Friday, 15 October 2010

Exchange Server 2007 SP3 Setup Time on SBS 2008 SP2 Fresh OS

We are running Exchange Server 2007 SP3 on our two new SBS 2008 SP2 integrated setups.

The first server to receive the service pack is an Intel Server System SR1630HGPRX with an Intel Xeon X3450 CPU and 16 GB of ECC Kingston RAM. Three 300 GB 15K RPM Seagate SAS drives are configured in a RAID 5 array via an Intel RS2BL040 RAID controller with a battery backup attached.

Note that this is a vanilla SBS install in that we have not yet run the Getting Started Tasks but do have SBS Backup configured and taking backups. So, no mailboxes on this one yet.


The MSIEXEC process has one of the cores on this server pinned with the process indicating 12% CPU utilization.

In the end, the entire process did not take that long at all:


  • Intel SR1630HGPRX with Intel Xeon X3450, 16 GB RAM, 600GB 15K SAS RAID 5:
    • Elapsed Time: 00:25:36

The second server is an Intel Server System SR1625URR dual Xeon E5620, 24 GB RAM, 146 GB 15K 2.5” SAS RAID 10 array consisting of 6 drives (438 GB usable storage) plus two hot spares attached to an Intel RS2BL080 RAID controller with battery backup.

Again, the MSIEXEC process had one core pinned:


And again the process did not take that long:


  • Intel SR1625URR with dual Intel Xeon E5620, 24 GB RAM, 438GB 15K SAS RAID 10:
    • Elapsed Time: 00:25:05

    Now that we have an idea of what a vanilla SBS/Exchange install time will be we will go on to service pack some of our smaller SBS 2008 installs. So far, the feedback we have been seeing on running the service pack 3 update on SBS 2008 has been pretty positive.

    Philip Elder
    MPECS Inc.
    Microsoft Small Business Specialists
    Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

    *Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

    Windows Live Writer


    Paul said...

    Hi Philip, I've been reading your blog with interest for quite a while. You used to recommend a RAID 10 for SBS installs yet on a couple of recent posts you have been using RAID 5 setups. I've always stayed away from RAID 5s due to the write performance and the fact that it is not generally recommended for exchange environments, i'd be interested in your thoughts on RAID 5 in SBS, or perhaps a seperate blog? Paul.

    Philip Elder SBS MVP said...


    For some of our small clients where a 1U will be the server form factor of choice we have been limited to 3 drives on the Intel Server System line.

    So, we look to RAID 5 with 15K RPM SAS drives to give us the balance we need between storage volume and performance. We no longer install SATA drives in our server setups except for long term low I/O storage.

    For RAID 5 setups we will not run the SBS Backup during working hours as we have seen some performance impact on users when backups were starting up.

    BTW, with the advent of the SR1695GPRX 1U that has 4 hot swap bays the point becomes moot. All of our servers going forward will be RAID 10.


    Paul said...

    Thanks Philip, that makes perfect sense.