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Hardware requirements for Essential Business Server Minimize

Mikael Nystrom
2008-01-02

Hardware and ESB is not a simple task, so my plan is to talk a little bit about that, that way you have a chance to start thinking and planning before you "need" a EBS solution in place. Since we are moving from 32 bit to 64bit there are some things to keep in mind.

EBS only runs on x64 hardware, not x86 or IA64, just plain vanilla x64 hardware and you need at least three servers to get the standard version of Essential Business Server up and running. So what choices do you have?

Well first of all, you need memory and some CPU and of course disk, the standard version of EBS has three servers, the management server, the security server and the messaging server and here are the requirements for those servers.

 

Minimum

Recommended

The Management Server

Single core CPU x64 with 2.5Ghz or Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 1.5Ghz

2 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

1 NIC

Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 2 GHz

4 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

1 NIC

The Security Server

Single core CPU x64 with 2.5Ghz or Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 1.5Ghz

2 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

2 NIC

Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 2 GHz

2 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

2 NIC

The Messaging Server

Single core CPU x64 with 2.5Ghz or Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 1.5Ghz

2 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

1 NIC

Multi core/Multi CPU x64 with 2 GHz

4 GB RAM

OS part 100Gb + Data part 100Gb

Bootable DVD ROM

1 NIC


The amount of memory can be discussed, especially on the messaging server, 4GB of RAM is ok, but many users, large mailboxes, and more memory may be needed. So you will need to find some nice servers for the job and thankfully all the major hardware suppliers have “small” blade systems that can be used.

Storage:
The storage is another thing to discuss, you can either run it on local disks or use a SAN, when running on local drives it’s very important to have multiple spindles, that means that it’s not a good idea to run the messaging server on one large SATA drive, in a non SAN environment it will look like this:

The management server, 1 RAID1 for OS and 1 RAID5 for DATA,
The Security Server, 1 RAID1 for OS
The Messaging Server, 1 RAID1 for OS and 1 RAID5 for DATA

If you want to use a SAN solution that can be done and I would recommend you to do so. You can use FCS or the cheaper SAN called ISCSI. ISCSI is available trough Windows Unified Data Storage Server or you can by a software from www.rocketdivision.com called StarWind that will turn any PC with disks into a ISCSI server. If you are going to use ISCSI, I would recommend you to play with in due time BEFORE installing the servers so that you know what it is and how it works. Another thing about using ISCSI is that you would like to have more NIC’s in the servers so that you could dedicate some of the adapters just for the ISCSI SAN.

 

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