, but only if you can see that it needs it otherwise its wasted.

The more important consideration in your case may be resilience. If this entire system is on one box you have a risk if it has a problem. Splitting into multiple servers can help performance too but is most useful to prevent an outage in the event of a single server dying.
Consider how critical the e-mail system is to your company and what kind of budget you can justify and we can offer some good advice on your options that fits with your requirements.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi,

As I have mentioned above its an Virtual environment. All the servers are clustered through vmware software. Even if any severs are down there shall be no downtime. there may be slowness in the network.  My plan is to configre a NAS storage for database in exchange server & move all the old dbs to the new one. Is it a correct method of doing that ??

Regards,

JCT
kevinhsiehCommented:
Wait, now the VMware is clustered? This is new information.

On what kind of storage is the Exchange DBs on? How is it bring presented to the VM?
Why do you feel that the Exchange DBs need to be moved?

Be aware that Microsoft doesn't support running Exchange storage over NAS protocols (NFS). There is scepticism in the industry that it is an actual problem,  but Microsoft doesn't support it. They only support block storage for Exchange (local disk, iSCSI, FC).
SteveCommented:
there shall be no downtime.
Think you're being a bit optimistic there I'm afraid. Even huge companies rarely make statements like that! :-)

What if there is an issue with the VMware cluster? The shared storage? the network? the VM gets corrupted? vmotion fails?
These are all real-world issues, which can be made much harder to manage depending on your expertise with VMware etc.

Anyway, back to the original question:
Now we know you have multiple servers in a cluster (which is new info) it is less of a worry than the single server you suggested in the question. In theory the VMware cluster backend does offer some help, but exchange, like most database driven apps, doesn't really like being moved between hosts. It is usually fine and most people do it this way but, where possible, it is much better to create 2 VMS and keep them  on separate hosts. Exchange has resilience facilities built in and it's best to use it as designed where possible. That way if one exchange server fails, the other takes over within Exchange's own methods.

Have a look at mailbox DAGs and CAS load balancing for info on what this involves.
jct_777Author Commented:
Hi ,

Presently we have San Storage of the IBM. The place is getting less in that. If we purchase a new San Storage can we mount it to the exchange server as a database.

Regards,

JCT
jct_777Author Commented:
Dear Experts,

As I am totally new to the server side so before implementing anything first i take the advice of  the experts. The advice I got from the experts was really good.  

Regards,

JCT
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