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Cleaning up Exchange

Posted on 2005-04-07
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I just ordered a Dell storage unit with 4 300GB drives to use as my Exchange storage (IS, mailboxes, etc...).  I will be doing the easy (I hope) upgrade from Exchange 2000 Std. to Exchange 2000 Enterprise next week, but I noticed that I'm currently in Mixed Mode, but for what reason I'm not sure.  This is the only Exchange server in our environment, but it may have been upgraded from 5.5 a long time ago......Is it ok to simply change it by clicking the little "Native Mode" check box?  I don't want anything crazy to happen, which it usually does when I start messing with the Exchange server....

Question#2: When I get this storage unit attached and up and running, can I simply go into Exchange System Manager and move the MDBDATA folder over to this new drive and then point the Public and Private databases to that new location?
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Question by:tenover
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by:onsite_tech
ID: 13729074
I'm not sure on #1, i dont think it would be an issue to switch as long as your not running any old NT4 boxes out there (you shouldn't be).

on #2, the best way to move a database file (the edb and stm) is to use the Exchange manager to do it.  simply go to that store in the manager, go to the database tab, and tell it the new location.  it will move the store for you and redirect all of the pointers.  the exchange services must be running during this but the store will be dismounted (which means downtime).
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by:tenover
ID: 13729088
Thanks, that's exactly what I meant, I guess I just worded it wrong.  How much downtime(ballpark) would you expect to move a 15GB database over? Overnight?  Will it remount the database automatically when it's done?
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by:MVITECH
ID: 13729417
Hi Tenover,

We recently moved over a 10gb Exchange 2000 database and it took about 2 hrs. I don't think it remounted it automatically. This was to a different volume on the same server.

MVITECH
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by:tenover
ID: 13729763
Ok, thanks.  So theoretically I should be able to attch the new storage array, create a RAID5 using three 300GB drives, move/point the databases to a new location at night, then remount when it's done?  Anything I should "watch out" for?
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onsite_tech earned 2000 total points
ID: 13730233
We did a 23 gig information store move just recently to another drive on the local system (not external Powervault or anything) and it was about 2 hours (more like an hour and a half) so it can depend on a lot of factors but it shouldn't be more then an hour or two at the most unless you've got an ungodly amount of email/mailboxes.

there is nothing you should really watch out for beyond the obvious (a power failure would be bad if it is in the middle of a move i would think).  microsoft made it really easy to move whole chunks of your installation between drives.  One thing of note, is you should also look at where your transaction logs are going.  if you dont have much space on your current drives, you might want to move those too.  then can generate alot of data if you get alot of spam and your backups have issues from time to time.

i thought it remounted the database after the move (i know it automatically dismounts it) but i could have just glossed over it and done it myself automatically so i'm not sure.
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by:tenover
ID: 13730363
We only have about 60 mailboxes and our total database size is right around 15GB.  After I instal this array, I'll have the C: drive and D: drive on a RAID1 internal array, and then these 3 new 300GB on the external RAID5 array.  System and Exchange is installed on C:, but D: will be pretty empty, yet it's only 30GB total anyways....Should I put the Private and Public IS's on the new array, the logs on the D:\ drive and leave the C:\ drive alone?  I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo stoked about tdoing this because my users like to keep ALL their email, so 600GB should get me through a couple years at least!
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by:maytrix
ID: 13748772
Just curious - I assume you had to purchase the 2000 Standard to 2000 Enterprise upgrade?  Is there any reason you didn't go with 2003?  It's just as stable (moreso in my opinion) as 2000 and has a much improved OWA.

I just hate to see people spend money on older products when a newer one is available :)
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by:onsite_tech
ID: 13749842
yup, i think microsoft recommends putting log files on thier own drives, so it would be ideal if you threw your transaction logs on that single RAID1 D: drive.  that way if they fill up that drive (somehow), you wont tank exchange or your OS and the performance hit should be less.  really nice setup by the way.
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by:tenover
ID: 13750014
Thanks.  I'm going with 2000 because of two things: First being price, as we can't afford to buy new CALs across the board (I still don't understand how all that works really), and also because I eas told that if I went with Exchange 2003, I'd might as well upgrade my domain controllers/AD to 2003 also.  
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