Ask the Expert

Partitioning Exchange 2003

How many partitions do you need for Exchange 2003, and what are they?

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I would focus on sets of drive spindles, not partitions. The recommendations for optimization of an Exchange 2003 server are:
  • Separate set of spindles for each database.
  • Separate set of spindles for each set of transaction log files.
  • Separate set of spindles for binaries and other data.

You may also want to look at putting your operating system paging file on a separate set of spindles if you have the resources.

In the end, it all depends on the load you expect this server to process the kind of client usage (i.e., Outlook Web Access vs. Outlook vs. POP/IMAP), and the server role (i.e., bridgehead, mailbox, public folder, etc.).

There is nothing technical in Exchange that mandates these sets of spindles; it's really all about performance. You can run an Exchange server with one set of spindles but it will be slow, so I don't recommend it.


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This was first published in May 2005

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