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HendersonD
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Exchange 2007, NFS, Netapp

We currently have our Exchange 2007 mailbox/hub server running on a blade in my Bladecenter using LUNs carved out from my Netapp FAS3020 filer. I have three ESX hosts that use an NFS datastore for all current VMs. We are going to virtualize Exchange and wanted to know if it will run under NFS as a datastore.

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4 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

The simple answer is "yes" you can run Exchange using vmdks stored on NFS storage and usually in small to medium size environments this is the way to go. If you have 2-4 thousand heavy Exchange users on a mailbox server you might want to reconsider.

The more complicated answer is this should be considered carefully in the context of several things.

  1. Are there any SAN or backup application that need native access to the LUNs (RDM or iSCSI) Things like Snap Manager for Exchange need to use an iSCSI or FC LUN presented directly to the Exchange VM. If this is the case, you would still run your operating system on a VMDK stored on NFS and then present an iSCSI or FC LUN to the guest for things like Database or Translogs.

  2. You should profile your application using perfmon and determine the average (but include spikes) for throughput and I/Os per second and compare this to the throughput that you can get using NFS which will depend on how you set up your networking.

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mikeddib
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If I recall correctly, speaking with Netapp support about running their utilities inside a VM for Exchange, we were required to use iSCSI. It had more to do with needing the to mount the LUNs with SnapDrive in the Windows environment and since the VM cannot see the FC HBAs it can't correctly access a FC RDM. Not sure if you have any FC in your environment but it may be helpful to understand the path.

To best sum it up, if you want to use SnapManager for Exchange you cannot use NFS, you need to use iSCSI. If you don't need or have SnapManager for Exchange it can be done with NFS as mentioned in the previous reply.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Thats right. . . I dont think even the latest version of SnapDrive supports FC presented RDM even in Physical Compatability mode so you have to allocate separate nics for Guest OS iSCSI traffic in addition to your vmkernel Ethernet storage ports.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

You are correct. I dont think the latest version of SnapDrive supports FC presented RDM even in Physical Compatability mode so you have to allocate separate nics for Guest OS iSCSI traffic in addition to your vmkernel Ethernet storage ports.

Thomas Kraus

Director of Engineering

Siwel Consulting

tkraus@siwel.com

(212)691-6691

(917)885-6061

www.siwel.com

mikeddib <communities-emailer@vmware.com>

12/09/2008 03:25 PM

To

Thomas <tkraus@siwel.com>

cc

Subject

New message: "Exchange 2007, NFS, Netapp"

Thomas,

A new message was posted in the thread "Exchange 2007, NFS, Netapp":

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1119715#1119715

Author : mikeddib

Profile : http://communities.vmware.com/people/mikeddib

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