Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Carlos Batist » Fri, 23 Jun 2000 04:00:00



OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly] backup/restore
the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of hours.
From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours of
downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a leg
it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for many
reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange get
slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have my
questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
more than I.

Thanks!
Carlos Batista, MCSE

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Kirill S. Palagi » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00


Ask  Compaq guys if they put Exchange databases on SAN device.

My personal advice - do not do this.


> OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
> storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
> products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly] backup/restore
> the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
> Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of hours.
> From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours of
> downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a leg
> it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
> server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for many
> reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
> have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
> appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange get
> slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
> corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
> we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have my
> questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
> more than I.

> Thanks!
> Carlos Batista, MCSE

--
If you feel that anything in my post needs correction - feel free to do so (in
group).
And please, keep all discussions in NG, so that everybody can participate.

Kirill

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by ebarne » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00


Hi Carlos
    I am the network admin for a SAN based company and therefore we have our
exchange servers on  SAN.
The biggest gotcha is the fact that different partitons on a large array are
accessible from any other NT
server attached to the SAN also. They just think it's a new disk and assign
a drive letter to it. Needless to say
bad things will happen if you reboot that server a couple times, all the
while believing all partitions are its own
it will run chkdsk and hose the volume the other server is using. Whenever
you make disk config changes
you will have to dis-associate the new partitons from drive letters on all
san attached servers

Of course that scenario involves a SAN hub, a SAN switch or some of the more
sophisticated arrays
will let you segregate partitions with hosts.

The main gains are in speed- I'm getting at leat 250MB/minute, and
offloading your network, allowing you to backup whenever you like without
impacting network traffic on your lan.
SAN stuff is expensive too, and there isn't alot of standards that everyone
is comply with


Quote:> OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
> storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
> products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly] backup/restore
> the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
> Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of
hours.
> From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours
of
> downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a
leg
> it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
> server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for many
> reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
> have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
> appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange
get
> slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
> corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
> we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have my
> questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
> more than I.

> Thanks!
> Carlos Batista, MCSE

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Rich Matheisen [MVP » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00




Quote:>Ask  Compaq guys if they put Exchange databases on SAN device.

>My personal advice - do not do this.

Hmmm, I think EMC would have different advice!

If you're talking about a "network appliance" it sounds like something
acting as a shared drive, kinda like those ads you see in trade
magazines where you just connect it to a hub/switch and it' just
"there". IOW, the I/O is handled with SMBs (Server Message Blocks). If
you're talking about a SAN you're really talking about something
completely different. These have their own drivers and act just like
local drives.

------------------
Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by parsona » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00


How are you measuring the speed as 250MB/Minute?  Backuping up and
restoring to local Raid5 on ultra2 10K drives we see 7.4MB/second.
Sustained 250MB/Minute during normal operation (fairly random access
patterns) would be impressive.



>Hi Carlos
>    I am the network admin for a SAN based company and therefore we have our
>exchange servers on  SAN.
>The biggest gotcha is the fact that different partitons on a large array are
>accessible from any other NT
>server attached to the SAN also. They just think it's a new disk and assign
>a drive letter to it. Needless to say
>bad things will happen if you reboot that server a couple times, all the
>while believing all partitions are its own
>it will run chkdsk and hose the volume the other server is using. Whenever
>you make disk config changes
>you will have to dis-associate the new partitons from drive letters on all
>san attached servers

>Of course that scenario involves a SAN hub, a SAN switch or some of the more
>sophisticated arrays
>will let you segregate partitions with hosts.

>The main gains are in speed- I'm getting at leat 250MB/minute, and
>offloading your network, allowing you to backup whenever you like without
>impacting network traffic on your lan.
>SAN stuff is expensive too, and there isn't alot of standards that everyone
>is comply with



>> OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
>> storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
>> products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly] backup/restore
>> the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
>> Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of
>hours.
>> From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours
>of
>> downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a
>leg
>> it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
>> server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for many
>> reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
>> have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
>> appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange
>get
>> slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
>> corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
>> we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have my
>> questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
>> more than I.

>> Thanks!
>> Carlos Batista, MCSE

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Kirill S. Palagi » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00


Thanks for explanation (and sorry for bogus answer).




> >Ask  Compaq guys if they put Exchange databases on SAN device.

> >My personal advice - do not do this.

> Hmmm, I think EMC would have different advice!

