Introducing the Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server capacity planning tool


My name is Frank Trujillo, and I want to inform everyone that the Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE) capacity planning tool is now available. As in the previous version of the tool, it is Excel-based and provides a workflow that makes hardware recommendations based on your preferred security configuration and desired environment. 

The tool has been revised to align with the capacity planning guidance for Exchange Server 2010. In addition, we have added a few key options for FPE configuration that impact performance. These show up in the tool as different levels of keyword filtering, file filtering, and engine and performance settings – previously referred to as “bias” settings. We now support 4 core server configurations as well as 8 core server configurations with a couple of different scanning process configurations.

We have also introduced relative performance graphs to understand the performance impact of virtualized environments and various operating system and Exchange version combinations. This can be viewed in the Comparative Performance tab in the tool. 

Finally, we changed how we communicate information in the graphs associated with the existing environments. Now each of the data streams end based on the maximum capacity of that configuration.   As an example, for an Enterprise Reference Architecture (ERA), the maximum supported incoming message rate on an Edge Server with 4 cores and 4 scan processes, using a subset of 5 engines, is approximately 22 messages per second; where the maximum message rate for the same server configuration based on a dynamic subset of 5 engines is 34 messages per second.  

The testing methodology for the product has also been slightly modified. A represented set of messages was created based on data from different customer verticals and then combined to create a near worse-case message mix that would generate the most tax on the deployed system. Actual 4 core and 8 core servers were leveraged in the targeted deployment architecture where the measurements were obtained.  

You can download a free copy of the FSE capacity planning tool at the following URL:    

After downloading the tool, you should first read the Directions and Readme tabs for complete information on using the tool. A Resources tab is also provided with links to obtain additional data to help make an informed decision during the planning stage.

Please keep in mind, however, that the FPE tool is not a replacement for thorough Exchange capacity planning. The expectation is that the deployment architecture adheres to the Exchange Server 2007 capacity planning guidelines.

Feedback or enhancement requests about the tool are appreciated. You can send comments directly to  

Thanks for reading.

Frank Trujillo
Senior Program Manager - Forefront



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