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Move SQL onto a dedicated SQL server. You can move indexing but it makes no sense what so ever, technically its possible, but I don't know anyone doing this as it brings no benefit, it will just slow things down as you parsing data over the network, so your bottle neck would be there.
The biggest problem you have is SQL, move that off and you will be fine, I have had up to 20,000 active mailboxes on one Enterprise Vault server, and archiving was not a problem and seeing as you have 1,500 users that's nothing my laptop with a dedicated SQL server would most probably out preform your single server with SQL on it :)
I realize this is an old thread, but we've already have SQL on a dedicated server and performance is still poor. It's not CPU, I suspect the issue is with IOPS. We're considering separating the indices to a separate server to offload seach activity from the server doing the archiving. Are there guidelines for building our a dedicated search/index server?