Exchange Server 2010 tools: Do not forget these tools in your Beta Tests

Two Exchange tools to help make sure your server can carry the load

As IT pros we love installing a Beta and putting it through the motions to make sure it will meet our needs in a production environment, the Exchange Server 2010 Beta is no exception. Often though, we might overlook an important part of evaluating a product like Exchange Server 2010. The question of is our physical environment sufficient to handle this new product? We have seen the articles already on compatibility with OCS 2007 R2, SharePoint, Outlook 2007, etc. But what about testing the server we wish to install Exchange Server 2010 on. Now in a perfect world we get a new server with every new implementation of Exchange. In a really perfect world we are provisioning a LUN on our SAN, installing a new blade that will boot of that LUN and away we go. But it is not a perfect world for everyone, and even if you have that availability, that is no reason to go about planning and deploying Exchange 2010 in a sloppy fashion. Thankfully you do not have to subject yourself to that kind of ‘freewheeling’ approach. With the release of the Exchange 2010 Beta Microsoft has released new versions of some very useful tools. Again these are those tools that go mostly unnoticed and receive very little fan fare. Yet they are extremely valuable, dare I say, essential to a smooth transition to Exchange 2010. The Exchange Server Jetstress 2010 Beta and the Load Generator 2010 Beta are two must have tools for testing and Exchange 2010 deployment. The Jetstress 2010 Beta tests the disk subsystem of the server you wish to put into production. It tests the disk I/O load by simulating the database and logfile load of an Exchange 2010 server for a specific number of users. This test will make sure that the server you are planning on using has enough space and performance to handle the users and mailboxes you wish to place on that server. The Load Generator 2010 Beta is run from a client computer and tests the impact of the various Exchange clients. This tool simulates SMTP, MAPI, OWA, IMAP, POP and Activesync connections. The tool measures the mail load simulated by sending multiple mail requests to the Exchange Server to determine the capable load. It’s important to remember with both tools that you do not want to run them in a production environment. In fact they should have no connection to the production environment whatsoever. If you are planning on running Exchange 2010 and 2007 servers (perhaps phasing in 2010 slowly) the tools currently do not support testing on Exchange 2007 Servers. These two tools can provide some great insight into planning and deploying Exchange Server 2010 with as little stress (there is always some) as possible.

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