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Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

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  • Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

    this is my first week starting at a new company.

    I am currently assessing the current environment and would like to come up with the best solution, so I need some second opinions and/or tips:

    Current Env: 1 Exchange 2003 Standard also serving as a DC, DNS, Wins & Hosting McAfee GroupShield for Exchange as well as GFI Mail Essentials (on 1G Ram, and 70GB Hard Drive)

    The Hard Drive as well as Exchange Mailstore has reached their max. It is serving about 30 users with no archiving and mailboxes ranging in size up to 3Gig each!
    (You see the place for a change?!?)

    The company is also growing rapidly. I would like to Upgrade Exchange to 07.

    Questions:

    1. I would like to use Windows Server 2008 for Exc 07, any reasons why not?

    2. As I mentioned the company is growing, and we would like to setup TS Server, VPN, prob with ISA server, ERP, & I would like Exchange 07 to be clustered. So many servers will be added. -- Should I consider VMWare ESX Server or Windows 2008 Virtualization at this point (I'm new to either products)?

    My Thought, If I'm going to redesign everything from scratch there isn't a better time than now, to do it right! Am I rushing? Should I not virtualize now?

    Also, Is it typical for some companies to use mailboxes that big or must this change?

    I'm sure I will have more questions, but I truly appreciate your help getting me through this project.

    Sincerely

    Yosi

  • #2
    Re: Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

    For 30 users, even with rapid growth I wouldn't even consider clustering. A massive overkill.
    Also don't forget that clustering has changed in Exchange 2007, you have many more options.

    As for Windows 2008, in theory no reason why not, other than it is new. Therefore any issues are being worked out. I am still deploying Exchange 2007 on to Windows 2003 64 bit as support is good from everyone involved and the client can get additional support easily.
    If you stick to known branded server hardware you wouldn't have a problem.

    If it was me, I would be looking to spin out the domain controllers first. Two new machines doing that - not virtual machines.
    ISA on a virtual server isn't a good idea either, unless you are using it as a proxy, not as firewall.

    As for mailbox size - no two companies are the same. 3gb in some companies would be considered peanuts.

    My personal opinion though would be that you could do with some time with a good Exchange/networking consultant who can look at what you have and advise accordingly. You will get much more value from that than what you will from a forum. An experienced consultant will know what questions to ask and how to interpret the answers.

    Simon.
    --
    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

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    • #3
      Re: Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

      Windows 2008 is good, However there is not much of support at this stage.

      A thought: Microsoft Hypervisor as it ties better with Windows 2008.

      Having a SAN based solution will get you a better performance with Exchange 2007.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

        For 30 users a SAN is way over the top. I wouldn't even dream of putting Exchange 2007 on a SAN for 30 users.

        Simon.
        --
        Simon Butler
        Exchange MVP

        Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
        More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
        Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
        In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

          For hardware you may want to consider something like the Intel MFSYS

          they start around $3500 US and sounds like it might suit your needs very well.

          http://www.intel.com/products/server...stem/index.htm

          for entry level san/blade server it is pretty good.
          Stacey Smith
          Sr. Systems Engineer

          The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane --Samuel Clemens

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          • #6
            Re: Redesigning Ex 03 to 07 on Win 2008

            Thanks much for your replies. I guess clustering is not the best choice at this time, I'll check out the other options available in 07.

            SAN is not a cost effective solution for us. The blade server from Intel seems like a nice solution with good redundency.

            I know Server 08 is relativly new, but since we are currently only using Exchange as a basic mail server, I think it will make sense to implement it now rather than having to migrate later.

            As to virtualization, It is probably not necessary at this time.

            Thanks for your insights, it helped me in the decision making process.

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