Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer

Microsoft released recently Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer, a tool that performs an overall topology readiness scan of your environment, allowing you to identify if there are any issues within your organization, which could prevent you from deploying Exchange 2010.

Read these 2 great blog posts for further information:

Brief Description
The Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer performs an overall topology readiness scan of your environment and provides you with a list of decisions that need to be made before you deploy Exchange Server 2010.

Overview
You can use the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer to perform an overall topology readiness scan of your environment. When you run the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer, it provides a detailed report that will alert you if there are any issues within your organization, which could prevent you from deploying Exchange 2010. For example, the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer will notify you if you haven’t deployed the minimum required Exchange service pack on all your existing Exchange servers.
The checks performed by ExPDA are similar to the pre-requisite checks implemented (via Exchange Best Practices Analyzer) in the Exchange 2010 Setup program; in fact ExPDA is based off the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) engine. However, unlike Exchange 2010 setup, this tool focuses only on overall topology readiness and not the ability to run Exchange 2010 on the local computer. The scan also performs a deep analysis of each existing Exchange 2003/2007 server to verify that it has the necessary updates and configuration in-place to support Exchange 2010. The end report is structured as follows:

  • Critical – A configuration problem that will prevent Exchange 2010 from being deployed in the organization. For example, the Active Directory Forest is not operating in Windows Server 2003 Forest Functional Mode or higher.
  • Warning – A configuration item that may prevent customers having the best possible experience with Exchange 2010. A warning may also reflect some functionality that is not available in Exchange 2010.

ExPDA is another component in our vision to provide a seamless upgrade experience that reduces the complexities in deploying Exchange 2010. To start planning your upgrade, please utilize the Exchange Deployment Assistant. The Deployment Assistant allows a customer to create Exchange 2010 on-premises deployment instructions that are customized to their environment. The Assistant asks a small set of questions, and based on the answers, it provides a finite set of instructions that are designed to get a customer up and running on Exchange 2010. Running the Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer is now a recommended step within the pre-requisites section of the Deployment Assistant.

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator v4.5

Ross Smith IV announced at the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog that the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator has been updated to version 4.5.

Enhancements

There are only three improvements to the calculator in this release:

  • Added the calculations to help you determine the minimum number of global catalog cores you need to deploy with your architecture.
  • Added the ability to define different RAID parity settings for your Restore LUN architecture.
  • Improved the calculation of the formatted capacity of a disk drive.

Bug Fixes

  • The following issues were identified and addressed in this release:
  • For HA solutions that chose to deploy in JBOD configuration, two fixes were made:
    • In certain scenarios, the calculator would calculate the number of mailboxes per database to be higher than the total amount of random IO available on the disk. As a result the calculator couldn’t recommend a JBOD configuration. This has been corrected by rounding down the number of mailboxes per disk from an IO perspective calculation.
    • In certain situations the JBOD disk configuration isn’t applicable. In past versions, the calculator would simply tell you this was because of "Insufficient Disk Capacity". This has been corrected to tell you if the insufficiency is based on disk capacity or IO capacity.
  • Addressed several CPU calculation related errors:
    • Fixed the issue where #VALUE was reported in the secondary datacenter processor core ratio table when you deployed only a lagged copy in the secondary datacenter.
    • Fixed the required mailbox CPU calculations to take into account certain site resilient scenarios where neither datacenter could support a single server failure (e.g. 2 member DAG).
  • Fixed an issue with the total disk count calculations with dedicated lagged copy servers as a result of rounding error.
  • Fixed an issue where /DAG LUN space totals didn’t take into account the 2 LUNs / Backup Set architecture.

    To get the detailed instructions on how to use it, read Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator.

    To download the tool itself, click here.

    TechNet Magazine – Cloud Computing

    TechNet Magazine published a special edition about Cloud Computing.

    Highlights:

    Columns:

    Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator v3.5

    Ross Smith IV announced at the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog that the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator has been updated to version 3.5.

    Version 3.5 introduces the following fixes:

    • Improved the text on the input tab with regards to the number of database copy instances you would like for both HA and lagged copies.
    • Fixes an issue where in a high availability architecture the calculator may size the solution based on activating more database copies during a second server failure event than the total number of database copies deployed on the server.

    To get the detailed instructions on how to use it, read Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator.

    To download the tool itself, click here.