NetApp FAS8000 Delivers Leading Scale for Exchange with 200,000 Mailbox ESRP Solution

By Philip Trautman, NetApp Technical Consultant


Last week, NetApp released the largest Exchange Server 2013 ESRP solution ever published – as measured in number of mailboxes supported – demonstrating the superior performance, scalability, and features that FAS8000 scale-out storage delivers for business-critical applications.


The FAS8000 series can address Exchange storage requirements at all levels of scale from small to large. A storage configuration that meets your needs today will scale out without disruption as your Exchange needs grow. The FAS8000 hybrid storage architecture delivers high IOPS with low latency – a perfect fit for Exchange environments.


In the latest ESRP testing, a FAS8060 was shown to support up to 200,000 Exchange Server 2013 mailboxes—with linear scalability and great reliability.


Better Storage Solutions for Exchange

The Exchange Solution Reviewed Program – Storage (ESRP) is a Microsoft program designed to facilitate third-party storage testing for Exchange Server. Microsoft partners use the ESRP framework to test storage solutions for Exchange, with review and approval by Microsoft.


The ESRP program is not a benchmark. Rather, its focus is to produce better tested storage solutions for Exchange to reduce deployment time and improve deployment results in terms of both performance for the expected number of mailboxes and reliability.


FAS8000 Performance and Scalability

The enterprise-class scale-out of the FAS8000 platform delivers the performance and scalability for even the largest Exchange deployments.


ESRP performance testing exercises storage with the maximum sustainable Exchange I/O for a period of two hours. Under this load, a six-node FAS8060 running clustered Data ONTAP sustains performance for 200,000 mailboxes with plenty of headroom for other important data management tasks like backup and replication. With the hybrid storage architecture of the FAS8060, average read and write latency were well below established ESRP thresholds, with sustained log write latency of 1 millisecond or less.

The FAS8060 offers predictable, linear scaling for Exchange deployments. Every set of controllers in the solution supports approximately 66,720 seats. This means that you can start with the appropriate number of controllers for your needs today, and scale out with additional controllers (up to 8 total for SAN configurations) to support growth – without disrupting Exchange.


Designed for Reliability

The FAS8060 ESRP solution is also designed to deliver superior reliability and availability. It utilizes Exchange Mailbox Resiliency and database availability groups (DAGs) for high availability. ESRP includes specific tests of reliability functions including a 24-hour stress test, transaction log replay test, and an Exchange backup performance test simulating VSS backup. The FAS8060 passed all tests with flying colors and delivered over 5GB/sec of sustained throughput for Exchange backup.


While not specifically part of the validation, Exchange installations using the FAS8000 will also benefit from clustered Data ONTAP features such as nondisruptive operations to eliminate both planned and unplanned downtime and advanced storage efficiency to reduce storage requirements. NetApp SnapManager for Exchange provides faster, more effective backup/recovery, replication for disaster recovery, and – in conjunction with Single Mailbox Recovery for Exchange – offers ultra-fast retrieval of individual messages and mailboxes.


Learn More

To find out more about our FAS8060 ESRP solution, read the full report. Visit the FAS8000 page to learn more about NetApp’s latest storage platform. You can also join or start a conversation on the NetApp Storage System Community page or contact NetApp Sales.