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Microsoft Exchange 2003 - 11gb of DB Files and 15gb of Log Files

Hi,

I currently have Exchange 2003 running on windows 2003. I got all the latest SP and security updates installed.

Now I have noticed that my log partition has grown to 15gb and my db partition is only at 11gb .. i would like to know :

1. is it normal to have much more logs than db files
2. I was told that having too much log files slowed the exchange server a lot, is that true ??
3. if it is true how do I reduce the quantity of log ? can I do a eseutil or isinteg ?

thanks !!
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matanguay
Asked:
matanguay
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1 Solution
 
Rant32Commented:
Log files are cleared when the database has been *successfully* backed up. A backup means an ONLINE backup with an Exchange-aware backup application or backup agent for Exchange. So, that many log files are not normal because that means the DB has never been backed up.

No, this does not slow down the Exchange server.

You can't use eseutil or isinteg to reduce the number of logfiles. Make a full backup with a decent backup application (even if it's NTBACKUP) instead.

If you're running out of disk space and need to clear log files directly, ENABLE circular logging on the properties of the Storage Group. That is not a recommended procedure or best practice, though.
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matanguayAuthor Commented:
well i'm taking daily backups with Backup Exec 10d but i'm getting error messages ... the backup exec still says it backed up the FIRST STORAGE GROUP and the MAILBOX FOLDERS successfully.

here are the error messages :

---
Backup- \\DOMAIN\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group WARNING: "\\DOMAIN\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group\Logs" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
Backup- \\DOMAIN\Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes WARNING: "\\DOMAIN\Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes\User name [useralias]?Top of Information Store?Bote de rception?sent items agravelle????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Directeur marketing" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
WARNING: "\\DOMAIN\Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes\User Name [useralias]?Top of Information Store?lments supprims????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Good Morning Team" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
[more of these warnings]
---
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Rant32Commented:
BTW, do not delete the log files manually, either.

Here's a good article on Exchange database structure, log files and backing up:

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/The_Exchange_Server_2000_Database_Structure_Its_always_a_rainy_day_when_youre_doing_restorations.html
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Rant32Commented:
The many errors you get is in the Brick level backup (individual mailboxes) and a backup like that doesn't clear the log files. It's OK to do an item-level backup, but that doesn't clear the logs. It's also not enough for a complete restore of the Exchange server - you need a database backup for that.

Check if the "Information Store - First Storage Group" item is completely selected in the backup selections. Also make sure that in the Exchange options in Backup Exec, "FULL Backup" is selected for the backup type.

Also, *very* important: make sure that the virus scanner you're using does NOT scan the database files or transaction logs directly. This is a well-known cause of file and database corruption. Any viruses detected in the log file should be detected by the Virus Scanning API.
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Rant32Commented:
See http://seer.support.veritas.com/docs/255047.htm for info on the corrupt file messages.
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Exchange_AdminCommented:
Backups of the individual mailboxes (brick level backups) is NOT the same thing as a full ONLINE backup of the Information Store. Also these tpes of backups will not purge log files. And as you can see there are problems. You are not the only one with these issues. They are also very slow.
Since this is Exchange 2003 there really no good reason for backing up each individual mailbox. If you properly configure your deleted item and deleted mailbox retention times, then you can greatly reduce the need to restore a maibox or message. If in fact you actually do have to restore a mailbox or message then make use of the Recovery Storage Group feature of Exchange 2003.
Also do not backup any of the Exchange folders using standard file level backup.

You just need to back up the information store. You may want to consult your documentation for Backup Exec.

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matanguayAuthor Commented:
i always do both a brick level backup and also i backup the FIRST STORAGE GROUP .. i know i double the job but i can easily restore simple emails and also i can restore the whole db if required.

The option selected is FULL - DATABASE AND LOGS (FLUSH COMMITTED LOGS) so it should be clearing my logs :(  ... probably when it gets errors it does not clean it .. .. ..

the virus scan is obviously not scanning the folder ... no problems here
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Rant32Commented:
I think

\\DOMAIN\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group WARNING: "\\DOMAIN\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group\Logs" is a corrupt file.

is the culprit. Something has happened to your transaction logfiles, and the online backup doesn't remove them.

I recommend you run a consistency check, "ESEUTIL /G priv1.edb" and "ESEUTIL /G pub1.edb" as soon as possible. (must take database offline for that, and depending on the hardware it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours).

If that succeeds (only if eseutil returns without errors!), I recommend to enable circular logging and restart the Information Store service. After the logs have cleared up, disable circular logging again and restart MSExchangeIS. Run the full backup again.
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matanguayAuthor Commented:
Exchange_Admin : I am doing both so I can easily restore a single email or the whole db in the case of a crash.

what should I check ??
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Exchange_AdminCommented:
Follow Rant32's suggestion.

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matanguayAuthor Commented:
ok but it seems to do that from time to time and i always solved it by either manually removing the faulty emails from the users's mailboxes or by doing an eseutil . ... . i would actually like to try and find the cause of that.

This is a brand new hardware (less than a year) running on 2 RAID5 arrays on separate backplanes. it cannot be a disk failure because it used to do that on the old server before i migrated it

it cannot be the Anti Virus either (using Symantec AV 10) because I excluded the EXCHANGE DB and LOG folders as well as the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr ... and I excluded all files with the .LOG extension ...

what else should I look for ??
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Rant32Commented:
I also encounter some corrupt user/mail items here and there but I wouldn't worry about that too much. It sounds like you have a properly configured server. Corrupt items don't stop the backup from working, except for the warnings. Judging from the above article from Veritas (Symantec, nowadays) deleting the items is the only way to get rid of these.

However, corrupted logfiles or databases (on the filesystem-level) are very unusual and, practically, can only be caused by either antivirus software, malware, or malfunctioning hardware.

The ESEUTIL /G should confirm that your EDB+STM files are okay. If they are, we don't need the LOG files and circular logging can remove them. We need a good database backup before proceeding.

I'm not proficient with Symantec Antivirus 10 but your exclusions are OK.
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matanguayAuthor Commented:
well that sucks.

so I will have to manually go in each mailbox and delete the faulty emails one by one :(

i'll still run the eseutil /g to see what it says

thanks !!
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Rant32Commented:
I have also asked a moderator to clean up the backup log you've posted, to remove the domain name and user names.

Good luck backing up,
cheers!
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