- An Overview of Exchange 2007 SP1
- Choose Your Exchange Server Roles
- Determine Your Server Type: Server 2003 or 2008
- Choose Your Exchange 2007 Version
- Choose the Right Hardware for the Role
- Ensure the Needed Software Is Installed First
- Ensure Components Are Installed Per Server Role
- Plan Your Exchange Storage Architecture
Choose the Right Hardware for the Role
- Solution: The solution begins with the processor. You then need to determine memory and hard disk needs per role. The interesting thing is that you might already have a system in place that you can use for your Exchange Server. You might not have to purchase anything.
There are two primary processor options for you to consider, and you might have already guessed from looking at your server operating system choices that they are both 64-bit processors.
You can use:
- A processor that supports Intel’s Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T)
- AMD 64 platform processors
The AMD Opteron or the Intel Xeon 64-bit processors are good choices, but there might be others that work fine. Keep in mind that the Intel Itanium (IA64) doesn’t work with Server 2003 64, so that would hinder its use under those circumstances. Microsoft generally provides a list of approved servers and processor types that you can check ahead of time before you purchase to ensure you have compatibility with their processor requirements.
You might consider a multicore processor for your Exchange server because tests have shown that there is a performance benefit.
Several theories regarding the memory needed depending on the server role exist. With the Typical installation where you have all the roles on one system, Microsoft recommends 2GB of RAM with 5MB added per user (with the number of storage groups also considered, as you’ll soon see).
On the Mailbox servers where you have your storage groups, you are wise to include 2GB of RAM for every one to four groups. So, if you have five to eight groups, you would make sure you have 4GB and so on.
In terms of necessity, your Edge and HT servers do not require a substantial amount of memory to perform well. Per processor core, 1GB of memory with a 2GB minimum should suffice.
Installing Exchange requires about 1.2GB of space. If you are working with Unified Messaging language packs, you need to consider 500MB for each one. Make sure you have 200MB on your system drive.
Note that all disk volumes for Exchange 2007 should be NTFS formatted.
Edge Transport and HT servers store the message queue database and should therefore have at least 500MB of free space for Exchange 2007 SP1.
Obviously, your biggest disk sizes are needed on the servers that handle the mail repositories—your Mailbox role. How does one determine the amount of storage needed? Often it depends on the server configuration. Are you using a form of fault tolerance or high availability? How many users per mailbox? How many storage groups and databases and so forth? Remember, you aren’t just looking at providing the proper capacity here; you need to ensure performance is looked after, too.
There is a requirements calculator located on the MS Exchange Team’s site that is somewhat complicated but worth playing with, as shown in Figure 1.3. The site is located at: http://msexchangeteam.com/files/12/attachments/entry438481.aspx.
Figure 1.3 The Exchange 2007 Mailbox Server Role Storage Requirements Calculator spreadsheet.
With the Mailbox server, several considerations beyond the mailbox space itself exist. Imagine that each user is allowed 1GB of space, and you have 500 user mailboxes on that server. All 500 users might not have mailboxes that are full, but you have to be prepared for that level of mail. In addition to the database, there are transaction logs that are growing each day for which you need to be prepared (and you might prepare by moving those to other drives). You have deleted item and deleted mailbox retention to think about. Full text indexing uses about 25 percent of the total size of the mailbox database! Translation: Lots of disk space is a good thing on those mailbox servers. Faster, reliable disk technologies are always the wiser choice when putting together your Exchange servers.