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Why should Exchange and SQL Server not be on the same server?

The configuration I inherited is an HP box handling: primary domain controller, Exchange 5.5, Industry Standard Architecture, SQL Server 7.0, Windows Server 2000, Domain DNS and DHCP.

I am fully aware that both Exchange and SQL Server should never share the same box, as they both grab all the resources possible. But can you explain to me why none of these applications/systems should be on the same server?

To add insult to injury, no limitations were set on e-mail profiles and some are extreme.

SQL Server and Exchange are extremely disk-intensive applications. People who run SQL Server or Exchange are expecting valid real-time performance. They are not the people submitting batch jobs to a mainframe -- where waiting is expected.

End-users are generally unwilling to wait for RPC responses from Exchange, or wait for complex queries to complete against SQL Server. This means you should always plan on isolating these applications, or understanding through the use of Perfmon and WMI the end-user experience you are providing.

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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Learning Guide: Exchange Migration
  • Reference Center: Interoperability

  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting