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Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

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  • Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

    Hi all

    I have a few clients still running SBS2003.

    One in particular is quite a heavy email user.

    I was wondering, how big, is too big, for a mailbox to get? Is there a recommended size limit to individual mailbox sizes, assuming the hardware is ok?

    Reason I ask is becuase a few users have broken the 10GB mark and the highest one is nearly 17GB.

    In the early days I did encourage them to archive off into PST files but due to corruption and the sheer amount, they have become a hinderance. It seems far more accessible and secure with mail kept in their mailboxes.

    I know Exchange 2003 has a 75GB hard limit, but all things being equal, does Exchange really care if this is made up of 100 mailboxes, or just 1?



  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

    The real issue with mailboxes is not the size of the mailbox, it's the number of items per folder in the mailbox. That being said, a 17GB mailbox does seem a little excessive.


    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

      Um, yeah what Joe said. 5,000 item per folder is about the max. After that you tend to get problems.
      1 1 was a racehorse.
      2 2 was 1 2.
      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
      2 2 1 1 2


      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

        The question raises all kinds of issues that don't have a single answer. How long does it take to back up the 75GB mailstore? Do you have the space? Do you have an extra 80Gb free in case you need to retore? defragment? perform maintenance?
        Then there are other questions such as: if he is storing 17GB in the mailbox, is that the best way to store that information? Perhaps Sharepoint would be better if there are large attachments such as presentations and spreadsheets. How much of the 17Gb is made up of funny videos and jokes that really don't need to be stored at all?
        Otherwise you are really asking "How long is a piece of string?"

        Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
        Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

        We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2003 Mailbox Sizes

          I personally think 17GB is excessive, and even 10GB could be excessive. The best way forward would be to define a policy in combination with Business, restricting mailboxes to a given size, and then hard-enforcing that policy.

          When taking your recommendation to business, make sure you include all the things Teiger has pointed out - the fact that to restore, you need a spare 80GB, that your backup window takes X amount of time nightly, that backup media costs XZY, that storage of it costs XZZ. then present a pretty graph demonstrating mailbox sizes, showing that average is 3GB, for instance, and recommending a 5GB hard limit.

          If you really want to support your claims, then have a look through the mailbox, and evaluate how much is "business' and how much is joke crap. Just make sure your policies allow you to do this.....
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