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Old 06-21-2007, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Impact on Exchange environment with 700+ new BES users

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Hi,
We currently have a single Exchange server environment with 2300 mailboxes and a dedicated BES 4.1.2 server with 90 Users on it.
Our management is considering deploying an additional 700+ BB units.

My concerns are:

-What are the impact on my Exchange server? I've read a 1:5 ratio for BES users. So I'm looking at having to support the equivelent 3500 users on my Exchange server?? Any white papers or sizing documentation available?

-Redundancy on my BES environment? Clustering? Can it be done?

-Monitoring. I've read about BoxTone product and it seems very interesting. Any real world experience with it?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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OK, second try. This wonderful forum software ate my first try at a reply for you:

From: What Causes Exchange Disk I/O

Quote:
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In Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003, users that have BlackBerry devices place additional demands upon the server. In the field, many customers see a two to four fold increase in database disk I/O. For more information, see the RIM whitepaper.

BlackBerry users cause additional overhead that affect the database IOPS of a server. When RIM tested 1000 BlackBerry enabled MMB2 users with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4, they saw database IOPS increase by a factor of 3.64 over the standard MMB2 user without BlackBerry. This factor could be significantly smaller or larger depending on how BlackBerry devices are used in the environment. The BlackBerry test included: 10 synchronization commands; two memo adds, one modify, one delete; and four task adds. Actual BlackBerry device use will not be this constant, causing a lesser or greater affect on actual IOPS.

For a mail system consisting of 2,000 heavily used mailboxes, of which 500 are BlackBerry enabled, a total of 3820 IOPS is projected on the database volume. The formula to calculate this is:

Estimated BlackBerry IOPS per User for User Type Number of Users

In this example, 1.0 IOPS 2,000 mailboxes=2,000 IOPS. If 500 of those users have BlackBerry devices, then those 500 users add 500 mailboxes x 3.64 IOPS=1820 IOPS, or 3820 total IOPS.

Using a conservative ratio of two reads for every write (66% reads to 33% writes), you would plan for 2,546 read I/O and 1,273 write I/O requests per second for your database volume. Every write request is first written to the transaction log file and then written to the database. Approximately 10 percent of the total 3,820 IOPS seen on the database volume will be seen on the transaction log volume (10 percent of 3,820 is 382 IOPS); 1,273 write I/O requests will be written to the database. See the Performance and Scalability guide for in depth strategies for properly calculating your server size.

Make sure you read http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...c30-4e00-952d- from cover to cover

Depending on your config, you probably will need to buy more spindles

Last edited by easy-v : 06-21-2007 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by easy-v View Post
OK, second try. This wonderful forum software ate my first try at a reply for you:

From: What Causes Exchange Disk I/O




Make sure you read http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...c30-4e00-952d- from cover to cover

Depending on your config, you probably will need to buy more spindles
Thanks for the info!
The second URL from download.micorsoft.com does not work.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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nice post easy-v!

DISKS DISKS DISKS = GOOD GOOD GOOD

9 out of 10 performance problems I've seen with Exchange is disk i/o related

For redundancy ... you could use software from a company like neverfail to "cluster" your BES servers ... you could also add a 2nd BES, share a configuration database and balance the users between the two. In the event that one fails, you drag and drop users from one BES to the other and they're back in action within minutes.

Monitoring ... it really depends on how granular you want to get. Do you want to just monitor service availability? Do you want to monitor health? Performance? Boxtone has some great products as does Zenprise. ... but this really all depends on your requirements.

Last edited by hdawg : 06-21-2007 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Download details: Optimizing Storage for Exchange Server 2003
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
nice post easy-v!

DISKS DISKS DISKS = GOOD GOOD GOOD

9 out of 10 performance problems I've seen with Exchange is disk i/o related

For redundancy ... you could use software from a company like neverfail to "cluster" your BES servers ... you could also add a 2nd BES, share a configuration database and balance the users between the two. In the event that one fails, you drag and drop users from one BES to the other and they're back in action within minutes.

Monitoring ... it really depends on how granular you want to get. Do you want to just monitor service availability? Do you want to monitor health? Performance? Boxtone has some great products as does Zenprise. ... but this really all depends on your requirements.
We just completed an ExRap from MS and have some recommendations based on that, that we are looking to implement.

More info on my environment:
Exhange is on a SAN. The SAN has reached is I/O limits already and we are suffering performance issue. We'll be changing the SAN ina few months and I hope to add another exchange server and balance user load.

We use HPOV to monitor our servers. I am aware there is a SPI for BES by a thrid party (cant remember name)
But i do like the pretty pictures that BoxTone have on their web site. Also, their reporting seems to be really good.

I like the redundancy idea. Its still has a SPOF but at least its the SQL guys problem and not mine

What concerns me the most is how the additional 700+ BBs will affect my exchange server. I've read a 1:4 to 1:8 BB vs Outlook load.
With those numbers, how are companies dealing with the huge jump in I/Os?

I appreacite the info guys.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ok ... make sure that SAN is giving you the real IOPS you need ... don't listen to what the sales and marketing documents say; their cache won't solve Exchange I/O problems ... run the tools to get real performance.

When calculating I/O, I add anywhere from 4 to 8 users for each BES

Ex: 100 users; 50 of which are BES, average mailbox size 1GB

I would calculate that as:

100 IOPS for the 100 users
and
8 x 50 IOPS for the BES users

total of 500 IOPS

I choose 1 IOP / user because unless you really know the environment, you're just guessing ... and its always better to be safe.

I also pick a multiplier factor of 8 because of the mailbox size. If the mailbox sizes were 100meg, I'd probably go with 4x.

So much sizing is circumstantial ... but the key is understanding where you need to bump up and add extra resources.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMeister View Post
-Monitoring. I've read about BoxTone product and it seems very interesting. Any real world experience with it?
I've been running it for roughly 1.5 months on one of our production environment (many times larger than yours). I can honestly say that this monitoring solution has helped me out immensely, from troubleshooting/detecting hung threads to notifying a user they were lying about having issues to various other findings and preventative maintenance. I won't try and hide the fact that I became good friends with a few of the employees at BoxTone at WES, but at the end of the day, business is business and if I saw a superior product during my testing, I would have suggested to my management the other product. The reporting features are being worked on, but in their current revision, they are still better than the competition's lackluster reporting functionality.

With the short-term implementation plans BoxTone has in store, along with the level of support they have provided me (even as a current non-customer), I could not honestly suggest any other solution.

P.S. - I'm posting a review of the solution on BGR at some point when I get a chance.
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Last edited by jibi : 07-30-2007 at 04:18 PM.
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