Using NetApp Filers with Sun Java System Messaging Server Message Store

Using NetApp Filers with Sun Java System Messaging Server Message Store

This technical notes describes how to configure NetApp storage appliances called filers with the Sun JavaTM System Messaging Server 6 2005Q4 message store.

The component product affected by this technical note is:

This technical note contain the following sections:

Technical Note Revision History


Description of Changes 

April 11, 2006 

Re-issue of this technical note for Sun Java Enterprise System 2005Q4. 

September 27, 2005 

Corrected typo in release version of Messaging Server. 

August 26, 2005 

Modified To Configure Messaging Server to Work with NetApp Filers with note to change startup script.

August 8, 2005 

Noted that the message store file system on the NetApp filer can only be mounted by a single Messaging Server host. 

July 29, 2005 

Initial release of this technical note. 

About This Technical Note

The Messaging Server message store contains the user mailboxes for a particular Messaging Server instance. The size of the message store increases as the number of mailboxes, folders, and log files increase.

As you add more users to your system, your disk storage requirements increase. Depending on the number of users your server supports, the message store might require one physical disk or multiple physical disks. Messaging Server enables you an add more stores as needed.

One approach to adding more stores is by using storage appliances. NetApp storage appliances called filers integrate seamlessly with Messaging Server in the message delivery environment. Filers are reliable and provide excellent performance, scalability, and data availability. Filers provide high-performance access to a single copy of the data, which is shared across all types of UNIX®clients through NFS.

The high-level steps to configure the NetApp filer for Messaging Server are:

  1. Planning disk capacity

  2. Creating volumes

  3. Configuring Messaging Server to access the NetApp filer

In addition, you can use SnapshotTMto create periodic copies for data protection in the event of server failure or loss of data. You can use SnapRestore® to quickly restore mailboxes from the snapshots taken previously. You can dump the Snapshot copies to tape library using NDMP and store them offsite. For more streamlined disaster recovery (DR) purposes, you can send these Snapshot copies by using SnapMirror® to a NetApp NearStore® system located at a secondary site or data center.

Planning Disk Capacity and Creating Volumes

You need to create a volume (or volumes) on the filer before installing Messaging Server. To avoid disk I/O bottlenecks, configure the system with as many spindles as possible. Note that more spindles in a volume means longer RAID reconstruction time in case disk failure happens.

Note –

The message store file system on the NetApp filer can only be mounted by one Messaging Server host. Sharing the same message store file system by more than one Messaging Server is not supported.

ProcedureTo Create a Volume on a NetApp Data ONTAP 7G (Flexible Volume)


    The following commands create an aggregate (aggr1) and a flexible volume (eng).

    • To create an aggregate called aggr1 with 10 spindles (disks):

      aggr create aggr1 10

    • To create a 20 GB flexible volume called eng:

      vol create eng aggr1 20g

ProcedureTo Create a Volume on a NetApp Data ONTAP 6.5 and Older (Traditional Volume)

  1. The following command creates a volume called eng with 10 spindles:

    vol create eng 10
  2. Export the volume(s) to Messaging Server through NFS.

    Add the following entry to the system /etc/exports file on the filer (the server is msg1).

    /vol/eng -root=msg1
  3. Run the Data ONTAP exportfs command.

    exportfs -a
  4. Mount the volume eng from server msg1.

    mount filer:/vol/eng /eng
  5. Use /eng as the path to the message store.

Configuring Messaging Server to Work with NetApp Filers

After creating the volume, you need to configure Messaging Server so that it can function with the NetApp device.

ProcedureTo Configure Messaging Server to Work with NetApp Filers

  1. Configure the temporary database directory on the Messaging Server host by setting the store.dbtmpdir parameter to a directory under /tmp.

    For example:

    configutil -o store.dbtmpdir -v /tmp/mboxlist

  2. Move the data/lock directory to a local file system, for example, /tmp.

  3. Create a symlink to the lock directory.

    For example:

    mv /var/opt/SUNWmsgsr/lock /tmp/lock
    ln -s /tmp/lock /var/opt/SUNWmsgsr/lock

    Note –

    If you do this, modify the startup script to recreate the /tmp/lock directory (with proper permissions) upon bootup. Otherwise, it won't exist and your sever will fail to start.

Configuring the Message Store Database Snapshot

After configuring Messaging Server to work with the NetApp filer, you need to specify a message store database snapshot interval and location.

A snapshot is a hot backup of the database and is used by stored to restore a broken database transparently in a few minutes. This is much quicker than using reconstruct, which relies on the redundant information stored in other areas.

ProcedureTo Configure Message Store Database Snapshot Location and Interval

  1. Plan the snapshot location and interval based on the following:

    • Try to allocate five times as much space for the database and snapshots combined.

    • Reconfigure snapshots to run on a separate disk that is tuned to the system's needs.

    • Having a snapshot interval which is too small will result in a frequent burden to the system and a greater chance that a problem in the database will be copied as a snapshot. Having a snapshot interval too large can create a situation where the database will hold the state it had back when the snapshot was taken.

    • A snapshot interval of a day is recommended and a week or more of snapshots can be useful if a problem remains on the system for a number of days and you wish to go back to a period prior to point at which the problem existed.

  2. Use configutil parameters to configure the snapshot location and interval, as described in To Specify Message Store Database Snapshot Interval and Location in Sun Java System Messaging Server 6 2005Q4 Administration Guide.

Further Reading

Refer to the following documentation for more information.

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