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Exchange 2003 on a blade server

By mlepage ·
Hello everyone

I will be installing Exchange 2003 soon and because available space is an issue in my server room I was thinking of going with a blade server infrastructure and eventually replace all servers with blades.

Has anyone seen or know about issues with installing exchange on a blase server.

What experience do you have with blade servers related to exchange, SQL, domain controllers etc. and in general

Thank you

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Works great

by runaldo In reply to Exchange 2003 on a blade ...

I have a customer that have used this tech since i came. They use HP/Compaq and have a SAN they are expanding once a year or so.

They are in graph business so large files with mail. No particular problems. Neither with MSSQL. They have a 50GB database that I migrated to blade a year ago and have worked flawlessly.

They now work on standardising config with Altiris. Works good too. Safe choice if you have a small serverroom.

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E2Kx On Blade

by b4real Contributor In reply to Works great

Are you going to keep your other servers or migrate everything to blades?

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All on blades with a SAN (which SAN?)

by mlepage In reply to E2Kx On Blade

I think that blade servers with a SAN is the way to go. I will start with 2 or 3 servers on blades and eventually have all of them. Available space is really an issue in my server room

I am looking at the 1855 blades and the CX300 SAN from Dell.

Anyone has comments on these products (good or bad)

Anyone recommending other products. Not too expensive because upper management will freak out

Thank you

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Exchange on Blade Servers

by b4real Contributor In reply to All on blades with a SAN ...

How did this go? Did the SAN you picked out work okay?

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Yes, things work great

by EastExpert In reply to Exchange on Blade Servers

We went with a cluster of 2x blade DELL PowerEdge 1850, with a CX300 for storage, for a medium size company busy Exchange (~400 mailboxes in EMEA region up to 600MB each, normal average size 150MB).

Everything was assembled by the book -- Q: quorum drive on CX300, logs and databases on separate drives, RAID 0+1 for DB and RAID 1 for logs.

We also have a NAS storage server for files, but Exchange does not use it. We have them separate, because if we chose to have just one storage, we'd have the software licensing costs go steeply up -- and NAS was in place. NAS also has a high-speed tape unit (PowerVault 122) -- they came together in a bundle.

Exchange Cluster works great, and I enjoy the fact that I can perform emergency maintenance on servers right in the middle of working day -- just move the cluster resources to another server -- no more than 15 seconds downtime for users. (Of course it's still best to wait till the end of working day :).

The backup scheme is Disk-Disk-Tape -- first a backup of storage databases is put on a separate drive, then in background it's moved onto NAS file storage, and from there it goes to the Tape Unit. As a result, we have triple reservation and don't load Exchange servers for the extended period of time as Disk operations are very fast. Quick recovery if needed (we have performed some drills for it using Exchange 2003 SP1 recovery groups). So far, so good.

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We're moving towards Blades

by Cactus Pete In reply to Exchange 2003 on a blade ...

We have installed and IBM bladecenter [Only half populated at the moment, for budgetary reasons]. The migrations are going well!

We decided to leverage the possibilities with the blade center by also purchasing VMWare. This gives us a LOT of redundancy and keeps the entire OS running from the SAN - no disk performance issues.

There isn't a need to cluster [which we haven't been happy with over the last 3 years] since the virtual server migrates so easily to other from blade to blade.

I recommned getting a demo from the vendor - if nothing else, it's pretty cool to see.

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In the process of moving now

by shawner47 In reply to We're moving towards Blad ...

I am currently in the process of moving our company from one file server and one Exchange 2k server to a new Blade set up with fibre attached SAN. So far I have the file server moved over and I am currently working on getting our new DC's up.
Everything has been a dream to work with so far. Believe it or not, I am almost looking forward to migrating to the new Exchange 2k3 server (only about 160 mailboxes).
If you are going to go with a Blade set-up, I would highly recommend the fibre-attached SAN as well as a fibre-attached tape library. We got both and things couldn't be better right now *knock wood*. I just hope it stays that way.

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Exchange On Blades

by jll830 In reply to Exchange 2003 on a blade ...

I have setup Exch 03 on several IBM Blade centers. 2 as clusters and a few as a single server. All went very well and the client's where happy. It is a big investment to get into a SAN, but it saves money in the long run. ISCSI is a lot cheaper than fiber and performance is getting good @ the 1GB speed. You may want to look into that option also.

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Should be no problem

by npbwbass In reply to Exchange 2003 on a blade ...

You should not have any problems running Exchange on a blade server. The last one I set up was an IBM. Except for getting the shared hardware devices concept down in your head they run pretty much the same as a standalone chassis.

The system I built was a Windows 2000 server front end with a Red Hat 9 Linux server connected and running an web interactive active ibase database payroll processing system. Again get the concept of shared hardware devices for the chassis and run the blade server like you would any other Windows server.

The custom communications drivers will be handled by the software you get with the blade system. I thought the concept was pretty neat. I am looking at blade PCs now for one of our agency sites.

Good luck (heck of a thing for a Linux guy to say to someone going to a Windows email server) and don't forget to have fun!

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