> If you're talking about a "network appliance" it sounds like something
> acting as a shared drive, kinda like those ads you see in trade
> magazines where you just connect it to a hub/switch and it' just
> "there". IOW, the I/O is handled with SMBs (Server Message Blocks). If
> you're talking about a SAN you're really talking about something
> completely different. These have their own drivers and act just like
> local drives.

> ------------------
> Rich Matheisen
> MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
> MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm

--
If you feel that anything in my post needs correction - feel free to do so
(in group).
And please, keep all discussions in NG, so that everybody can participate.

Kirill

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by James Greg » Sat, 01 Jul 2000 04:00:00


I met with Network Appliance this past week and was really impressed by
their product.  They don't currently have a way to restore one mailbox
though, but are apparently working on it.  The work around would be to have
a test exchage server that you could restore the snapshot of the db and
restore from there.  I've never done it but need to learn how.


Quote:> OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
> storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
> products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly] backup/restore
> the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
> Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of
hours.
> From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours
of
> downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a
leg
> it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
> server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for many
> reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
> have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
> appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange
get
> slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
> corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
> we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have my
> questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
> more than I.

> Thanks!
> Carlos Batista, MCSE

 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Amiri Jone » Tue, 04 Jul 2000 04:00:00



Quote:> I met with Network Appliance this past week and was really impressed by
> their product.  They don't currently have a way to restore one mailbox
> though, but are apparently working on it.  The work around would be to
have
> a test exchage server that you could restore the snapshot of the db and
> restore from there.  I've never done it but need to learn how.

    Yes, you should.  Every Exchange administrator should know how to
perform a disaster recovery of an Exchange server, and should practice those
steps at least once a week, if possible.
 
 
 

Exchange on a SANs (thoughts?)

Post by Bernd Krucze » Fri, 14 Jul 2000 04:00:00


Hi James,

are the NetApp products for Exchange officially supported and certified by
Microsoft?

CU
Bernd


> I met with Network Appliance this past week and was really impressed by
> their product.  They don't currently have a way to restore one mailbox
> though, but are apparently working on it.  The work around would be to
have
> a test exchage server that you could restore the snapshot of the db and
> restore from there.  I've never done it but need to learn how.



> > OK, just the thought makes me a little woozy.  Exchange databases on a
> > storage appliance?  However, from a recovery perspective, there are some
> > products out there that use the Exchange APIs to [properly]
backup/restore
> > the database and make snapshots of the database that can recover a large
> > Exchange DB (25 GB+ is my idea of large, IMO) in minutes, instead of
> hours.
> > From my perspective, that's pretty damn good, and 30 minutes vs. 5 hours
> of
> > downtime while trying to restore using DLT might be worth the arm and a
> leg
> > it costs to put in a SAN into a gigabit switch into multi-homed Exchange
> > server(s).  However, like many of you I have ALOT of reservations for
many
> > reasons.  My question to the many experts on this forum is:  does anyone
> > have any experience running Exchange databases off a SAN or network
> > appliance.  How well does it work, does client interaction with Exchange
> get
> > slower, how fast do regular backups and maintenance utils. run, any
> > corruption on the DBs,  etc?  I'm meeting with two SAN vendors (Compaq -
> > we're a CPQ shop, and NetApp) tomorrow and next week, and while I have
my
> > questions ready, I would like some feedback from those who know about it
> > more than I.

> > Thanks!
> > Carlos Batista, MCSE

 
 
 

1. How do SQL Server 2000 and Exchange 2000 work with NAS or SANs

I came from an environment where I really knew Exchange 5.5 and new enough
about SQL Server 7 to be dangerous.  The thing I think I remember about
these apps is that you could not run the database or the information store
on a network drive.  Now I am reading stuff in a new magazine "Storage" that
seems to imply that the new versions work well with some NAS applicances. Is
this true?  Could I establish my information store for Exchange 2000 on an
NAS box?  What about SQL Server 2000?  We have Quantum snap servers and one
Network Appliance F700 series device.  I'd like to know if I have been
missing out on storage options.

--
Henry Stock, Network Administrator
onProject.com
3 Wing Drive
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927-1006

2. Upgrade 5.5 --> 2K

3. SANS Institute-On the Level?

4. Exchange Inf Store 100% utilisation

5. Sans Sick !!!

6. Stopping rules

7. Sending mail Sans HTML

8. Prompted for client credentials

9. SANS Institute-On the Level?

10. Sending mail Sans HTML

11. Exchange 5.5 on W2K Thoughts

12. Probably not Exchange issue but thought I'ld try here

13. REALLY need some thoughts...Exchange/Citrix