zod
Contributor
Contributor

Exchange 2003 Set up

Hello all,

I am learning 3.5 as I go here but I had some initial configuration questions. The server in which ESX will be installed only has local disk space, no sans, nas etc. The customer wants to put Exchange 2003 Server on the vmware box as one of the guest operating systems. I am a little confused on how to initially set up the esx drives to allow Exchange 2003 installation. I know that exchange 2003 likes to have separate drives for Transaction logs, the system and the mailbox database and of course RAID is involved as well. How does one initially configure it on the ESX side of things. Is there a document out there that might help me out?

Thanks

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5 Replies
RParker
Immortal
Immortal

Well you might want to include some additional storage devices, because no matter how many drives your Exchange server has, it will put ALL the IO across that one drive.

So you can install a VM, add multiple hard drives, one for OS, one for the datastore for exchange mail, one for logs, and one for swap/logs. So that would be 4.

I am sure there are papers on this, but that would be a good start. Follow the practices for Exchange regarding memory and cpu usage and OS level.

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rDale
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

do you want to create vmdk files for the data and log drives or raw disk ?

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khughes
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

If you go to here, it should have all the documentation you will ever need:

As for after the fact you should have quite a bit of room left over on local storage to house your exchange server, from there you will just need to either a) convert it via P2V or b) create the vHDD's and manually build it out that way. Hope that helps.

-- Kyle "RParker wrote: I guess I was wrong, everything CAN be virtualized "
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zod
Contributor
Contributor

Forgive my rookieness when it comes to this software and yes it does look like I have to start reading a lot more

The customer has a server with 4 local hard drives at 146GB each. They want to put exchange and a DC on the server by using ESX. I am aware that external storage such as a SAN, ISCI or NAS would be preferrable and it was actually recommended but the customer has one of those IT departments that will not spend the money or listen to the benefits of doing so. So I am left with just the 146GB X4 on the local server. I obviously have to install ESX on the server itself. So

Do I set up the RAID for the ESX installation

Then after that is when I get a little confused, when you create a Guest operating system (Windows 2003 with Exchange) you obviously have available free space, it is there where I get confused obviously in a non vmware environment I can seperate the disks to do RAID on each service such as transaction logs, Database etc... but when it comes to the virtual side of it I cant get my head around on how it works right yet.... I will do some more reading but if any of you have additional thoughts or have an idea what I am saying that be great.

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rDale
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

your simplest configuration would be to setup the 4 disks as raid 5 using hardware raid then with the leftovers after you install ESX software make on vmfs partition; with that being done create the virtual machine that is to be your excahnge server and start with 3 disks 1 operating system 1 for the storage group and 1 for the log files for that storage group.

when you make the storage group you will either need to make the size of it larger than the max storage group size or limit the size the storage group can grow to in the registry so you do not fill the entire disk up.