Implementing Exchange Server 2010 in Production Environment

IT ExplorerIT Explorer Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm about to implement exchange 2010 in production environment, they were using tower servers in the company for ad, dns and dhcp and file server, I want to replace them with blade servers, could the experienced members here suggest me the specifications of the servers, storage and brands that will do perfectly smooth for 200 users.


  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    Use the Role Requirements Calculator to determine the server side based on the client profile. Read the instructions first so you know what data the spreadsheet needs (and why it needs it).
    Exchange 2010 Server Role Requirements Calculator - Exchange Team Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
    TechNet v20.7 of the Exchange 2010 Server Role Requirements Calculator

    Depending on their current version of Exchange, you can use the Server Profile Analyzer to get mailbox statistics - size, messages sent and received, etc. - that will give you accurate information for the Role Calculator. Be sure to plan for growth - I assume everything will double.
    Download Microsoft Exchange Server Profile Analyzer (32 bit) from Official Microsoft Download Center

    You can use the Exchange Deployment Assistant to generate a migration plan:
    Exchange Server 2013: Exchange 2013 Help
  • BloogenBloogen Member Posts: 180 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I hope you mean rackmount server and not a blade server. A blade server would almost certainly be a very poor choice for your needs.

    At a higher level I think you should go with rackmount servers and virtualize all of your current and future servers. You should break this into multiple smaller projects. Step 1 identify service requirements, step 2 profile workloads and identify hardware requirements, step 3 decide on and deploy new hardware and virtualization platform, step 3 testing migration of existing services to new hardware/platform, step 4 introduce/upgrade services onto new platform. This is just an example.

    You also have to plan things such as your backup strategy on the new setup, how you will migrate smoothly to ensure you can identify issues before going live on new hardware/systems and backout plans if things go wrong.

    Storage for 200 users I would personally purchase a server that could have the internal capacity to host it directly on the server and I would not attempt to introduce any networked storage for the purpose of Exchange or the other services you listed.

    Without knowing more about your environment I would probably buy 1 new server capable of virtualizing all of the required services and use something like Veam or Unitrends to backup continuously to a NAS or other storage device. Depending on the specifications of your current servers they could potentially serve as a backup to run your VM's in a pinch if your primary has issues. The primary hardware should have a same day on site warranty.
  • IT ExplorerIT Explorer Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Claymoore and Bloogen for your informative replies, Bloogen, could you explain more :
    1- why you prefer rackmounted server for my needs and didn't go for blade server, I didn't mention also that this company has other application servers ( ERP ) and a website hosted on their server.
    2- Is it okay to have all my servers in one server, don't you think that this could be single point of failure.
    3- I was thinking of SAN as network storage, why did you avoid it?
  • BloogenBloogen Member Posts: 180 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think a better question is what problems is the blade server solving over the rackmount servers? What kind of kind of server density do you need to achieve to make the cost and complexity, vendor lock-in etc of a blade server worth it?

    As I mentioned I don't know your environment so it sounds like you probably need more than 1 server in your case. Likely two powerful rackmount servers running Hyper-V or VMware to virtualize your servers.

    What is your experience with administering a SAN? A SAN is more expensive, more complex and more prone to human error and is a single point of failure compared to other solutions. I would ask again what problem is the SAN solving or what solution is it providing? It MAY be the right solution but I haven't heard WHY it would be the solution based on your requirements.

    You need to profile your current resource requirements, specifically on your Exchange, ERP and web server. With 200 users I would guess that blade servers and a SAN would probably be the wrong choice but I don't have all the information. You also have to ask yourself what your growth patterns are like.

    Why I might suggest two rackmount virtual host servers utilizing internal storage is this:

    No single point of failure.
    Internal storage is simple, less prone to user error and easier to support.
    Virtualization allows quick provisioning, backup, replication etc.

    I would ask you,
    1) What are your servers workload requirements, memory, CPU, storage i/o etc
    2) What servers/services do you currently have?
    3) Do you have an existing virtualization solution?
    4) Do you have any information about growth patterns?
  • IT ExplorerIT Explorer Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Bloogen, you made it more clear for me.

    The users given here ( 200 users ) is over-estimated they're now 150 and this Org. is not that expanding they where before two years 135, so I gave and estimation for (200 users).

    All the mentioned above services are provided now except exchange server.

    Some services are now provided via Hyper-V.

    Your explanation was very informative and helpful, it seems that this is closer to my need
    two powerful rackmount servers running Hyper-V or VMware to virtualize your servers.

    Thanks again for your reply.
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