I'm working on a upgrade to Exchange 2007 and I wanted to get some advise on hardware choices. We currently have an Exchange 2003 STD server with 400 users split between 6 AD Sites, that is housed on a single server. We need to move to a redundant, fault tolerant system to support our users.
I'm planning on installing 2 Dell 1950 servers with W2k8-std to act as CAS and Hub servers, with NLB to allow abstraction of the actual server name to the users. There won't be an edge system since we have a Barracuda box already that will handle in/out spam/virus filtering.
Backend I'm planning on 2 mailbox servers which will be Dell 2950s with 16GB RAM, 2 either dual-core or quad-core CPUs and 6 300GB SAS drives in some RAID config. These systems will be clustered using W2k8 Ent clustering and running CCR in Exchange.
My questions are as follows:
Is 16GB enough RAM for serving that many mailboxes along with the windows clustering and ccr?
I'm trying to figure out disk layouts and I'm unsure of whether to use all local disk or some local and some SAN, via an OpenFiler iSCSI server. The SAN would be a Dell 2850 with 6 - 300GB SCSI drives and a PERC controller to slice as I want, with 8GB RAM.
Option 1: 2 drives, RAID 1 - OS 2 drives, RAID 1 - Logs 2 drives, RAID 1 - Mail stores
Option 2: 2 drives, RAID 1 - OS and logs 4 drives, RAID 5 - Mail Stores and scratch space for eseutil.
Option 3: 2 drives, RAID 1 - OS 2 drives, RAID 1 - Logs 2 drives, RAID 0 - scratch space ~300GB iSCSI volume for mail stores
Option 4: 2 drives, RAID 1 - OS 4 drives, RAID 5 - scratch space ~300GB iSCSI volume for mail stores ~300GB iSCSI volume for logs
I have 2 sockets for CPUs and need to chose between dual and quad cores. The dual core have faster clocks but less cache and I'm thinking older architecture. Am I better off with more cores and cache while sacraficing clock speed?
I am planning on adding the new E2K7 cluster to the E2K3 server and then move each mailbox over, all at once, then remove the old server. This seems more complicated than simply getting rid of the 2003 server and then adding the 2007 cluster and restoring the mailboxes using PowerControls or exmerge. The migration option lets me do this on my time, where a cutover means it all needs to work at once.
If I go with the cutover method, how can I prebuild the servers and add them to the domain right after removing the 2003 server, or can't I? I think the answer is no and the migration is my only real option if I want to prebuild.
I need to also migrate about 30GB of Public Folders. Is there anything special about this, other than specifying in the E2K7 install that I want older Outlook clients and PF's setup? I guess I could even keep the E2K3 server to host just the PFs?
Lastly, if I have a mix of Outlook 200, 2003 and 2007 what do I need to do to make sure they all have access to the GAL and OAB? At time of cutover, we'll be at like 90% 2007, but we will have some older stuff around. My plan is to use Outlook Anywhere on laptops that are used outside the physical network. Are there any gotchas involved in that? I'm even thinking about using is for all Outlook clients, does anyone do that? The reason I'm considering it is that our WAN is really VPN tunnels over internet connections, so not a fully messhed, stable WAN.
Thank you all very much for the assistance in advance and I look forward to discussion of these points!