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barthompson

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Hi Guys,

I act as an IT administrator for a small company (15 employees)- while I am not an IT expert, I can handle what I need to run the netowrk with the help of some outside support professionals. Our company shortly is going to be switching all our pcs to macs, and installing an xserve to replace our Windows based server. We have been advised to run Kerio Mail Server instead of Apple's native Mail server. I just have one question if I may...

Currently, we run Microsoft Exchange. A few years ago, our IT support guys recommended us to start using AutoArchive to archive off emails older than say 6 months to a seperate .pst file to keep the amount of mail (and contactsa and calendar items...) stored in exchange to a sensible level. They said the amount that had built up over the years was causing exchange and the server in general to run very slowly. They have since recommended keeping our individual mailboxes under say 2Gb to avoid performance issues and any potential corrupting issues.

My question is simply, is there a limit as to how much Kerio can store in a mailbox at any one time. And even if there is no theoretical limit, is there a practical one - i.e. even if in theory Kerio can store many many Gbs, is it advisable?

Many thanks for your help
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My IT Indy

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Kerio stores emails as individual files so I'm pretty sure the limit is the size of your storage.

Congrats on moving to Macs, I have helped various companies do the same thing and they all end up with Kerio MailServer as their Exchange replacement.

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My IT Indy
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http://www.myitindy.com
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barthompson

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I see, would you expect any performance reduction as the size of the mailboxes increases?

Do you archive email at all or do you just let it accumulate in Kerio? How many Gbs have you seen function care free?

Thanks for all your help!
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BudDurland

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We have about 100 users, with a total mail store of about 70GB. I have many users with > 1gb mail stores, and several approaching 4gb. Any performance problems we've had were attributed to the client, not the server. That is, Outlook sometimes took a while to start up; Thunderbird was faster. Newer versions of the Kerio outlook connector also yielded performance gains.

My primary advice would be to make sure that the server has very fast hard drives. IDE will not cut it, SATA just barely.

Good is better than evil because it's nicer
--Mammy Yokum
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My IT Indy

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I agree about disk speed. I have had good luck with running KMS on mirrored 1TB XServe ADM's. I know Apple has a raid card however I've benchmarked 2 mirrored 1TB drives vs. a 2TB RAID 5 and the mirrored raid is faster.

OR, you could get the promise raid array and throw your mailstore on that. I'm sure that would be plenty fast.

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My IT Indy
Kerio Certified Reseller and Hosted Provider
http://www.myitindy.com
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barthompson

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Brilliant, thanks for your help. I think that's my mind put at rest with regards to the server end. We will have Kerio Mail Server on an Xserve with two SATA mirrired 1TB drives, so should be enough space and speed to handle say 20 mailboxes with say 5gb each.

One last question. In terms of clients, I have read that entourage has a database limit of 2 million database items (about 1 million emails). Does this limit apply if the email is being stored using IMAP on the server and not on the client machines??
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winkelman

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barthompson wrote on Thu, 26 June 2008 10:36

We will have Kerio Mail Server on an Xserve with two SATA mirrired 1TB drives, so should be enough space and speed to handle say 20 mailboxes with say 5gb each.

Maybe enough space, but not enough speed. KMS doesn't care for CPU speed or RAM etc, the only real performance factor is disk speed. So invest in some faster drives, most preferably 15.000rpm SCSI drives. Even better would be 4 of them in RAID-10. But 2 in RAID-1 would already be a tremendous gain over your SATA choice. So opt for less RAM and slower CPU if you have to, but buy the fastest disks you can afford.
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My IT Indy

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You can't put SCSI drives in an XServe, you CAN do a 3-drive Raid 5 with SAS drives however.

I've gotten 70MBps throughput on a mirrored RAID array with the 1TB drives, I've got 2 installations using this very setup, one with 100 users, another with 50 and it's pretty speedy. They do use only webmail at both locations.

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My IT Indy
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http://www.myitindy.com
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winkelman

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Throughput is only somewhat relevant for KMS during backup. During normal KMS operation you need low latency and fast concurrent random reads and writes (KMS handles mostly many scattered small files for multiple simultaneous users).

Of course, if your SATA setup works well for you: good! Smile But in general for KMS you're much better of with very high-RPM SCSI drives. High-RPM translates roughly into low latency and SCSI is traditionally better under concurrent loads then (P/S)ATA. (SAS is simply Serial Attached SCSI, so that's fine also.)

I wouldn't go for RAID-5 though, write performance is no good. Better stick with RAID-1 then.

All IMHO Cool .

(There some discussions on disk subsystems for KMS to be found on this forum, I suggest looking for them if this is a topic you're interested in.)
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