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Enterprise Software Thread, Exchange 2010 Implementation in Technical; Hi - We have recently made the move to become and Academy so we need to move away from the ...
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    Exchange 2010 Implementation

    Hi - We have recently made the move to become and Academy so we need to move away from the LEA OWA provision and implement our own internal email system.

    I have been looking into Exchange 2010 and hosting locally on site. I would just be using Exchange for staff as we have the students on live@edu so I would need the exchange system to cater for 110 mailboxes. I am thinking of the best way to go as far as spec and system set up goes. At the moment I have our server environment fully virtualised using Citrix Xen Server on two physical servers, which connect up to our SAN.

    I have looked at virtualising the exchange, but it works out pretty costly so I am swaying in the direction of installing Exchange on one physical server with it's own local storage array. Is it possible to have all Exchange functionallity for the 110 mailboxes running on the one server? I would be purchasing a new server for this install.

    I would appreciate all your views and advice on this.

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    teejay's Avatar
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    You can stick it on one server with local storage, but I would still recommend virtualising it. Look at getting a Microsoft EES agreement as it's cheap as chips on that.

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    Cheers for the reply.

    So you could just create another virtual server within XenServer, allocate enough resources to it and it should be ok?

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    teejay's Avatar
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    You've two options really:
    Buy a new header server and attach it to your SAN if it has enough capacity.
    Buy a server with sufficient local storage to run the exchange server and use that as the storage, install Xenserver on it and use the local storage.

    I virtualise all my servers now, even if they're going to use local storage, just makes it much easier when upgrading the hardware or for disaster recovery.

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    My SAN hasn't got the capacity at the moment to store the exchange data so I would still have to store it locally or expand the SAN I suppose. What spec would you recommend for the server in order to run the 110 mailboxes. I know that the more RAM and processing power the better, but how should I configure the drives on the server? Should I go for a RAID 1 array for system and RAID 5 array for data?

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    Exchange 2010 has a MUCH lower IOPS requirement than previous versions.

    The exchange team were saying you can run it on literally any storage

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    edsa131 (30th November 2011)

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    Raid 1/Raid 5 setup is fine, memory as much as you can get, processor wise it's not 'that' intensive, we run 170 mailboxes and have it running across 3 VM's using VMWare, processor wise they use:

    SMTP: Maximum 552Mhz
    OWA: Maximum 1835Mhz
    Mailbox: Maximum 2024Mhz

    Memory wise they use:
    SMTP: Average 1.8Gb
    OWA: Average 2.5Gb
    Webmail: 2.8Gb

    Give headroom above these figures, but it gives you an idea.

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    edsa131 (30th November 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by edsa131 View Post
    I have looked at virtualising the exchange, but it works out pretty costly so I am swaying in the direction of installing Exchange on one physical server with it's own local storage array. Is it possible to have all Exchange functionallity for the 110 mailboxes running on the one server? I would be purchasing a new server for this install.
    Given that you're in a position where you have to do something either way, why not move your staff up to Live@edu as well, as you're already familiar with it for students. If you had Exchange in place already I could understand some argument for keeping staff on-prem, but as you're going to have to migrate them *somewhere* why go to the cost/time/effort of standing up a whole new Exchange environment?

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    Yes I can see your point and I have considered taking the users across to live@edu. There are things that I am not 100% on for staff use though, such as security for if the finance or senior management want to send encrypted or secure emails etc. Also to get the integration with AD and to get required management features Im sure that you need to install a Identity Lifecycle Server as well. I have also looked into hosted Exchange services as well, but seem to keep coming around to Exchange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edsa131 View Post
    There are things that I am not 100% on for staff use though, such as security for if the finance or senior management want to send encrypted or secure emails etc.
    A good point, and depending on your specific requirements, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (free with Live@edu) can help in this respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by edsa131 View Post
    Also to get the integration with AD and to get required management features Im sure that you need to install a Identity Lifecycle Server as well.
    ILM 2007 has now been retired from the price lists so it would be Forefront Identity Manager 2010 that you'd need, but whether you need it at all is again down to your requirements. How do you manage your student users in Live@edu at the moment?

    You could automate the provisioning and password syncing, but for a (relatively) small number of low-turnover users it may be feasible to manage them manually at first, with a view to implementing some form of ID management at a point in future.

    There are, as with life, lots of options!

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    edsa131 (1st December 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by edsa131 View Post
    Yes I can see your point and I have considered taking the users across to live@edu. There are things that I am not 100% on for staff use though, such as security for if the finance or senior management want to send encrypted or secure emails etc. Also to get the integration with AD and to get required management features Im sure that you need to install a Identity Lifecycle Server as well. I have also looked into hosted Exchange services as well, but seem to keep coming around to Exchange.
    Also note that going to live@edh wont give you the full feature set you get with on prem. You;re restrcited to what you can do. This does depend on your requirements.

  15. Thanks to sukh from:

    edsa131 (1st December 2011)

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