Data Backup and Recovery

Exchange 2010 on NFS Verification


Dear NetApp Gurus,

Would you please advice whether I'd add Exchange 2010 on ESX 5 to my filer?

The envirements:

Exchange 2010 servers

VMware ESX 5

FAS3160 with DOT 7.3.6

Thanks in advance & Happy 2013




I use a similar configuration for several customers and it works well.  However, I only present the OS drive over NFS/VMDK files.   For all Exchange Databases, I use guest presented iSCSI LUNs over 1 GBE or 10 GBE and this has been rock-solid and well supported by MS.

It works with storage VMotion, and it always survives storage takeover/giveback (provided that disk timeout settings are applied correctly in the guest Exchange OS).  Microsoft does not recommend that Exchange databases be presented as VMDKs over NFS and NetApp SnapDrive makes it so easy to present LUNs to your Guest OS that there is really no good reason to deploy with anything but iSCSI presented to the Native MS iSCSI initiator for your databases.  

NetApp Professional Services has deployed hundreds of these configurations and you can find them on the ESRP submissions, so you know you are not out in left field from a support standpoint.  We also provide deployment templates (within a service engagement) that can greatly speed your deployment of the software and required database/log LUNs.  


NetApp TR-4033: has our best practices for Exchange 2010 deployment. You mention NFS in the post title, and I will say that although we have customers that deploy Exchange 2010 database and log volumes on VMDKs hosted on NFS datastores it is not officially a supported configuration. If you want to use SME (SnapManager for Exchange) you will need to use RDM's for the database and log LUN's due to how Microsoft's VSS provider works.

I would also strongly encourage reaching out to your existing NetApp account team to verify your current system can handle the additional load.

Best Regards,