Support the Largest Exchange Mailboxes

Leverage the latest advances in VMware vSphere and Exchange performance to run the largest mailbox server instances with confidence that performance will match or exceed physical performance.

The performance and scalability of VMware vSphere have improved dramatically over the latest product releases. vSphere is able to handle the most demanding workloads thanks to improvements such as:

  • Virtual machine scalability increased to 32 vCPU and 1TB of memory
  • VMware vSphere Disk IO scalability increased to more than 100,000 IOPS, enabling VMware ESX to support IO-intensive applications such as Exchange and large databases
  • VMware vSphere network IO increased to 36 Gbps

Today, a single virtual machine with 32 vCPUs is larger than the largest Microsoft recommended Exchange 2010 configurations for single role on a server (12 cores or vCPUs) and multiple roles on a server (24 cores or vCPUs). At the same time, Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2007 include architectural and performance improvements that significantly reduce the IO requirements as compared to Exchange 2003:

  • Cache increased from 900MB to multi-GB
  • 70 percent reduction in disk IO
  • Read / write ratio reduced to 1:1

Together, these performance improvements ensure that even large, demanding mailbox servers perform well on vSphere with no IO bottlenecks or other performance problems. As demonstrated in our labs, Exchange can be scaled out very efficiently on vSphere (read Scale-Out Performance of Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server VMs on vSphere blog) and can be scaled up to support large mailboxes (read Exchange 2010 Scale-Up Performance on vSphere blog).

Enterprise production e-mail servers should be deployed virtualized by default.

Bill Pray, Research Director, Gartner.

Double Performance of Exchange Infrastructure

Increase the performance of your physical infrastructure by 100 percent or more. For example, without VMware, a single Exchange 2-7 mailbox running on a physical server can scale up to about 8,000 heavy user mailboxes. Using larger servers doesn’t help because the mailbox can’t leverage the additional capacity.

With VMware, Exchange mailboxes can be scaled out on multiple smaller virtual machines to maximize the throughput of the physical server. Using this approach, we have demonstrated that Exchange can be scaled out on 8 virtual machines, each supporting 2,000 very heavy mailbox users, to support 16,000 users on one 16-core server.

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