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Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

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joe37
Occasional Contributor

Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

I'm going back and forth with my decision here.  What do you guys recommend?

When designing the Exchange storage infrastructure to host my database VMDK files, should I put all of my VMDKs in one big Nimble volume or should I create one volume for each VMDK?

I don't want to end up having to replicate or rebuild a huge multi-TB volume but would that ever even be an issue?

Another related question ... should I create a separate VMDK for each database or should I put multiple or even all of my databases in a single VMDK?  As of right now, I'm looking at about 30-40 databases per server and I have 3 servers in my DAG.  Each database will be about 400 GB and will host between 80-100 users. That doesn't include the tlog VMDK and I'm not quite sure how to handle the archive databases.  This will be my first time using the archive feature of Exchange.

Any helpful information or even links to blogs or whitepapers would be appreciated.  I'm having a hard time finding a good source of information on how to set up the SAN portion of Exchange.

5 REPLIES
parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

Have you tried to explore RAs (Reference Architectures) here? filter as you need...you will find a lots of them (example).

joe37
Occasional Contributor

Re: Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

Thank you for that.  There's a lot of good info there.

That example you posted ... that's extremely detailed ... I can't believe they're comfortable using twelve 1.2 TB databases, though!  I can't imagine how long the reseed time would be with that.

Hopefully I can find a few documents dealing with VMware and VMDKs in there.

lindy37
Advisor

Re: Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

Personally I would not use VMDK's to store Exchange Databases on unless you have some in guest Exchange backup solution.

I would do in guest iSCSI and create actual volumes and give it to the Exchange server.  This is what I do for our current Exchange 2010 enviroment and what I plan to do next year when we move to Exchange 2016.  The boot drive and "D:\" drive are on VMDK's but the log and DB drives are in guest iSCSI volumes.

 

joe37
Occasional Contributor

Re: Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

I'm going to use VEEAM to back up my Exchange environment so I have to use VMDKs.  From what I understand, VEEAM doesn't support any in-guest mounted solution. so I'm stuck using VMDKs.  

klwood2000
Occasional Visitor

Re: Exchange 2016: One big volume for all databases or one volume for each database?

That is correct, Veeam doesn't backup iSCSI connected volumes.  It is also a pain for when contractors come in to assist as they have to figure out where all those iSCSI connects go.  I have been in some environments where those connections can cause all sorts of issues.  There are loads of write ups from VMware about virtualizing exchange.  Cross reference those with the storage docs and you should be covered.