Optimizing Exchange Server disk performance

Learn about the various components that can cause disk I/Os on an Exchange server -- Exchange databases and transaction logs, MTA and SMTP queues, Windows pagefiles, indexing, and deleted Exchange database pages -- and how those components should be set up to optimize Exchange Server performance and prevent disk I/O bottlenecks.

Because Microsoft Exchange Server is such a disk-intensive application, it's important to make sure that the disk subsystem can keep pace with its demand.

In this guide, I discuss the various components that can cause disk I/Os on an Exchange server -- Exchange databases and transaction logs, MTA and SMTP queues, Windows pagefiles, indexing, and deleted Exchange database pages -- and how those components should be set up to optimize Exchange Server performance and prevent disk I/O bottlenecks.

Note: This tutorial assumes that you are trying to optimize disk resources for an Exchange server containing mailboxes and/or public folders. Some suggestions I make are not sensible for front-end Exchange servers or servers that do not routinely handle a heavy workload.


BEST PRACTICES GUIDE: EXCHANGE SERVER DISK PERFORMANCE

 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: Disk performance best practices for Exchange Server databases
 Part 2: Disk performance best practices for Exchange Server transaction logs
 Part 3: Disk performance best practices for MTA and SMTP queues
 Part 4: Disk performance best practices for Windows pagefiles
 Part 5: Disk performance best practices for Exchange Server indexing
 Part 6: Disk performance best practices for deleted Exchange database pages
 Part 7: Microsoft recommendations for structuring an Exchange disk subsystem
 Part 8: Related links on Exchange Server performance management

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at http://www.brienposey.com.
This was first published in July 2006

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