Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Protect Exchange Server Hard Drive from Disk Failure

Hard drive is the backbone of any computer as it stores the data in binary form. It should be maintained from time to time for storing and maintaining data.

What Are The Causes of Hard Drive Failure?

There are many factors responsible for the Exchange Server hard drive crash. Some of them can be sudden while others can happen from a definite interval of time. Some of them are as follows:

Surrounding Hot Temperature - We know that as the electronic equipment work, there is always heat generated due to continuous and excessive use. If the surrounding temperature of the system exceeds the defined limit then it can easily corrupt the data in the hard drive or can cause a hard drive crash. So, this heat generated should be removed from the server.

Defects in Manufacturing - If a new hard drive fails within a short duration then there is a strong possibility that it suffered from a manufacturing defect.

Loss of Power While In Use - If a hard disk loses power while it is reading or writing, the head will not be in a parked state, which can lead to causing physical damage to the disk.

Electrostatic Discharge - It is the main cause of disk failure as static charges generated can creature a short circuit in the inner circuitry.

Wear & Tear - As the disk works, it rotates at some RPM (Rotation per Minute) so there will be risk of wear & tear which reduces the life of the hard drive.

What are the Symptoms of Failure?

  • Server crashes frequently under heavy use.
  •  File system corruption due to virus attack thereby leading to data loss.
  •  Excessive time taken by the file explorer to display the folder.
  •  Server hard drive comes with smart technology, which informs about errors in various sectors or tracks in the disk.
  •  Excessive time taken by the server to start up or process an instruction.
It is important to choose the right hard drive for the server as the new technology has made the failure very rare. It can boost up the performance of the Exchange Server. There should be a balance between the hard drive size and traffic, which it handles.

Smart Ways to Boost up Your Exchange Server

The ways in which Exchange Server can be boost up are as follows:

Use SAS hard Drive - It can boost the performance of the Exchange Server having large size of the mailbox, which needs to be accessed quickly. These drives can provide speed of up to 22 GB/s since they run at higher RPM than normal SATA, which provides 6 GB/s at 7200 RPM.

Improving the Latency – When the read/write request to the server exceeds the response time capacity of the drive then it causes latency. While a 15000 RPM drive can reduce the latency and improve the input-output between space and the user traffic. If a non-volatile flash memory is integrated with a hard drive then the latency might reduce and get 3 times IOPS benchmark.

Use Solid State Drives (SSD) - They provide high transfer rate and can handle the data traffic without any latency since they don’t have any rotating part and is 1000 times faster than HDD.

Ways to Protect the Hard Drive from Failure.

Disk Defragmentation - It is the process to consolidate the fragmented data in the volume so that the data can be accessed in a short interval of time while reading/writing and increases the chances of errors in the disk along with increasing its life.

Remove Junk From the Disk - There is sufficient amount of data in the server, which is neither used nor provided any benefit for the server itself. If this junk gets accumulated too much then it can either slow the disk or can cause a failure, so it should be removed from time to time.

Use of Antivirus or Any Security Software - As Exchange Server handles and stores all the information shared To and From the clients. Hence, a security or antivirus software can protect the malware or Trojans, which can slow the disk seeking and access time, thereby increasing the load on its rotation speed.

Backup & Restore .bkf Files - It is always safe to back up the data on the hard drive in the form of .bkf so that it could be recovered in case of a disk failure on the Exchange Server. Backup the entire volume-containing database and logs.

Exchange Recovery database (RDB) is not supported by restore in the Exchange Server OS. In order to use RDB it should be restored locally by using another drive.


Exchange Server maintenance and security of the data is the challenging task for an enterprise to work with since any hard drive failure or corruption of data can cost huge amount of loss in the business. Always back up the Exchange Server data manually or convert EDB file to PST to remove the server dependency, so it can be recovered in case of a Exchange Server hard drive failure.

I hope the above article convey the users the ways to boost up the hard drive and the possible ways available to protect the hard drive of the Exchange Server from a catastrophic failure.

For any query or suggestions, do mention in the comment.


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