Is Exchange Sever Really The Best Email Server?

Even the best email server will experience problems every so often.  This week I experience a very minor problem regarding my exchange server.  All of our servers, at our establishment would continually show high memory usage between 90 % to 97 % on a continuous basis. When I say memory usage, I am not referring to the CPU.  My CPU was okay, running continuously between 1% and 4% usage, which was very good, and normal.

As an IT Professional you will experience issues from time to time.  If you do not experience any issues, then you will never achieve any experiences in you field.  Experiencing problems as and IT professional, are a part of our IT routines.  Please do not misunderstand.  You will have many days of “smooth sailing”.  In fact your “smooth sailing” days will surpass your problem days.

Let me tell you a little about our environment, before I explain further the problem that I was experiencing. We have four servers, or four nodes running Windows Server 2008, Enterprise addition. As I also mention in one of my earlier articles, we are running in my opinion, the best email server software, which is Exchange Server 2010.  This is Microsoft Corporation latest release, at the writing of this article.

Two of our server’s hardware are HP DL380 G6, with twelve Gigabits of memory.  The other two servers are HP also, but slightly older, with about 4 gigabits of ram installed.  The servers are running in a four node DAG configuration. The term DAG is an abbreviation of Database Availability Group, just in case you are not familiar.

At first when we noticed the problem, we taught that there may have been a fault with the server.  On further investigation we discovered that the four server were experiencing the same problems.  As you may be aware exchange server 2010 has basically five server roles.  Hub, Edge, Client Access, Mailbox, and Unified Messaging.  We have deployed four roles on each of our servers, excluding the Unified Messaging role.  At first we taught that since all services were running on each box that we had to add more memory to the systems.  We were so wrong.

I begin researching using Google and Microsoft website and came across an Article that suggested that we may have been experiencing something known as a Memory leak on each server.  This appeared to be a common problem with the initial release of exchange server 2010. The problem is more evident if Exchange is being used with a Blackberry Server.  This in fact true with our establishment.  We do have a Blackberry server installed in our environment.

I proceeded to open a case with Microsoft to assist me with the correction of this issue. That is one of the reasons I truly believe that exchange server is the best email server for all times.  Microsoft really supports what they have created.

Every year at my company, we purchase support in the form of Microsoft 5 Pack support to assist us through the year, if we experience issues.  I had two incidents remaining on our contract that was due to expire the next day.  I proceed to use the two remaining support incident with the first issue, and proceeded to open another case to attend to another issue that I was experiencing.  I was not about to let two incidents go to waste.

Microsoft really delivered and proceeded to assist me with the first incident.  The thing I love about Microsoft Support is that they will support you until the problem is resolved.

What Microsoft recommended to me was to install Exchange Server SP1 and install the roll up update 6 to the server to resolve the issues.  I proceeded to complete the tasks as they had assigned.  Presently I have install both fixes on my two older servers and the problem disappeared.  My challenge now it to install the same updates on my primary servers.

Here are the two updates that Microsoft Recommended.

Update Roll Up 6

Exchange Server SP1

I could have attempted to resolve it by myself, but what would that have profited me.  I learned a long time ago that there are no “loan rangers” in the IT field.  If you work alone you will eventually be destroyed.  So as you can see, this is why I always say that Exchange Server is the best email server, in my opinion.

 

 

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