[unisog] MS Exchange maintenance time

Arnold, Jamie harnold at binghamton.edu
Thu May 15 12:15:33 GMT 2003


You should never offline defrag the stores unless told to do so by PSS.
The logs are taken care of by the backup process.
99% of maint. is automated by the system.
The edu cost of Exchange is quite reasonable.
We're running it on a 2 processor Dell 6100 (5 years old) with Pentium Pro
200s in it.  Never sees more that about 55% cpu time. 
How is applying service packs (there have been only 4 in 6 years for 5.5)
any different for Exchange than any other system?
We run Sybari Antigen on the clusters as well.
Putting Exchange on the internet is no biggie...just be sure you read the
whitepapers or ask someone that has done it for some tips. 

Jamie Arnold
Binghamton University


-----Original Message-----
From: Darden, Patrick S. [mailto:darden at armc.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 4:00 PM
To: 'Jim Boyer'; unisog at sans.org


Well, in general you have some maintenance issues I think.  You have to
compress the Exchange server's log about once a week or month (depending on
use level), you have to defrag the file system once a month or so (again
depending on the usage level), and you have to apply all service packs and
security patches on a weekly cycle.  All of these require downtime.  This
translates to more scheduled downtime.  Exchange is expensive as all get
out.  And it takes a pretty hefty server, especially if you have antivirus
software active (which you darn well should).

That said, I think Exchange is feature-rich compared to Sendmail.  The
contacts, task list, and calendar all make this a great group-ware product.

However, I would never put an Exchange server on the internet.  You might
want to put it behind a firewall, and make it available only from an ip
address range or via VPN for those outside your campus....

--Patrick Darden

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Boyer [mailto:boyerj at wsu.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 11:53 AM
To: unisog at sans.org
Subject: [unisog] MS Exchange maintenance time


I am looking at the option of replacing our college Unix Sendmail server
with a MS Exchange server.  We currently have approx. 900 users, of which
most of them are connecting via POP.  Our users are scattered all over
campus as well as throughout the state.  My concern is the maintenance time
required to keep Exchange running, versus the supposed benefits.  If you
have any experience running Exchange with 900+ users I would appreciate your
perspective on the issue.

Please I do not want a MS vs Unix war here, only some good data to make a
decision.

Thanks for your help,
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Boyer
Systems Programmer
Information Dept
College of Agriculture and Home Economics Washington State University



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