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  • Consolidating Exchange Servers?

    Note: I didn't set this scenario up. Consolidating these servers won't even be on the radar for at least a month, but can't hurt to ask about it early on Also, I have pretty limited experience with Exchange 2003, but not for long apparently!


    Server 1: Exchange 2003 on Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP2 (32 bit) (Hardware install)
    Group 1: 40 users. By design, they can currently only email a specific set of accounts within the company. Unsure how this is controlled.

    Server 2: Exchange 2003 on Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1 (32 bit) (VM install)
    Group 2: small subset of main workforce, full email capabilities
    This server also sends out automated emails (unknown as to how much)

    Server 3: Exchange 2007 on Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition SP2 (64 bit) (Hardware install)
    Group 3: Rest of main workforce, full email capabilities

    Also of note: There's a BES with 30 or so accounts on it. May be going away in favor of transitioning the BBs over to Android.

    The main workforce (40 people) has been split like across 2 servers so that in case one goes down, other people can still get email.

    When I was at another company a couple of years ago, we had 1600 people on one Exchange 2003 server with no issues, so hardware issues aside:

    Is there ANY reason why we can't just combine all 3 setups into Server 3 (which would then hold < 100 users), set up the Server 1 HW box as a hot backup onsite (with 2007/10) and/or set up a VM at our out of state colo as a backup?
    Last edited by Wired; 28th February 2011, 04:13. Reason: updated OS specs
    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

  • #2
    Re: Consolidating Exchange Servers?

    Not that I can see.
    Although you have to be sure about how exactly you are going to do this "hot" backup.
    A DAG pair would be ideal, but would require Enterprise edition of Windows on both machines.

    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: Consolidating Exchange Servers?

      So reading up on Database Availability Groups (DAG), it's an Exchange 2010 only thing, gotcha.

      What are your thoughts on these claims?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Exchange_Server
      Exchange Server 2010 provides a great degree of cost savings in required hardware. Storage performance requirements (measured in IOPS: Input/Output operations Per Second) have been reduced by approximately 70% over Exchange Server 2007, and by approximately 90% over Exchange Server 2003. For example, if the load generated by a given combination of mailboxes would have required four (4) 15,000 RPM Fibre Channel hard drives in a RAID 5 array in Exchange Server 2003 for adequate performance, Exchange Server 2007 could provide the same level of performance utilizing only three (3) 7,200RPM Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) hard drives, and Exchange Server 2010 would need only one (1) 5,400RPM Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive to deliver the same performance (assuming application layer redundancy provided by a Database Availability Group). According to a case study, Microsoft IT was able to reduce hardware costs by 75% during the migration from Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Server 2010.
      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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      • #4
        Re: Consolidating Exchange Servers?

        That article I am pretty sure is maintained by the Exchange product team.
        However the storage performance gains are being seen in the real world. The database engine has been rewritten. The DAG is designed to allow you to use lots of SATA disks, which are cheaper to run, rather than expensive RAID arrays on SAS, but I think everyone is sticking with the what they know!

        You do need to ensure the BES is on 5.02 (or BES Express), otherwise you will lose the performance gains in the BES hit. Prior to 5.02 it was around 4:1 (so every 1 Blackberry user was the equivalent of 4 regular users in load), whereas 5.02 has got it closer to 1:1.

        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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