Eddie from this week’s 10135 class brought up a great topic in regards to hardware configuration and your exchange servers. Ed, i should have you co-teach this class with me! From the TechNet article Understanding Processor Configurations and Exchange Performance

 

Hyper-Threading

Hyper-threading causes capacity planning and monitoring challenges, and as a result, the expected gain in CPU overhead is likely not justified. Hyper-threading should be disabled by default for production Exchange servers and only enabled if absolutely necessary as a temporary measure to increase CPU capacity until additional hardware can be obtained.

  Recommended Processor Configurations

You can use the following table to assist you in purchasing server hardware for Exchange 2010. This table provides minimum requirements and recommended maximum configurations for Exchange 2010 that are based on the following definitions:

  • Minimum   This is the minimum processor and memory configuration suitable for specific server roles. The minimum hardware requirements must be met to receive support from Microsoft Customer Service and Support.
  • Recommended Maximum   This is the maximum recommended processor and memory configuration for specific server roles. Maximum is defined as the upper bound of viable memory configurations based on price and performance. The recommended maximum configuration is a guideline. It isn’t a support criterion, and it doesn’t take into account the resource requirements of third-party applications that might access or be installed on the server. The recommended maximum configuration may change over time based on price changes and technology advancements.

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The following guidance assumes an average concurrency profile. Concurrency is defined as the percentage of the total number of users on a server that are connected and using the server at a specific peak period of time. For a fully utilized server, concurrency is generally in the 75 to 80 percent range.

Processor configurations for Exchange 2010 server roles

Exchange 2010 server role
Minimum
Recommended maximum

Edge Transport

1 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Hub Transport

1 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Client Access

2 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Unified Messaging

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Recommendations based on Unified Messaging being deployed with the default configuration that includes Voice Mail Preview enabled.

2 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Mailbox

2 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Client Access/Hub Transport combined role (Client Access and Hub Transport roles running on the same physical server)

2 x processor core

12 x processor cores

 

Multiple role (Client Access, Hub Transport, and Mailbox server roles running on the same physical server)

2 x processor cores

24 x processor cores

Dd346699.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:

Some server virtualization platforms may not support the maximum number of processors identified in the preceding table. If you’re planning to deploy Exchange server roles on a virtualization platform, check the documentation for that platform to determine the maximum number of supported virtual processors.

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Ratings available at the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation Web site may be used to rationalize unlike processor and server configurations.

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