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  • Exchange 2003 Limitations

    Folks, I am really looking for some advice or help. I'm trying to get a small company that is running on Exchange Server 2000 Enterprise Edition to fit onto a Exchange Server 2003 Std installation. The current db is almost 110GB mostly due to the fact that they archive everything in a couple of common mailboxes. My thought is to first try to do as much housekeeping as possible, also try to change some mindsets on how much mail is kep in mailboxes, and then to create Public Store folders to hold some of this archived mail. Is this a reasonable approach? I guess I am hoping to get down to maybe a managed 50GB mailbox store on each side (priv and pub) for a total of 100GB.

    Is this the best approach or can someone give me a better idea? Or would the best approach be to just suck it up and pay the $6000 extra for the enterprise edition and cals??

  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

    As you can no longer purchase Exchange 2003, you would have to purchase Exchange 2007 to use downgrade rights.
    However Exchange 2007 standard allows you to have multiple mailbox stores (4) and technically unlimited mailbox store size.
    Therefore personally I would either skip Exchange 2003 completely, or invest some money in an archiving solution.

    If you ask users to do housekeeping what will probably happen is that you will just end up with lots of PST files, which are bloated, break easily and a pain to manage.

    Simon.
    --
    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

      Thanks Simon - I'll look at the 2007 option more closely.

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

        I thought Exchange 2003 has a max DB of 73GB? i just had to defrag mine.
        Surely Exchange 2000 would be less?

        I've been getting quotes for Exchange 2007 on a new server 2008 box to eliminate our 'user' mis-management of mailbox issues.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

          Originally posted by k.jacko View Post
          I thought Exchange 2003 has a max DB of 73GB? i just had to defrag mine.
          Surely Exchange 2000 would be less?

          I've been getting quotes for Exchange 2007 on a new server 2008 box to eliminate our 'user' mis-management of mailbox issues.
          No it is 75gb.
          And your offline defrag was a waste of time because the database limit is enforced by the combination of the physical size MINUS the white space.

          Simon.
          --
          Simon Butler
          Exchange MVP

          Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
          More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
          Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
          In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

          Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

            Sembee,

            excusing the slight hijack, would you mind explaining a little further please?
            My I.T. support team told me to do it that way.
            How come offline defrag won't clear up white space?

            Our mailstore was over 77GB so it kept dismounting. Event viewer said the max was 73Gb.
            I had all our users prune their mailboxes down. One user had 5.6Gb, he got it down to about 1.5Gb, mostly by deleting crap he didn't need, which saved 4gb right there.
            My I.T. team said that i wouldn't gain that space back until a mailstore defrag was done, which is what i've done.

            Pre-defrag:
            priv1.edb = 66Gb
            priv1.stm = 15Gb

            post-defrag:
            priv1.edb = 65Gb
            priv1.stm = 12Gb

            So if can you expand on what you said, i'd be very grateful. It may help the OP too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

              While the mailstore size that Exchange sees is minus the whitespace, the whitespace is still present in the database, thus taking up hard drive space. Ask your IT guys whether they were referring to the size of the mailstore, or the size of the mailstore database files.
              Gareth Howells

              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

              Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

              Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

              "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

              "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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              • #8
                Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                All i see is that i've manmaged to salvage 4Gb from the defragged DB.

                Regardless of what my I.T. team say i'd personally like to understand it better, if anyone feels like explaining a little more please.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                  An offline defrag removes the whitespace from the database, thus reducing the size of the database file, while not affecting the size of the mailstore.
                  Gareth Howells

                  BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                  Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                  Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                  "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                    Ahaa, so it seems what i've done is right then.
                    I've had the users trim down their mailboxes to reduce the size of the DB and then i've done an offline defrag to eliminate whitespace.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                      Ok, i'm gonna continue this hijack rather than start a new thread as the OP may still find this useful.

                      After my posts above showing that i'd done an offline defrag and reduced the priv1.edb and priv1.stm file by approx. 4gb in total, i get an event log entry this morning saying that the mailstore is now at 78Gb and that it will dismount.
                      In the recent weeks since i've been alerted to the fullness of the mailstore its never gone above 77Gb, so how in gods name can it now be more AFTER i'd pruned about 8gb (my estimations) off the database and offline defragged it to move the white space???
                      There's no way we have received so much emails as to bulk it up again.
                      Also, if i go into the Exchange System Manager and look at the mailboxes in the mailstore; well if i add up all the mailbox totals they come to no where near 65Gb (total for the priv1.edb) never mind the total of 78Gb.
                      So where are the hidden GB's??
                      The I.T. guy i spoke to was unsure about this too and pondered if maybe i'd not used the correct eseutil switch to defrag AND remove the white space. I used eseutil /d which as far as i'm aware does what i want. It did reduce them by 4Gb but our users got rid of more than that collectively, indeed one user deleted 4gb on his own .
                      I snapshotted the mailbox window before pruning and checked after everyone had finished pruning (days later) and i said i estimate that we deleted at least 8-10Gb, before defragging it.

                      So why on earth are we not seeing the downsizing of the mailstore?

                      Again, advice would be very much appreciated.

                      Cheers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                        Read my blog posting on the workings of the Exchange database.
                        http://blog.sembee.co.uk/archive/2009/07/21/105.aspx

                        Simon.
                        --
                        Simon Butler
                        Exchange MVP

                        Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                        More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                        Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                        In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                          Sembee,

                          that is an excellent read and has cleared up many queries i had, thanks so much for your help.

                          It was interesting to read this bit:
                          Single Instance Storage is a mechanism used within the Exchange database to keep the size of the database down. If you send an email with a 5mb attachment to 10 users, rather than using 50mb of space, it only uses 5mb. The attachment is only removed from the store when the last of those ten recipients removes it from their mailbox.
                          With that in mind, is there any way i could 'search' for a specific mail across all mailboxes so that once deleted the referenced attachment will be deleted from the database too? I suspect this is a big reason why we're not seeing the reduction in db size that we expect, as we have 50 employees on our internal disty list and if someone sends a 5mb file to everyone, yet not everyone deletes it, then it stays in the database. We will have literally hundreds of these kinds of emails, containing pictures or .ppt files etc.

                          So if as admin i could gloablly search all mailboxes for a specific email that would be cool.

                          Many thanks again for your blog.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Exchange 2003 Limitations

                            Once the email has been deleted by all users, then the attachment will be deleted from the store. While there is one copy of the email in the store it will not be removed.
                            There is no tool that I am aware of that will scan the database to find attachments fo that kind. The most you would get is an archiving tool that uses stubbing to replace the attachment.

                            Simon.
                            --
                            Simon Butler
                            Exchange MVP

                            Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                            More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                            Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                            In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                            Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                            Comment

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