Exchange 2013 Server Build

I'm building an Exchange 2013 server to replace our current 2010 Exchange.

The new Exch server will be running Server 2012 R2, hardware wise the following:

Intel Xeon X3460 Quad Core @ 2.8GHz
Intel RAID Controller RS2BL080
RAID 1 = C: 2x 1TB SATA
RAID 1 = E: 2x 500GB SATA
RAID 10 = F: 4x 600GB SAS

Firstly, would the hardware be sufficient for Exch 2013?
Secondly; obviously C will be used as the Windows drive and for whatever else needs to be installed, then I was thinking that E would be used for log files and F for the edb

Would this be sufficient or has there be drastic changes to the suggested storage config for Exchange 2013?

I have read up on some stuff, namely Exchange 2013 storage configuration options but would like some feedback from people that have a working environment.

Our Exchange environment isn't big, 100 mailboxes, 1 server (multi role), we probably average about 10 000 emails a month.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
The configuration that you have outline above is sufficent for your environment. However I would change the 500GB for the C drive and leave TB drive to the logs.

You have over allocated space for both however, OS will never take 500GB. Logs if your backup stops working or you have an influx of changes and or emails the logs can grow quickly, Or even if you added additonal databases with logs on this drive.

ITB is huge for log drives as well but as stated if you run into your logs for or have backup issues you have plent of room for growth or error.


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DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Thanks Will, will change the drives around so 500GB is for the OS.
Mmh, 100 Mailboxes, lets say all power users with 4 GB storage = 400 GB what you need for the databases.
For the logs, it depends how you backup your server. If you have a backup solution, it depends from the amount of mails you get between the backup cycles. If you do not have a backup solution, you should switch off the database logs (circular logging) as they are otherwise never deleted.
But backup is recommended anyway...

The OS itself and possibly the exchange you can use the recommended space from Microsoft.
Exchange alone needs 30 GB + 500 MB per UM language pack + 500 MB for the queue + 200 MB free space. I guess 100 GB is enough. If the space is virtual, you can expand it as needed.  

If you use logging for SMTP Send / Receive etc, write the files to the data partition, not to the OS partition.  

The performance recommendation is to have separate disc for OS+ Exchange, database and log files.
This has mostly to do with IOs and not with the read / write speed. So using disc on the same physical drive doesn't have an advantage.

For OS partitions, you can use a mirror (RAID 1), for data partitions, I prefer a RAID 5, not a mirror.

Exchange is not really performance critical, mostly OWA is affected by poor performance. But your server is fine for this dimension.
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DJMohrAuthor Commented:
What about Exchange 2016 or is it not in full release yet?
Exchange 2016 was released in October 2015
But some of the features are released first in the online version and will be included on premise later.

As I can see, the hardware requirements are the same than for 2013.  
Supported is 2012 and 2012 R2, AD 2008 functional level of the DCs and Outlook 2010 (with KB) and above.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
I would stay clear from 2016 in production environments until at least SP1 has been released. This will save you a lot of headaches in the meantime due to bug fixes etc. If you purchase CALS for Exchange they will be for the latest verison which is 2016, however they are downgradable to 2013. So when you are ready you will be able to go directly to 2016 without having to repurchase CAL's.

That would be my approach.

DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your input
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