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mberding

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I have two speed-related issues, which are likely the same problem.

1) When I (or most other users) load their email client for the first time each day, it can take a full minute for Kerio to start delivering messages. On the server, I see a "stuck" process that matches up exactly with Kerio's delays. It feels like Kerio is hitting the hard drive pretty hard, and waiting on lots of results.

2) When the server is rebooted, all users's access to mailboxes and even access to the Kerio server administration slows to the point where it feels like the server isn't responding.

In both cases, it feels like Kerio is trying to do a lot of disk access, and that it's waiting on the hard drive.

We're running Kerio on a XServe Dual G5 2.3GHz with 6gigs of RAM. All mail is stored on a second internal hard drive, a 400gig SATA drive formatted with "Journaled HFS+".

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make our server faster or more responsive during these initial load periods? Would a raid or solid-state drive make these processes significantly faster?
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marook

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Size of mailstore?
Size of mailbox?

Is it a single drive, or a RAID?

We run a 300 user/ 200Gb mailstore server on an intel XServe, with no such issues... mailstore is on a RAID1(mirror) disk set internally.

Regards,

Jakob Peterhänsel
Consultant - Humac A/S

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hbianchi

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Of course the main issue with kerio performance is related to HD performance. I have mora than 600 users, and I had performance issues until I moved to a RAID arrangement with 15K SAS HD. Perhaps you do not need so, if you have less users, and the users do not have thousands of mails in their folders but yes: the performance problems are mostly related to disk performance. At the time we had the problem, it was mainly noticed when:
- users logs in to an INBOX that have many pages of mails (while system read the disk looking for alll the mails that must show.)
- somebody delivered a message with a huge attachment to a public folder (it seems that the system tries to read and pre-download the attachment for each user that is logged in).
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My IT Indy

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Your mailstore is on a single hard drive? That's a "bad idea"

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mberding

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Quote:
Size of mailstore?


57 Gig.

Quote:
Size of mailbox?


Personally, my mailbox is 700MB with 14,000 items. Other users have mailboxes of several gig with ~100,000 items.

Quote:
Is it a single drive, or a RAID?


Single internal SATA drive.

We run a 300 user/ 200Gb mailstore server on an intel XServe, with no such issues...

We have about 40 active users, and it's the users that have large mailboxes (like mine or sometimes much larger) that are having the most issues.
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mberding

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Quote:
Your mailstore is on a single hard drive? That's a "bad idea"


Sure, having a nice raid5 with hardware accelerated raid support would be best, but I didn't think we were at that point yet.

Is your "bad idea" statement based on a backup/failure basis, or speed basis?
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My IT Indy

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mberding wrote on Mon, 15 March 2010 10:28
Quote:
Your mailstore is on a single hard drive? That's a "bad idea"


Sure, having a nice raid5 with hardware accelerated raid support would be best, but I didn't think we were at that point yet.

Is your "bad idea" statement based on a backup/failure basis, or speed basis?


All of the above. Hard drives can only write so much data. We've run into situations where the storage capacity was fine to fit onto single drives however the I/O of the server was crushing the drive's ability to keep up with the reading and writing. Kerio writes every single email, contact, and calendar event as an individual file. That will saturate the I/O of a single hard drive rather quickly.

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My IT Indy
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mberding

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Quote:
however the I/O of the server was crushing the drive's ability to keep up with the reading and writing


What does the community suggest as a best-practice for storing kerio data? Raid 0 for speed, raid 5 for speed and data redundancy, solid-state drive for performance, or something else?
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My IT Indy

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RAID10 with the fastest drives you can afford is the general consensus.

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sedell

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RAID 5 is too slow - it's almost as bad as a single drive. RAID 10 with fast hard drives (10k rpm or better) is probably the best bet.

We originally had a 2 disk SATA RAID that was way too slow. We saw a HUGE difference when we moved to a 6 disk RAID 10 on 15k SAS drives. Then, about 2 months later, the original SATA disks failed within 2 weeks of each other. It appeared they ate themselves after so much time with near constant read/write activity trying to keep up with backed up queues.

Scott
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mberding

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So has anyone tried using solid-state drives with Kerio mailstores? In theory, that would be as fast if not faster than a RAID 10 setup, right?
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My IT Indy

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I have not, simply due to price. And reliability of the drives isn't proven. But I have a 256GB Crucial SSD in my macbook pro and the speed is amazing.

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My IT Indy
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sedell

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I've never tried it myself. I would be a bit worried about the drive wearing out. Even with the drive leveling technology they use to wear the drives evenly, it's still massive amounts of disk writes.

Scott
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Mousee

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Unless you can afford to replace the SSD drives often - I don't recommend even considering them for your datastore. If anything I would recommend configuring 2 SSD drives in a RAID1 array for just your operating system and the mail server application. If you have a decent backup system a RAID0 would be fine as well - though I wouldn't advise it obviously.

A Raid10 for your mailstore is really a must - a Raid1 at the very minimum, and only with non-SSD drives. Otherwise, considering the extreme amount of wear a single drive should be experiencing from the constant I/O of accessing the datastore, your risk of losing everything is extremely high.
mberding

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So the consensus seems to be setting up a RAID 10 array.

We're running XServes of various generations in a server cabinet with a limited amount of room. Does anyone have recommendations for RAID systems they've used and liked?
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