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Please help w\ Exchange 2003 Deployment

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  • Please help w\ Exchange 2003 Deployment

    Hello All, thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    We currently have an Exchange server setup for 150 users that seems to be running pretty decently, but we're looking to upgrade to better hardware, and also we would like to have some redundancy and failover in place.

    I was wondering if anyone could give me a suggestion on how to deploy our new setup. For example:

    1. What hardware would you recommend (I use Dell, and I was thinking the PE2950)?

    2. How many servers should I use (not more than 2, but is one enough)?

    3. Should I set it up in cluster mode, or just have an exact Exchange replica on the network in case the first one goes down?

    The more detail you can give, the better.

    Thanks so much


  • #2
    Re: Please help w\ Exchange 2003 Deployment

    I'll answer some of your questions:

    1) Hardware - IBM, Dell, HP, they all make good servers. Question is what's your budget. Find a server that fits your budget yet has good support and warranty, and a good selection of hardware (cpu, memory, disk, nic, RAID controller etc.).

    2) For 150 users one server will do. However, if you want to add on some sort of disaster protection in mind, then you'll need to do a risk assessment and decide what are the risks you're facing, and how much are you willing to spend in order to mitigate those risks.

    For example - in order to protect yourself from a HD failure you'll probably use RAID. But which RAID level? 1? 5? 10? How many controllers? How many spindles?

    What about an external storage - NAS/SAN? Is that a must? For many it is, because the size of DB plus the requirements for snapshots will pay for the storage's price.

    Clustering? It will only protect against server hardware failures, NOT against DB corruption, and unless buying expensive hardware, it won't give you ny performance boost at all.

    So, what I suggest is that you talk to someone you trust and that can help you plan your setup. It's worth spending 3-4 hours' worth of consulting fees but have a good plan in your pocket.

    (You know where to find me... LOL)

    Daniel Petri
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services