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Should I create Index Server Group

Created: 14 Jan 2013 • Updated: 18 Jan 2013 | 13 comments
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  • 5,000+ exchange 2010 mailboxes
  • EV Servers
    • 1 EV server for Mailbox archives
    • 1 EV server for Journal archives
  • Vault Store Group: VSGROUP (share within Group)
  • Vault Store : VS-mailbox (for mailbox EV server) and VS-journal
     (for journal EV server)

Should I create Index Server group to include both Mailbox and Journal EV server or configured as ungroup?  If configured both EV server into same Index Server group, I would need to include all Vault Store (VS-mailbox and VS-journal).  I thought we should keep Journal and Mailbox archiving separately.

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JesusWept3's picture

Do you run Discovery Accelerator at all and if you do do you *just* use the Journal archives or do you search user archives too?

Also have you rolled out anything like Vault Cache and Virtual Vault as well?

jdewing's picture

I forogot to add about Discovery Accelerator.  Yes, we will be installing Discovery Accelerator.  I think we want Discovery Accelerator to search user archives as well because we will be importing bunch of user PST files.

I have been testing the Enterprise Vault in the test environment.  We have not deployed in the production environment yet, so this will be a new setup.

Yes, We would like to rolled out Vault Cache and Virtual Vault as well.

AndrewB's picture

Hi jdewing, your requirements do not meet the need for an Index Server Group.

Andy Becker | Authorized Symantec Consultant | Trace3 | Symantec National Partner |

Rob.Wilcox's picture

My personal opinion is that Index Server Groups are for HUUUUUGE deployments.. and therefore you're not likely to benefit from them.

(Also in the technotes, and help, for Index Server Groups it suggests NOT mixing journal indexes and mailbox/user indexes in the same index server groups -- therefore you're EV footprint is going to grow a fair amount)

jdewing's picture

Thank you all for the information, I will not use Index Server Group.

I have a few more questions:

We have 4 Exchange Servers with DAG.  There are 16 Databases.  All Exchange servers have at least 3-4 active databases.

  1. Journaling Mailbox: What do most people tend to do with the Journaling Mailbox? I’m sure it all depending on exchange load. Single Journal Mailbox or one Journal mailbox for each server (total 4) or single mailbox in its own database.
  2. MSMQ and Cache Location:  Can I have both MSMQ And Cache Location on the same partition (D:\)?  I see many different information on this.  I think I can get away by having both on the same partition with plenty disk space
  3. Discovery Accelerator: Should I have a separate server for DA or install it on one of the existing EV server (Using EV Journal server)? What is your opinon on this? 
Rob.Wilcox's picture

Random answers.

2/ Yes you can.

Separated out is also good.. I mean it'll give you 'best' performance provided their on different physical disks.

3/ Different server.

JesusWept3's picture

For question one, i think if you were to have one journal mailbox for the entire exchange environment, it would require extra CAL's for Premium Journaling, as opposed to having a journal mailbox per exchange server, but i could be wrong on that

jdewing's picture

Premium Journaling require having Enterprise CAL.  We do have enterprise CAL for 5,000+.  We bought enterprise CAL because of Exchange 2010 archiving feature.  Now we will be using Enterprise Vault, so I don’t see any reason to continue buying enterprise CAL for additional mailboxes in the future. We would save costs with standard CAL.  I'll have to look more into Premium journaling if it is any better than using a standard journaling and what it will give us.

MMcCr's picture

For Q1 I would personally look at four Journal mailboxes (one per server) this allows for growth but it also means you can have a seperate EV task per Journal Mailbox - which equates to seperate tasks per Exchange server allowing you to tweak performance of each task (each task would also have its own share of proccesses and resources) and monitor the archiving rates better coming from each exchange server if you also have an archive for each JM. 

MMcCr's picture

Incidentally I believe Premium Journaling allows you to be more granular in which mailboxes get which Journaling (so if you set a 7 year and 10 year retention Journaling you can manage per groups of uses as opposed to just pointing a DB at one and all users in the DB getting the same Journaling).

JesusWept3's picture

the benefit of a single (or less) journal mailboxes is less duplicates

jdewing's picture

I will go with single journal mailbox to make it simple.  Should I enable circular logging for the Journal mailbox?  EV basically archived every mail it comes in so the logging will become no use and it will increase as it filled up the disk space.

Rob.Wilcox's picture

I can't recall seeing any best practice information in this area before - have you had a look on the Microsoft web site?