Server Hardware, Broken Down

Server Hardware

Installing the right server hardware is important when running something like IceWarp or Exchange Email Server since under sizing a server can create very poor results when run in production.  We broke down the server hardware specs.  Check it out…

 

Hard Drive

 

One of the most important pieces of the server when running mail is the hard drive. If the drive is slower (7200 RPM SATA for example) then it can cause huge disk queues and a backlog of the read/write requests which effectively cause issues with the mail processing and user experience. For this reason we recommend the following setup: 10k RPM SATA or 15k RPM SAS

server hardware

Here the biggest differences are cost and size. SATA is a little cheaper in most cases and allows for more capacity. SAS are a little faster but sizes are lower: 600GB is the highest we believe they go now while SATA 10k can do 1TB.

 

In the end the budget comes into play and will ultimately decide how far you can go. For the money however this is one of the best drives you can buy and the one we recommend.

The SAS counterparts are a little faster, operating up to 15k RPM. A slight increase in performance might be seen but it will take more drives when thinking of RAID arrays so the cost is driven up significantly.

Solid State Drives are great and would be the first choice due to the huge performance gains. The cost for this however would be very high so going with one of the other options would allow for better hardware elsewhere possibly.

 

RAID

 

This is often a highly debated topic and there is no real right or wrong answer. It comes down to two key principles in our opinion-

server hardware

 

 

 

If cost is not an issue then RAID10 is usually the preferred way to go because it couples the highest performance with the highest protection from failures. The only catch is the amount of drives required to build the array is almost double that of doing a RAID5.

 

One of the biggest pieces here is also the controller card for the RAID array. If spending money to go RAID10 then investing in a good RAID controller is worth it. Dell machines, when using the Perc h800 or higher controllers they come prepackaged with, CacheCade technology which allows for a single or mirrored SSD set to cache read/write to the array. This effectively increases the performance to an extremely high level. If you’re not using Dell hardware then you can find a different RAID controller matching your hardware vendor that can provide this same technology.

 

In the end if budget is not a concern RAID10 is the first choice while RAID5 would be the second option.

http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2010/08/raid-levels-tutorial/

 

CPU and Memory

 

CPU and Memory are used by our product but we are not nearly as resource intensive as say Microsoft Exchange. For this reason you can actually go a little lower on these resources than you might think.

Utilizing the Specs for Buying the Right Server Hardware

We have created another blog post to guide you through a process of purchasing a very basic server to a standard server.   Flip back and forth between the two posts for you to get an intimate understanding of what server hardware is required for your own situation.  Then work with your Managed IT Service provider to get the most bang for you IT buck.

 

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