The EMC Global Solutions Engineering team has published a white paper that provides design guidelines and best practices for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business Servers on EMC ScaleIO®. This paper demonstrates that EMC ScaleIO provides a high-performance, scalable, and cost-effective hyper-converged solution for Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications.


Lab testing confirms that the ScaleIO design and sizing best practices meet the specified performance requirements. The picture below shows a block diagram of the prototype production environment used in the lab to service our simulated user load.

MS apps on scaleio.png


The engineers chose a hyper-converged configuration for the test infrastructure deployment in order to demonstrate the flexibility of migrating the virtual machines among all the hosts. Following the best practices and sizing guidelines from the paper, the test used 15 servers to meet the required workload demand.The lab tests validated the performance of SharePoint and Exchange running together on the ScaleIO deployment.  To simulate client workloads the engineers used the following tools:

  1. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Visual Studio Team System custom workload
  2. Microsoft Exchange Jetstress


Test Results

The SharePoint tests results show host read latency, write latency, and the overall latency of the virtual disks hosting database primary replicas are all below 20 ms. The search index disk latency values are all below 10 ms.  Exchange tests results were average latency on the Mailbox server at 12.72 ms. The performance of the Exchange implementation exceeded the design target for the test.



The paper explains in detail how architects can evaluate their organizations needs and answer the following design questions based on their individual circumstances:


  1. Which ScaleIO topology to choose, converged (two layer) or hyper-converged (single layer).
  2. How many compute resources will you need for a ScaleIO platform.
  3. How to design the protection domains, storage pools, and fault sets.
  4. When to use cache and, if so, how much cache capacity to allocate.
  5. What ScaleIO network topology to use and how to set network-related configurations.


  • EMC ScaleIO provides a software-only solution that converges storage and computing resources to form a single-layer hyper-converged platform for hosting Microsoft applications.  ScaleIO is also capable of being configured in two-layer or mixed role configurations depending on the needs of the organization.
  • ScaleIO storage is elastic and delivers an almost linearly scalable performance. Its scale-out architecture can grow from just a few to thousands of servers.
  • This white paper demonstrated ScaleIO design and sizing best practices by using an example of building a production environment with mixed Microsoft messaging and collaboration applications.
  • The validation test shows that ScaleIO supports Exchange and SharePoint, with the ability to scale out both capacity and performance.



Thanks for reading,

Phil Hummel @GotDisk