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The Exchange Mailbox Server role is arguably one of the most important roles within an Exchange deployment for it stores the data that users will ultimately access on a daily basis. Therefore, ensuring that you design the mailbox server role correctly is critical to your design.
With Exchange 2010 you can deploy a solution that leverages mailbox resiliency and has multiple database copies deployed across datacenters, implements single item recovery for data recovery, and has the flexibility in storage design to allow you to deploy on storage area networks utilizing fibre-channel or SATA class disks or on direct attached storage utilizing SAS or SATA class disks with or without RAID protection. But, in order to design your solution, you need to understand the following criteria:
User profile - the message profile, the mailbox size, and the number of users
High availability architecture - the number of database copies you plant to deploy, whether the solution will be site resilient, the desired number of mailbox servers
Server's CPU platform
Storage architecture - the disk capacity / type and storage solution
Backup architecture - whether to use hardware or software VSS and the frequency of the backups, or leverage the Exchange native data protection features
Network architecture - the utilization, throughput, and latency aspects
The Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements calculator will help you to gather these requirements and determine what your server and storage architecture will be. For more information on how to use the calculator, please see
Feb 4 2010 at 9:17 PM
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