The following information will help you provide information about configuring your storage layouts for Domino Mail Servers. It will help you achieve the best optimal performance use within Domino Mail server infrastructure environments. As there other types of Domino Servers. Domino Mail server consumes or requires a lot of disk I/O and transaction activities. They usually host upwards of 2000 users and can consume upwards of 2,500+ I/O’s per second per mail server for larger mail users and databases. Your results can and will very base on Domino Server configurations and features used.
As with any best practice the information is only relative to the existing versions hardware and other factors like HBA speed SAN fabric, etc. and should be reviewed from time to time and adapted or adjusted This information pertains to ESX /ESXi versions 3.5 thru vSphere 5.0 infrastructures using The Domino mail server versions is 8.5x or higher.
VM storage layout recommendations:
The methodology here is to start with the physical elements and work backwards to meet the operating system final disk drives or partition space allocations.
Each mail server should have a minimum of three or four primary LUN’S within storage infrastructure. Several of these LUN’s should be (when ever possible) dedicated and not shared with other none Domino applications or systems. Key to shared LUN’s is to have Larger number of spindles and cache if you must use.
Physical Volume or Array 1 - LUN 1. Will be used to support the operating system and swap file location. It should be in a minimum of Raid 1 support or better. Disk I/O usage for operating system boot up and support is minimal.
Physical Volume or Array 2 - LUN 2 This LUN will host the transaction log files this long should be a dedicated volume and made up of minimum raid 1 or 10. You do not want to place or create to many transaction logs on the same volume or array as this will delegate performance and affect Domino Severs overall performance and responsiveness.
Physical Volume or Array 3 - LUN 3 or more? This LUN will host the Domino servers data files, this includes out-of-the-box system databases templates help etc. the users mail files will exist at this location and sub-directory or sub-directories. This LUN should be placed on high-speed drives and largest volumes available due to the disk I/O demands and a minimum raid 5 or 10 configuration. You may also need additional array ( #4) LUN for the Domino DAOS attachments if used.
Please work with the IBM engineer to understand the best approach and usage for this particular storage location/s and use. Based off of storage solutions manufacturers and configurations the engineer can help assist what would be the best layout approach for your Domino mail servers and mail users locations. IBM does not recommend sharing clustered servers with the same Volume / Array locations. IBM recommends placing a cluster Domino Servers data on alternative volume or Array to optimize disk I/O requests this minimizes the additional disk I/O request from each Server storage locations and provides more bandwidth for user’s requests.
There should be minimal 3 or 4 VMFS Volumes Datastores and no more then 4 –Domino Mail servers per VMFS Datastore configuration as listed below. If supporting more then One Domino mail server pre VMFS be sure it is on large number of physical drive spindles 8-12 drive arrays. (If arrays have a limited numbers of spindles create individual LUN’s/ VMFS volumes for mail servers Notesdata location. A limited number of spindles will be a performance killer for VMFS volumes that are sharing partitions. In creating many VMFS volumes is not a best practice for VMware, so you need to define the balance, based off of the SAN/ Storage architecture available.
One VMFS for OS installs
One VMFS for the Servers Transaction logs no more then 4-6 Domino mail servers *(Depends on storage architecture see notes below*)
One VMFS for the Notes Databases locations (Note need to be larger number of spindles in the LUN for supporting multiple Domino Server data locations (limited to storage architecture See Notes below*)
(Optional) One VMFS for the DAOS attachments if used?
*Please Note depending on the physical layout of your storage volumes arrays and LUNs, etc. can impact or will dictate the deployment usage or the number of VMs that can be supported on each the VMFS Datastores. IBM recommends the IBM engineer VMware and SAN teams work closely together to understand the existing SAN solution architecture and layout for the best design and implementation strategy.
(Example)An alternative recommendation again based off of storage architectures or solutions. Is to have one the VMFS dedicated to the Domino server for mail servers. An example of this practical use would be in larger array storage solutions where there are many spindles and therefore distributing the disk I/O much more effectively and efficiently for the VMFS access Datastores and VMDK created. Most engineers would recommend no more then 4 Domino Mail servers or any mail server solution pre large LUN / Datastore configuration. Monitor your LUN depth.
Once the physical storage and virtualized storage have been implemented and configured the VMDK’s be created and configured as follows:
VMDK#1 - C:\ Drive - VMFS Datastore - 1 Windows code and Notes executable code on this drive and
Size if shared spindle - no less than 50 gig
VMDK#2 D:\ just for the swapper files VMFS Datastore – 1
VMDK#3 - E:\ Drive -Shared spindle – VMFS Datastore – 2 Tranlog
Size no less than 30 gig for Notes.exe and Domino code
VMDK#4 F:\ Drive - Data – VMFS Datastore – 3 this is dependent on amount of source or expected data.
VMDK#5 G:\ DAOS – VMFS Datastore – 4
To put this all in perspective the diagram below provides a visual of what the data storage solutions would look like.
Please note the example above provides the optimal configuration for deployments as there are other implementation storage architectures or uses IBM recommends that you discussed the risk pros and cons with the IBM technician engineer or architect during your design phase for understanding the best optimal configuration for your environment.