HPE Reference Configuration for Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 on HPE Hyper Converged 380 White Paper
Configuration of 500 – 1,000 users on HPE Hyper Converged 380
This paper describes the design and the underlying principles for optimal server and storage design for deploying virtualized Microsoft Exchange Server® 2016 on the HPE Hyper Converged 380. The HPE Hyper Converged 380 is an integrated solution containing HPE ProLiant DL380 servers, VMware® virtualization software, HPE StoreVirtual VSA, HPE management tools and a new HPE operating environment. The HPE Hyper Converged 380 system is a virtualization platform that combines compute and storage resources in the same chassis. It is designed to be deployed easily and yet manage a variety of virtualized workloads in medium-sized businesses and enterprises.
The solution described in this paper represents a configuration of Exchange Server to support 500 – 1,000 users while providing enterprise-class high availability features. This reference configuration demonstrates the use of the HPE Hyper Converged 380 virtualized environment for Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. It is designed with Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) scenarios in mind, especially those of large organizations with specific needs such as maintaining user access to data, even when links to the main data center are at peak usage or interrupted. Remote management and administration is a challenge and avoiding downtime by maintaining multiple copies of data is of great benefit to both end users and system administrators. High capacity mailboxes allow intensive usage of email for a wide variety of business applications, including easily sharing documents and providing mobile messaging.
The starting point for this design’s building block is the HPE Hyper Converged 380, a 2-node hyperconverged computing system in a 4U form factor with up to 16 total single 2U HPE Hyper Converged 380 nodes in a single cluster. This solution provides HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen9 servers, VMware virtualization software, and HPE management tools. This solution uses Exchange Server 2016 running on a Windows Server® 2012 R2 Standard edition guest operating system, on multiple VMware vSphere virtual machines.
In addition to having resources available for other applications, this hyperconverged configuration is designed to support 500 – 1,000 Exchange mailboxes up to 2GB each, with a heavy email usage profile (sending and receiving a combined 150 messages per day). This solution is built upon the Exchange database availability group (DAG) resiliency feature in Exchange Server. This feature is the base component of the high availability and site resilience built into Exchange 2016. The solution design within this reference configuration can be used as a building block approach for larger deployments, by deploying instead with additional storage blocks, virtual machines, and HPE Hyper Converged 380 nodes with additional virtual servers added to the Exchange database availability group (DAG).
Each HPE Hyper Converged 380 node within this reference configuration is configured with one storage block capacity for Exchange usage, with 8 high capacity HDDs. This flexible configuration allows the use of this storage for virtual machines and applications, and applications such as Exchange. There are 3 storage blocks of 8 drives available per HPE Hyper Converged 380 node. The storage design should be chosen before configuring the HPE Hyper Converged 380 order, and the storage type should be homogeneous. It is recommended that customers use the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator as a starting point for sizing, which can then be imported into the HPE Sizer. This document lists some additional configuration options to consider and test before deploying Exchange 2016 into your production environment, based on the Microsoft Exchange 2016 Preferred Architecture.
Target audience: This white paper is intended for system architects, Chief Information Officers (CIO), decision makers, IT support staff and project managers involved in planning and deploying unified communications and collaboration applications, notably Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. The target audience for this white paper also includes individuals who are considering the use of hyperconvergence and virtualization technology to consolidate the physical server footprint required. A working knowledge of virtualization technologies, and Exchange deployment
concepts is recommended, but this document also provides links to reference materials.
Document purpose: The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed configuration example for deploying Exchange Server 2016 on a hyperconverged and virtualized configuration, and to describe the benefits of deploying on the HPE Hyper Converged 380.