I’ve finally started exploring the new Exchange 2013 lately (together with Windows Server 2012) 🙂 Having done a fresh lab installation (running on vitual machine using Vmware ESXi 5.1, assigned Dual-Core i3 + 5GB RAM) I noticed that the complete response of Win 2012 Server significantly slowed-down after Exchange installation was completed. I was aware that Exchange 2013 is hungry for RAM but I was not able to provide more memory at that moment. There were no apparent errors in Application/System log. All was running fine but server just seemed to be out of breath.
You probably know that starting with Exchange 2013 Microsoft introduced new built-in monitoring feature “Managed Availability”. Managed Availability will undoubtedly be a welcomed improvement for production environment but if you want to run Exchange 2013 on a low-power server then this will probably consume some extra resources since as stated here “Every second on every Exchange 2013 server, Managed Availability polls and analyzes hundreds of health metrics”. You can see yourself with MessageTracking how many health test messages flow among monitoring mailboxes in Exchange 2013.
In addition to this, by default Exchange 2013 collects logs and performance data (<Exchange Install Drive>\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Logging\Diagnostics\DailyPerformanceLogs) that are required by Microsoft in case you need to open a technical case. Those Perf data take up quite a lot of disk space as well.
Since I rather prefer having good response from my Exchange server I decided to disable those extra features.
Managed Availability is provided by Exchange Health Manager Service (MSExchangeHMHost.exe). Just stop and configure the Startup type to Manual/Disabled.
I also disabled scheduled task that collects Performace Logs. Open location \Microsoft\Windows\PLA in Task Scheduler and disable taks ExchangeDiagnosticsDailyPerformanceLog & ExchangeDiagnosticsPerformanceLog.
I can confirm that after above actions my Exchange server runs really nice and server’s response is excellent even on a low-power server.