Best Windows Version and is SSD Worth it for setup?
Question asked by Jason Kennedy - 8/24/2020 at 11:17 AM

Currently have SM 15.5 on a Windows 2012R2 Standard bare metal raid 10 15k scsi drives. Single 3.5Ghz CPU and 8 RAM  Everything has been running fine for 4 years now. We had about 50 domain with 600 emails and migrated our last users from our older IpSwitch email server with our finished total 55 domains, 800 users. Things seem fine still. 50% POP, 25% IMAP, 25% Webmail. Memory never about 33%, Smartermail memory typically was 500-650MB now about 700-800MB running smooth. Server Disk Space Used by SM = 210GB

Disk Queue was 0-1% | Daily Delivered: 10K | Local Delivered :8K | Remove Delivered : 2K
Some of our business users do send large attachments quite often to each other 15MB to their team members.

I expect all numbers above to be similar next year with a 10% growth on disk usage. We are using Spam Experts and only allow those IP's for inbound traffic.

IBM is replacing our other older server and I have a choice of OS and any 4 drives. I was thinking either Windows 2016 or Windows 2019 with the SM 15.5 (same version transfer) then possibly upgrade to SM 17. I haven't updated since ours has been running well - basically no calls and have been watching the forums.

Should I stick with the Raid 10 SCSI 15K drives 600GB or is the upgrade to 800GB SDD for $60 more a month worth it. This was the quote below for the replacement they have to supply. It's already a huge upgrade?

Server: Dual Intel Xeon Silver 4110 (16 Cores, 2.10 GHz)
Second Processor: Intel Xeon Silver 4110 (16 Cores, 2.10 GHz)
Operating System: Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (64 bit)
Disk Controller: RAID
First Hard Drive: 600 GB SAS (15K RPM)
Second Hard Drive : 600 GB SAS (15K RPM)
Third Hard Drive : 600 GB SAS (15K RPM)
Fourth Hard Drive : 600 GB SAS (15K RPM)
Uplink Port Speeds: 100 Mbps Public & Private Network Uplinks

Total = $233
w/800GB SSD = $293 (27% price increase)
My thought were the extra $60 could be spent on faster block storage backups if the difference is negligible or if raid SSD would be bottle necked.

Any recommendations on Server OS to use and Drives?

My main concern is will SM17 going to make me wish I had SSD or is this overkill? and would like to the most current Windows since it's likely this setup could last 10 years. We have quite a few users with 2-6GB mailboxes. searching is fairly quick. moving 2GB of emails from the folder to another via Webmail I do see a progress bar sometime for maybe 10 seconds. on small searches, its instant.

The SCSI drives have been reliable over the past 15 year on both servers. I could do a raid 1 mix, but think staying Raid 10 is best. I'm looking for the best stable setup.

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Scarab Replied
If your Current Disk Queue is consistently under 1%, even at peak, then you will probably be fine with 15K SAS Drives.

When we upgraded we made the mistake of going with high-capacity 10K SAS Drives in RAID-5 (in retrospect we probably should have also gone RAID-10) and are currently suffering at times with an average Current Disk Queue of 2.927s and a maximum of 27s! Our Split IO/sec is an average of 43.204 with a max of 273.870 on an average day but there have been rare instances where we peak 5x that! We are doing perfectly fine for Reads but Writes we are looking at an average of 75.586 and max of 233.044 Writes per sec (not counting peak days). With SM v17 you really don't want to be I/O bound, and it's clear that we worked our way into that corner by not going with something faster. We are currently re-evaluating migrating to SSD.

(On a side note, the newest builds of v17 are getting amazingly better at managing Writes with the recent changes they've made to Indexing & Mailbox structure. It's getting on par with v15 in that respect.)

As far as OS we've recently experienced a weird stability issue with memory usage when running SM v17 in Hyper-V on Windows Server 2019 when the VM is set to use Dynamic Memory (SM v17 runs fine when using Static Memory in Hyper-V). However, if you are planning on running SM v17 on bare metal then that is neither here nor there and in which case I definitely would go with 2019 for both the LTS and for HTTP/2.

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