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Transaction Log files

Posted on 2004-04-13
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Hi Friends,

I'm new to exchange server. I have a question which I'm sure the experts in this group can help me.

Is it safe to move the Exchange transaction logs e000*.log files to a different location. If so what is the safest way and the what are the precautions to be taken. It is taking more than 1.5GHz of space on our server and the server is close to "0" free space.

Please ask me  if you need any info on this.

Kumaran
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Question by:rbkumaran
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18 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:dstoker509
ID: 10813160
If you run a full online backup, the log files will be removed automatically.  Running full backups periodically (like every night or weekly) will keep your logs under control.

Thanks,

David
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
dm_osborn earned 1200 total points
ID: 10813707
David is correct. A full backup will remove those disk hungry logs. NEVER remove them manually in Exchsrvr 2000 or newer.

You also have the option of moving the databases and transaction logs to another location to get back your HD space.

Go here:  http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/4785/4785.html to get a little insight into Transaction logs.

Go here:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/products_tech_note09186a00800c6f5f.shtml for instructions to move the database and/or logs

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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:rbkumaran
ID: 10813825
The CISCO link has clear information. I would just prefer moving the Transaction logs and not to play around with any other settings as it would save me as much as 1.5 to 2Ghz which should last till the upgrade is done.

Just a quick question before I proceed with the procedures. When I change the path to a different drive, will it move the existing log files and start creating the new ones in the drive or will it just start saving the new ones, leaving the existing logs where it was.

Kumaran
0
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:dm_osborn
ID: 10814014
Good Question. Exchange moves the logs for you. Otherwise, your store would not mount cleanly. I know. It's always scary. By the way, don't move the logs to a network drive. Adding a physical drive is the preferred method (read: my preferred method). Funny things can happen if the network drive is lost for any period of time.

Good luck, or better yet . . . Godspeed!
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:rbkumaran
ID: 10814055
Thank you for the information.

I'll give it a go by today evening or by tomorrow and shall keep you updated.

Thanks again for your time.

Kumaran
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:dstoker509
ID: 10814065
Understand that your services will stop during this migration.  Also, ensure that you have a backup in place as you do not want to replay over 2GB of transaction logs.
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:rbkumaran
ID: 10814108
The server is running an online backup software with a Open File Manager and so i guess there is a backup setup. I'll make sure, I have a safe copy before I proceed with the transfer.

Thanks for the info.

Kumaran
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:dm_osborn
ID: 10814340
Also note that most third party backup programs without specific MS Exchange capabilities do not get rid of the transaction logs. If you use Win2k backup from 'system tools', Exchange will delete the unneeded logs for you. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have this backup anyway in case your normal backup software decides not to cooperate (shhh - I typed that last bit really quietly so I wouldn't jinx anything.)

Again, Good luck.

David, just as a point of interest: I believe that the services stay intact in Exch2k. It just dismounts and remounts the store. Is that correct? I know Exch5.x stops the services.
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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:Exchange_Admin
Exchange_Admin earned 400 total points
ID: 10814463
"DANGER WILL ROBINSON"

Just an FYI-
Are you using the Exchange agent or just an Open File Agent with your backup software?
An Open File Agent will not properly backup your Exchange databases.

Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan in place? If so have tested it?

The reason I ask is that I have seen many companies think they are getting good backups with the Open File Agent only to find out that they cannot restore the databases in the case of a disaster. They will be able to restore the databases, but they will not be able to start them.
Also as stated above, the Open File Agents usually do not purge the committed logfiles.

If you do not have an Exchange agent then stop the Exchange services and perform a normal file backup.
0
 
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:dstoker509
dstoker509 earned 400 total points
ID: 10814487
If your backup solution is "Exchange aware" then a full backup will automatically remove the transaction logs.  Many "Open File" backups are not Exchange aware as they are only designed to backup file servers, and the backups that they take can not correctly backup the Exchange database and transaction logs in a manner that is recoverable without major problems or data loss.  Be advised that your backup may not work.  I would suggest using NTBackup on Win2k if that is your OS just in case as it is "Exchange aware."  I would also verify that your software is Exchange aware, and test a recovery on an offline computer.

You may want to read this http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/55/plan/disaster.mspx

With Exchange 2000/2003, all stores in the Storage Group (SG) will be taken offline as the Transaction logs are part of the SG and not the Information Store (IS)
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:dstoker509
ID: 10814532
Again, I strongly agree with Exchange_Admin!!!  Your backup may not be working in that any restored databases may not work.  Know your backups and test them periodically!  Remember, Exchange is a transactional database and needs a special backup solution that can handle it.
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:rbkumaran
ID: 10814601
This is getting a kind of interesting..Actually, I'm going to do this on my clients server and I guess your suggestiosns hold valid. The software doesn't look to be an exchange Aware [no exchange agent or plug in], there is a 3rd party OFM installed on the server. This also looks supported by the way the Exchange transaction logs have accumulated.

I'll have a thorough check keeping all these points in mind.

Kumaran
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:dstoker509
ID: 10814665
While you are at it, you may want to see if they have a non-Exchange aware AntiVirus program (and no, Symantec Corporate Edition is not Exchange aware) actively scanning the database and log files.  These two things sometimes go hand-in-hand...

:-)
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:kristinaw
ID: 10816311
plain old NTBackup will create a good Exchange backup for you. Make sure you have enough disk space somewhere to hold the bkf files ntbackup will create. You'll know if you got a good backup as Exchange will flush the logs once the backup is complete and start generating new ones. You can also tell NTBackup to create a log file for you that you can review when the backup is complete.

hth,
kris.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:kristinaw
ID: 10816333
and btw, you don't really want any antivirus software scanning your Exchange databases, log files or the M: drive, ever. Only allow antivirus solutions designed for Exchange to scan Exchange.

kris.
0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:rbkumaran
ID: 10823579
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your help.

I successfully moved the Transaction logs onto a different partition and the server is free with 2Gigs of space. I have made all the recommendations to the client on the backup solutions.

Thanks to everyone for the assistance.

Kumaran
0
 

Expert Comment

by:jackbnimble
ID: 11063374
Can someone please provide step-by-step directions on how to backup the Exchange transaction logs with Windows 2000 Backup (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup)?

For instance:

Which directories do you backup?

Is there any other options in Windows Backup that need to be selected, or will it successfully backup the transaction logs with default settings?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Admin
ID: 11063507
The following article will explain how to perform an ONLINE backup of the Exchange databases:
http://www.msexchange.org/articles/MF020.html
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