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Enterprise Software Thread, Exchange 2010 VM Server Spec in Technical; Hi guys, We have had our exchange box running for almost a year now and the company that put it ...
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    Darylrese's Avatar
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    Question Exchange 2010 VM Server Spec

    Hi guys,

    We have had our exchange box running for almost a year now and the company that put it in seems to have allocated a low amount of resources to the machine

    Intel Xeon X5650 @ 2.67ghz (only 2 cores)
    8GB Memory
    60GB C drive

    Store.exe used all of the available system memory, so I doubled it to 16GB and same thing happened again. I understand it uses whatever memory it has. At the weekend I increased it again to 24GB memory, and also allocated 2 more CPU cores.

    Total memory is now sitting at 19GB used and everything is working well so far.

    As the machine is responsible for all roles (edge, transport, exchange) what spec should the VM have? I have read some documentation which suggests a large amount of CPU cores and upto 64GB memory is required when running all services from one box.

    Also, I have read on a few places you can cap the store.exe size so that is only uses a certain amount of memory, however I cant find the option in ASCI manager as per the guides.

    Some windows updates went on at the weekend causing C: to have less than 2GB spare, this caused transport service to refuse incoming mail so increased it by 20GB and all is working again.


    We have around 1000 mailboxes varying in size.

    What should the spec of the machine be and should I cap the store.exe database size?

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    It all depends on mailbox numbers. We have only 100 mailboxes on ours (using an all-in-one setup like yours) and the server runs fine with only 4GB RAM.

    Personally I suspect that HD size and speed may be more of a limiting factor than RAM in your case. With 1000 mailboxes you are going to get a LOT more disk activity than we do.

    I would also recommend the use of a separate partition for the mail and log store so that mail activity cannot fill up the C: drive.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 24th June 2013 at 12:48 PM.

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    Darylrese's Avatar
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    sorry should have said, the logs and mail store do go to a separate partition, the windows updates are what filled the C drive over the weekend.

    Store.exe is now using 14.6GB memory, with a total useage of 20.2GB, its slowly creeping up. I suspect this will keep on doing so until all memory is used up again and then bottlenecks.

    Any idea if setting a limit on store.exe is a good idea or not?
    Last edited by Darylrese; 24th June 2013 at 12:52 PM.

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    We're you actually having any noticeable performance issues prior to changing the resources allocated to the VM?

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    Darylrese's Avatar
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    Yes and no. Mail was slow to send / receive sometimes and outlook was showing a notication saying it was communicating with the server and hung. No such issues yet, could be coincidence.

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    john's Avatar
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    Exchange is a program that will consume whatever ram you give it, for example you have given it more and it used it and then gave it further ram and its consuming it again, this is by design of exchange.

    In your setup, which sounds similar to what I was running with all roles on one VM and similar number of mailboxes, I had 32Gb ram on the box with 2 partitions one for the OS and Exchange and the other held the DB store and logs.

    You need to work out what ram fits your needs between performance VS available resources. If things seem a bit slow add a bit more, you will hit a point where adding more makes no difference to your needs.

    I personally would think 8 was a bit small, the 24 you are using now sounds good see how it performs and how users see it responding if they don't complain then leave it at that.

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    Darylrese's Avatar
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    Will do thank-you.

    Will store.exe just continue to use all the memory given to it or does it reach a point where it doesn't need anymore? Out of 24GB it seems to have stopped at 20.2GB for some time.

    What about CPU cores?
    Last edited by Darylrese; 24th June 2013 at 02:01 PM.

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    VMWare best practice is to start off with the minimum amount of resource you can get away with.

    If you don't have messages in the exchange server system event log complaining about low memory, the original config was sufficient.

    We've got a similar set up. It has only recent started to ask for more ram. (900 mailboxes, quote a few 2gb+)

    The ms documentation assumes that your users are mostly concurrent, leading to the risk of massive over provision in a school setting.

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    we have our exchange virtualised with VMWARE server thyat has 1.3-5k active users with 4 virtual cpus and 16GB of ram which runs at around 90% ram usage like no cpu haha xD
    I think its one of those things that need to be tweaked with your environment.
    Also a while back i did see a thing about iphones with exchange activesync using up CPU on the exchange server.

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darylrese View Post
    Will do thank-you.

    Will store.exe just continue to use all the memory given to it or does it reach a point where it doesn't need anymore? Out of 24GB it seems to have stopped at 20.2GB for some time.

    What about CPU cores?
    It will get to a level where it stops as its leaving the rest for the system to use so its probably reached that point if you give it more it will grow more.

    CPUs ours had 4 vCPUs and was fine never seemed labored as once its going its ram it seemed to use in our setup.

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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    I've found it scales well, I run my personal exchange on a virtual server hosted on an HP Microserver with 4Gb RAM allocated.

    I have found it being very CPU intensive (obviously on a microserver) but still does the job.



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