How to Turbocharge Microsoft Exchange Server Performance

 
 
By Lee Dumas  |  Posted 2009-09-30 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


pagebreak title=Review Your Storage Configuration}

Step No. 4: Review your storage configuration

Exchange Server is a very storage-intensive application. In most cases, when an Exchange server is running slowly and the client experience is sluggish, this is due to undersized storage. There are three simple steps to find out if your Exchange server is suffering from undersized storage.

1. Find the I/O operations per second (IOPS) number. It is important to know how many IOPS users are generating against the Exchange databases in order to understand how much load is on the server.

To do this, use the performance monitor in Windows. Select the "Logical Disk/Disk Transfers per Second" counter. Take the average number of transfers during a busy period of four hours and divide this number by the number of users on that database logical unit number (LUN). This will equal the IOPS per user.

2. Find the capacity of your storage system. A typical 15K-RPM drive will produce approximately 160 IOPS per drive in a RAID 0+1 configuration. Simply multiply the number of spindles by 160 and that will equal the capacity of the storage system. For RAID four, divide the total IOPS capacity by four to account for RAID overhead.

3. Bring the numbers together. Take the IOPS-per-user number times the amount of users; if that number is larger than the available IOPS, then the storage system is undersized.

Step No. 5: Get rid of streaming backups

Streaming backup is supported by all versions of Exchange server and reads every page in the database and copies it to tape or to disk. This type of backup is effective for small deployments of Exchange (10GB or less).  For Exchange deployments larger than 10GB, consider switching to a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)-based "snap" backup technology.

Snap backups take a fraction of the time and have little to no impact on the user while a backup is in process. Also, snap backups allow for more frequent backup intervals. In most cases, an Exchange server can be backed up every four hours using snap instead of every 24 hours.

Lee Dumas is the Director of Architecture at Azaleos, and has been involved with Exchange and messaging for over 13 years-first as a core member of the Exchange development team at Microsoft and then in various consulting roles. He specializes in architecture and operations specific to Exchange and Active Directory, and is also proficient in other Exchange-related technologies such as UM, OCS, and mobile devices.

Most recently, before joining Azaleos, Lee spent seven years in "real world" deployment engagements in which he helped companies-ranging from a handful of seats up to multinational corporations with 60,000 or more seats-get Exchange messaging running smoothly. Lee is a pioneer MCA Ranger and has been part of the program since it first expanded outside of Microsoft four years ago. He can be reached at Lee.Dumas@azaleos.com.

 




 
 
 
 
Lee Dumas is the Director of Architecture at Azaleos, and has been involved with Exchange and messaging for over 13 yearsÔÇöfirst as a core member of the Exchange development team at Microsoft and then in various consulting roles. He specializes in architecture and operations specific to Exchange and Active Directory, and is also proficient in other Exchange-related technologies such as UM, OCS, and mobile devices. Most recently, before joining Azaleos, Lee spent seven years in "real world" deployment engagements in which he helped companiesÔÇöranging from a handful of seats up to multinational corporations with 60,000 or more seatsÔÇöget Exchange messaging running smoothly. Lee is a pioneer MCA Ranger and has been part of the program since it first expanded outside of Microsoft four years ago. He can be reached at Lee.Dumas@azaleos.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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