Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange

Welcome to the Dell - Exchange wiki. This is a forum to discuss and share information about Microsoft Exchange solutions provided by Dell. We work closely with Microsoft to bring tested and validated Exchange solutions to market and provide collaterals such as best practice guides, white papers, and articles. Members of the Exchange team include Rizwan Ali, Akshai Parthasarathy, Mahmoud Ahmadian and Varun Kulkarni.

Exchange Tested Solutions

The Dell Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions are featured on the following blog post from the "You had me at EHLO" Microsoft web site. The Exchange Tested Solutions Program is a tight collaboration between Microsoft and it's hardware vendors, driving collateral that would most benefit customers interested in Exchange. We at Dell have taken part in two of the three ETSP papers released in December 2010. The two whitepapers presented below were tested at Dell Enterprise Solutions Lab and Microsoft.
500 Mailboxes on a single site with T610 tower servers
This solution was designed primarily for small businesses with an interest in leveraging 5GB mailboxes with 150 messages per day (0.15 IO/Mailbox). The topology consists of two physical servers, each containing one Mailbox VM and one Hub Transport/Client Access VM, both running on the Microsoft HyperV virtualization stack. Each VM was allocated 4 cores and 8GB of memory. High Availability for the Mailbox Server was provided using a 2 copy DAG and the Client Access Server using Windows Network Load Balancing (WNLB).

The disks used were 8 x 1 TB SATA 3.5", memory was 16GB, and processors were 2 x Intel Xeon 5500 series per server. Two of the disks were used for Windows Server 2008 R2 with HyperV and Exchange 2010 roles in a RAID 1 configuration. The remaining 6 disks were used in a RAID 5 configuration for 4 Exchange databases and their corresponding logs. Shown on the right is the physical topology.

9000 Mailboxes with disaster recovery on M610 blade servers, M6220 and 6248 PowerConnect switches and Equallogic PS 6500 storage arrays

This larger solution was designed for deployments with an interest in having disaster recovery in addition to traditional High Availability on an iSCSI SAN. A total of nine M610 blades and three Equallogic PS6500 arrays were used - spanning across two sites. The mailboxes were tiered in the following way:
  • Tier 1: 450 mailboxes @ 4GB and 150 messages per day
  • Tier 2: 900 mailboxes @ 1GB and 100 messages per day
  • Tier 3: 7650 mailboxes @ 512 MB and 100 messages per day
 VM and one Hub Transport/Client Access VM

Figure 1: VM and one Hub Transport/Client Access VM
Therefore, the effective profile is ~ 9000 mailboxes @ 742 MB and 102 messages per day.
As can be seen on the right, there were three failure domains, each consisting of one M1000E chassis with three blade servers and one Dell Equallogic PS6500 storage unit. Failure domains 1 and 2 are deployed in the primary site and 3 on the secondary site. The private and public networks were separated and PowerConnect 6248 and M6220 switches were used. Each Equallogic PS 6500 consists of 48 1TB SATA disks used in RAID 10.

M610 Servers were used with 2 x SAS 15k 300GB drives, 2 x quad core Intel Xeon 5550 processors and 48 GB of memory. Each Mailbox VM was allocated 32 GB and 4 vCPUs and Hub Transport / Client Access VM was allocated 8 GB and 4 vCPUs.

There were a total of 18 VM's depolyed, distributed evenly between Hub Transport / Client Access and Mailbox server roles running on HyperV. Each Mailbox Server VM hosts 6 databases and their corresponding logs. This means that in the primary site, there are 3 active and 3 passive databases per server, among 6 servers. In the secondary site, there are 6 passive databases per server. All the Mailbox Server VM's are in a single DAG. The Hub Transport / Client Access VM's in the primary site (Failure Domain 1 and 2) form one load balanced array and those in the third failure domain form another load balanced array in the second site.

The iSCSI connections were established from the host machine and the volumes were made available to the Mailbox Server virtual machine (pass-through). In the figure, 1 NIC per server was used for public network connecting to the Domain Controller, 3 NICs for private networks used for seeding and log shipping, and 2 NICs for iSCSI connectivity to the PS6500 array. All NICs were 1Gbps, but port aggregation was used between the switches to provide increased bandwidth.
M1000E chassis with three blade servers and one Dell Equallogic PS6500 storage unit

Figure 2: M1000E chassis with three blade servers and one Dell Equallogic PS6500 storage unit

Exchange Advisor Tool

The Dell Exchange 2010 Advisor Tool can be used to build your Exchange 2010 deployment. It will outline your server and storage needs after you answer a series of questions.
 Exchange 2010 Advisor
Figure 3: Exchange 2010 Advisor
Exchange 2007 Advisor
Figure 4: Exchange 2007 Advisor
 Exchange 2003 Advisor
Figure 5: Exchange 2003 Advisor

Quick Links

Featured White Papers

Dell Exchange 2007 Advisor and Representative Deployments
This white paper presents data from the comprehensive performance tests of the Exchange 2007 server and the resulting best practices. With this data, Dell was able to develop the Dell Exchange 2007 Advisor, which provides you with the guidance you need when deploying Exchange 2007. The tool was designed to help determine optimal configurations, storage, and storage sizing in addition to providing backup and availability recommendations. The following sections of this white paper explain the Dell Exchange 2007 Advisor and walk through the tool outputs designed for small, medium, and large business needs.

Featured Articles

Understanding the Architecture and Features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 includes significant changes from Exchange Server 2003. This article describes key technical aspects of these changes—including its core architecture, mailbox data access, and secure deployment features—to enable administrators to effectively prepare for migrations to Exchange Server 2007.

Article ID: SLN312419

Last Date Modified: 08/13/2018 06:48 AM

Rate this article

Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you for your feedback.