Limiting Exchange 2010 store.exe Database Cache

Note (6apr2011): Setting the MsExchESEParamCacheSizeMax only doesn’t produce the required result as of Exchange 2010 SP1. For more information on how to limit the database cache size in Exchange 2010 SP1, see Limiting Exchange 2010 SP1 Database Cache.

I received a question from someone implementing Exchange 2010 who was surprised to see Exchange taking up all available memory. This is because in Exchange 2010 (2007 as well) memory allocation is dynamic, contrary to Exchange 2003 and earlier versions where, depending on the situation, you had to fiddle around with boot.ini switches like /3GB to make memory available to Exchange. Also, the maximum database cache size was limited in Exchange 2003 to around 1.2 GB due to virtual address space limitations (see MSKB 815372).

The main reason Exchange 2007/2010 claims memory for its database cache is performance. The more memory is assigned to the database cache, the less I/O’s are generated because things can be dealt with in-memory and the database cache becomes more effective. When a certain amount of transactions has been reached, changes will be physically written to databases (so far they’ve been stored in-memory and written to transaction logs). This limit is called the log checkpoint depth target.

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Ask Matt: your questions answered

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Mailbag 8th December 2010

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I have to admit when Microsoft announced drive extender was being cut from WHS Vail I was as shocked as anybody, this feature was the life blood of WHS, and certainly a feature heavily relied upon. Here I am 2 weeks after the decision was made and we are all still talking about it, I am still receiving emails from angry users asking why this has been cut and where to go from here.

I don’t really have any answers for those people, its true Microsoft have made a crazy decision, and the fact is, that it was cut based on Microsoft being unable to  implement the same technology in its business products. Surely Microsoft should realise that if they can’t use it in their business products but can be used in WHS, then just use it in WHS. I think the main problem is that most of the original WHS team is no longer present, Microsoft merged the WHS and SBS team at the start of Vail’s incarnation. I don’t think the new team really realised the impact of cutting a feature as big as drive extender would have on such a well-rounded product.

It still remains to be seen if Microsoft will throw a life line to Vail, and reinstate drive extender solely into Windows Home Server, I personally would back them all the way if they did this, and I will continue to campaign for this change to be made.

On a final note, some of you may have noticed that the forum is currently down for maintenance, we are in the process of bringing a new fresh new interface into play, with features galore, we are hoping to be completely up and running again either today or tomorrow, so watch this space, and look forward to seeing you all in there. Continue reading

Ask Matt: your questions answered

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Mailbag 30th November 2010

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Drive Extender Removed From Vail

Unsurprisingly the biggest talking point this week has been Drive Extender, to hear that it was being removed from the upcoming Vail release was gutting, I am really not sure what Microsoft are thinking about by removing such a massive and popular feature from the final release.

In response to the madness, there are a few developers out there that are trying to develop their own drive extender, in the form of an addin, this looks promising and is going to be based on FlexRAID, when I know more I will let everyone know.

As far as I am concerned if the FlexRAID addin comes through, then Windows Home Server will go on, but I don’t think it will ever become a successful mainstream product whilst popular features get cut from each new version. We have to remember Microsoft aren’t replacing this feature with something else bigger and better, and in my view will be offering poor value for money when Vail does finally get released, as they haven’t improved Vail enough from WHS v1 to really warrant an upgrad with such a massive feature missing.

The out pouring from the Windows Home Server community has been unprecedented, and has certainly caught Microsoft off guard, Terry Walsh @ WeGotServed has written to Steve Ballmer personally, whether this will have any bearing on the final decision, which seems to have already been made, remains to be seen. It’s now left with Microsoft to stick or twist.

Let me know what you think of Drive Extender being removed from Windows Home Server in our forum. Continue reading

Is Firefox losing the battle to Google Chrome?

Google Chrome vs Firefox

It’s now just over a year since Google Chrome was first released, back then it was Firefox flying the flag as the alternate browser. Since then it’s all been about Chrome, its update schedule is mighty impressive and new features are almost appearing in front of your eyes. So is it just a matter of time before Chrome starts to eat away at what Firefox has built up over time? Thanks in most part and ironically Google.

When Chrome was first released Google made it clear that it wasn’t going to be competing with Firefox, so Internet Explorer was clearly in its line of sight. Google once said that it really did believe there was room in the market for another browser, many didn’t believe it.

So with perfect timing for the browser ballot window Chrome made very quick gains, Chrome is now at the point where it can make new releases every 6 weeks. Google’s philosophy is if a feature isn’t ready for the next release, it will drop it in to the next release following that, this is allowing Chrome to be released at a much faster pace. This kind of development plan is so quick, neither Firefox nor Internet Explorer can keep pace, I think for almost entirely this reason Firefox will begin to flounder. It might not happen immediately, it might not happen for some time, but it will happen. Even the most loyal of fans will eventually become discontent with the lack of fast paced development. Continue reading