This Reference Architecture (RA) describes tests performed by HP to demonstrate the benefits and capabilities of the HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 server blades (BL460c Gen8) and the HP 3PAR P1000 V400 storage (3PAR V400). The solution supports 15,000 mailbox users running Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 (Exchange 2010) in a virtualized environment using VMware vSphere 5. The RA highlights scalability features of the ProLiant Gen8 servers running multiple Exchange virtual machines (VMs) in a vSphere cluster. The RA also details the advanced HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization (AO) functionality of the HP 3PAR storage supporting Thin Provisioned (TP) virtual volumes using Nearline (NL) and Fibre Channel (FC) disk storage tiers.

Exchange 2010 deployments using dedicated servers and fully provisioned storage may be the simplest to deploy initially, but they have higher up-front costs. These deployments typically require a majority of the computing and storage resources to be purchased and installed up front. Often these deployments must factor in headroom for future growth, which can go underutilized for an extended period. Traditional deployments have not been well suited for addressing changes in business requirements, often resulting in mismatched server and storage resources. Traditional deployment models also reduce flexibility, and increase operational costs, while making it more complex to adjust to changing business needs.

The HP 3PAR storage solution detailed in this reference architecture also uses HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization to create hybrid disk volumes. These hybrid disk volumes combine the high performance of Fibre Channel disks with the high capacity of Nearline disks to handle the storage needs of Exchange 2010. Adaptive Optimization reduces storage costs by meeting stringent performance requirements with fewer high performance disks. Expensive Fibre Channel drives can be used to support performance requirements while economical, widely striped Nearline drives are used to meet capacity requirements.

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