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Two years ago, Nimble Storage surprised the market with benchmarks showing a single 3U array supporting 40,000 Microsoft Exchange mailboxes. Now, with the launch of the new CS700 series, we’ve outdone ourselves – a new Jetstress test shows the CS700 surpassed its previous performance and capacity record with 100,000 mailboxes in  a single system. Jetstress, an industry standard benchmark, is a rigorous test and the new CS700 arrays deliver the performance needed to keep all those mailboxes breezing along just fine.

Nimble Storage Efficiency for MS Exchange

Diagram 1: Nimble Storage systems support 5-10x more Exchange mailboxes than legacy storage solutions. (Microsoft 2013 Jetstress results)

The Jetstress test showed just how much more powerful Nimble Storage’s arrays are than legacy storage systems: to support 100,000 mailboxes using a traditional storage system, you would need at least 150 disk drives. By comparison, Nimble required one-fifth the numbers of disk drives, as shown in Diagram 1.

These exceptional results are a direct result of Nimble’s CASL™ (Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout) storage system, which combines high-performance flash SSDs (solid state drives) with high-density hard disks to deliver groundbreaking performance within a modest form factor.  For this ESRP solution, we also included the AFS (All Flash Shelf) which was partially populated with additional SSD to handle the extra workload required for 100,000 mailboxes and a disk expansion shelf to hold the additional mailbox capacity. The choice of expansion shelves was based on critical feedback from the InfoSight™ analysis of the Exchange environment under test.

Nimble’s arrays leverage our Adaptive Flash technology, which dynamically and intelligently allocates storage resources to satisfy the constantly changing needs of today’s business-critical applications.

Adaptive Flash leverages both CASL and Nimble Storage’s proprietary InfoSight automated cloud-based management and support system. CASL allows performance and capacity to be scaled seamlessly and independently to accommodate datacenter growth. And InfoSight ensures flash will be intelligently deployed to satisfy changing applications needs, eliminating the wasteful over-provisioning of storage resources.

Nimble accelerates Exchange 2013 performance with faster access to data and speedy writes, thanks to its dynamic caching and write-optimized data layout which decouples array performance from the random-write performance of disk drives. On average, Nimble’s customers see sub-millisecond read and write latencies. And, they save precious datacenter space: Nimble’s universal in-line compression shrinks storage footprint by between 30 and 75 percent.

Tight integration with Microsoft VSS support ensures that all 100,000 mailboxes remain up and running during backups, eliminating backup windows, and the need for a dedicated backup system. Nimble solutions complement Exchange 2013 DAG functionality with consistent and efficient snapshots of the its database and logs With Adaptive Flash, IT professionals can satisfy their organization’s increasing needs for performance and capacity, simply and affordably. We’ll be following up with additional blog posts over the next few weeks, detailing the setup used in the 100,000-mailbox benchmark, and discussing best practices for setting up DAG, how to scale, and more.

Related Links:

Read 100,000 Mailbox Exchange 2013 Mailbox Resiliency Storage Solution

Find out more about ESRP on Microsoft’s website.

Find out more about Nimble Storage solutions for Microsoft applications on our website.

Register for the Flash Storage for Exchange webinar on July 17.

Written by:
Ibby Rahmani