This post describes the new Exchange Processor Query Tool, plus how and when to use it. The tool can be downloaded here.
The Mailbox Storage Calculator is a key tool when designing an Exchange storage infrastructure. On the Input Tab, in the Role Requirements section, the processor configuration needs to be entered.
The Old Way
Before we get into the values needed, let’s step back in time before the Exchange Processor Query Tool existed (just so that everyone appreciates this new tool available to us). We used to have to calculate our own “Adjusted Megacycles” for the Mailbox Calculator. This included the following steps with a nice little math problem at the end (from the Mailbox Calculator tool instructions):
- Open a web browser and got to www.spec.org.
- Click on Results, highlight CPU2006 and then select Search CPU2006 Results.
- Under Available Configurations, select SPECint2006 Rates and click Go. Under Simple Request, enter the search criteria (e.g. Processor matches x5550).
- Find the server and processor you are planning to deploy and take note of the result value. For example, let’s say you are deploying a Dell PowerEdge M710 8-core server with Intel x5550 2.67GHz processors (2670 Hertz); the SPECint_rate2006 results value is 240, with a value of 30 per core (known in the formula as "new platform per core value").
- The baseline system (HP DL380 G5 x5470 3.33GHz, 8 cores), has a SPECint_rate2006 results value of 150, or 18.75 per core (known in the formula as "baseline per core value").
- To determine the megacycles of the M710 platform, we will use the following formula:
Megacycles/core = ((New platform per core value) * (Hertz per core of New platform)) / (Baseline per core value)
Alright, let’s stop right there….
The New Way
Obviously the “old way” could be a little confusing and cumbersome. Now with the new Exchange Processor Query tool, we only need to know the following things before getting started:
- Processor Type (ex. Xeon x5570)
- Number of total processor cores in the planned server
When we open the tool, we first enter in the processor type and select “Query”. This will query the spec.org database of all available models of servers that have this processor type, configurations available, and the Average Result for the Rate Value.
Next enter in the number of total processor cores planned for your server configuration. This will automatically fill in the Average Result Value in “Step 5”. The Average Value can be used for the calculator or you can use the actual value of the model in the query results:
Now we enter that value into the Mailbox Storage Calculator:
With this value filled in, the Mailbox Calculator will calculate the Total Available Adjusted Megacycles and the CPU Utilization Rate.