Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Exchange 2010: The Green Impact of Disk Choice

Microsoft Exchange is the most widely deployed Enterprise messaging system on the planet. Exchange 2010 was released Q4 2009 to a solid reception, and the upcoming release of Service Pack 1 (SP1) will push Exchange 2010 to become the default version for upgrades and green field installations. One of the core areas of focus since Exchange 2003, addressed in Exchange 2007 and continued in Exchange 2010, was to reduce disk I/O as a means to improving performance and reducing the total cost of ownership through less expensive disk and lower energy costs.

Exchange 2010 indicates an I/O reduction of around 90% when compared Exchange 2003, and 50% against Exchange 2007, while this does not necessarily translate into less disks (due to increased mail volumes, larger mailboxes, and wider usage across Enterprise employee’s as a common part of HR policies to ensure all employee’s have access to email), it does provide the opportunity to deploy a different TYPE of disk.

A report from EMC focusing primarily on their Clariion SAN technology summarises the power consumption of different sized disks with differing performance stats. The following diagram is extracted from the report and demonstrates the significant energy saving of utilising higher capacity drives that can be used for Exchange 2010 as I/O performance requirements are reduced:
While the Green agenda is often confused with cost savings, it’s clear that progress made with Exchange 2010 and the resulting CHOICE of disk type will have a positive impact on both issues for Enterprises supporting thousands of employee’s, requiring ever increasing mailbox sizes, and increasing email volumes.

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