How to Configure the Storage Subsystem


Topic Last Modified: 2013-02-25

Before you run Jetstress, you will have to configure the disk or storage subsystem the way it will be used with Exchange Server in a production environment.

For more information about how to use diskpar.exe and diskpart.exe, see the Exchange Server Team blog article, Why should you use Diskpar (Diskpart in W2003 SP1)?.

The content of each blog and its URL are subject to change without notice.

  1. All devices on the storage system must be listed on the Windows Hardware Compatibility List (WHCL) if you are running Windows 2000 Server, or in the Windows Catalog if you are running Windows Server 2003. For more information, see Products Designed for Microsoft Windows - Windows Catalog and HCL.

  2. Run Jetstress only against storage that is certified for Windows. Results obtained with Jetstress against storage that is not certified are not valid.

  3. If the server is a shared disk cluster (SCC), the whole server/storage configuration must be Cluster Certified.

  4. If multiple shared disk clusters will be sharing any aspect of the disk subsystem, the server/storage configuration must be Cluster/Multi-Cluster Certified.

  5. Verify with vendors that drivers and firmware are current. Drivers and firmware include, but are not limited to, the following items:

    • Server BIOS/firmware

    • SCSI/Array Controller firmware and driver

    • Fiber Host Bus Adapter (HBA) firmware and driver

    • Fiber switch/hub firmware

    • SAN (Storage Area Network) enclosure Operating System/Microcode/firmware

    • Hard disk firmware

  6. Verify that the HBA/SAN specific configuration is set correctly. Many HBAs use registry keys to customize the configuration to a specific SAN platform (for example, Queue Depth).

  7. Configure the storage logical unit numbers (LUNs) (consider Exchange log devices and database devices).

  8. Format the LUNs within Windows with NTFS file system (default allocation unit size, which is 64 KB).

  9. For Exchange Servers that are running on Windows 2000 Server, align disks using diskpar.exe. This is optional, but results from production environments have shown that aligned partitions can improve disk performance. For information about how to run diskpar.exe, see How to Use Diskpar.exe.

  10. For Exchange Servers that are running on Windows Server 2003, refer to the downloadable document Optimizing Storage for Exchange Server 2003.


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