SCI’s latest Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP) performance report as of January’16

In Dell, E-Series, E2700, ESRP, ESRP v3/Exchange 2010, ESRP v4/Exchange 2013, NetApp, PowerEdge R730xd by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers Microsoft Exchange 2010 (E2010) and Exchange 2013 (E2013) Solution Review Program (ESRP) results.[1]  Since we last reviewed this over 5000 mailbox category nine months ago, there have been seven new entries, the Cisco C3170 Server, HP Converged System 700, Dell PowerEdge R730xd (@8K and 10K mailboxes), NetApp E2700 and NetApp E5600. Only a few of our ESRP top ten performance charts have new entries, which we present below.

Latest ESRP V3.0 & 4.0 (E2010&E2013) performance

In Figure 1 we show an SCI derived metric, that is the aggregate database transfers per second per drive.

SCIESRP160129-001Figure 1 SCI’s top ten ESRP total DB transfers per second per spindle

As can be seen in Figure 1, the new Dell PowerEdge R730xd 8K mailbox solution (#7) did well on our transfers per second per disk spindle. For this metric, we exclude all ESRP submissions that use SSDs or other flash, such that this metric provides a pure disk based performance view. Many of our other top ten charts use normalized DB transfers per second per 1K mailboxes but for this measure, the data base transfers are already normalized by disk counts in the solution.

The surprising fact about the Dell solution was that they were using 20-6TB 7200 RPM disk drives in their configuration, a relatively small number of very large disks for this over 5000 mailbox category.  Of course, one explanation is that the storage was just internal 3.5” disk drives, SAS connected directly to the server. There are only a few other ESRP submissions in this over 5K mailbox category with similar configurations, most are fabric attached standalone storage with standalone servers. Dell’s results here compare well against these other solutions, and says something about their system implementation effectiveness.

In Figure 2 we show an ESRP reported metric, the top ten database backup MB per second per database throughput.

Figure 2 SCI’s top ten ESRP total database backup MB per second per database throughputSCIESRP160129-002

We normally prefer another database backup throughput metric, which we compute based on total database backup to the storage, but alas, there were no new entries in that top ten chart. In Figure 2, we can see the new NetApp E2700 and the new Dell R730xd 10K mailbox solution came it at #4 & #5, respectively.

Not sure how one achieves good performance on this measure. Is it small databases LUNs? Not necessarily the E2700 had 2.3TB database LUNs, while the R730xd had 5.6TB sized LUNs, and the Dell system had the largest DB LUN size in this top ten.  Mailboxes per DB don’t seem to matter either, with the NetApp storage having 1111 while the Dell system had 500.

Perhaps it’s the size of the databases themselves. ESRP doesn’t report size of database directly but if I multiply the mailboxes per database times the size of each mailbox I can come up with a number that should correlate well with database size. Given that calculation, the NetApp E2700 had the largest database size and the Dell R730xd tied for 3rd largest database size.


Although there have been a number of new submissions in this over 5K category, there haven’t been any with very large mailbox counts, which typically dominate our other top ten charts. Hopefully this will change over time as we plan to revisit this category nine months from now.

Constructive comments on how to improve our analyses for Exchange or any of our performance reports are always welcome. Moreover, if you detect errors in this or any of our other performance reports, please do let us know and we will correct it as soon as possible.

[Also we offer more block storage performance information plus our OLTP, Email and Throughput ChampionsCharts™ in our recently updated (May 2019) SAN Storage Buying Guide, or for more information on some select ESRP performance results please see our recently updated (May 2019) SAN-NAS Storage Buying Guide, both of which are available for purchase on our website.]

[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in January of 2016.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers, so if you are interested in current results please consider signing up for our newsletter.]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community. 

[1] ESRP results from as of 29Jan2016

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