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Optimization of Exchange 2003 SP2 on SBS 2003 SP1

Posted on 2006-05-11
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I look at the processes on my server along with the monitoring emails and exchange store.exe is eating about 550 MB of memory. I believe this is too much and our third party tech thinks so too. I need to optimize exchange to use memory more efficiently.  I think this lack of efficency is causing slowdowns in on the server.

We currently run:
Small Business server 2003 with SP1.
Exchange 2003 with SP2
Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz
2.0 GB RAM
approx 40 mailboxes with 7 not being used (past employees, their email have been saved on a different system)
approx 31 active users

I have looked at many solutions on the forum.  I know that I should not use the /3Gb switch.  I have also looked at this patch (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;843539) and I dont know if I should use this since I have already installed SP2 on the exchange.  

Questions:
1) How can I optimize exchange on my system for use memory more efficiently?
2) Should I implement that hotfix?
3) should I delete those mail boxes that are not being used and will that help?

More questions may come with you answers, thanks in advaced.
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Question by:Raynovac
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16660957
Exchange, by design, will use all the RAM that is available to the system. With 2gb of RAM and that size of user base, it look about normal, particularly as you cannot use the /3gb switch with SBS.

Do you have the exact symptoms listed in that hot fix? If not, then don't deploy it. The rule with hotfixes is that they should not be deployed unless...

1. You have the exact symptoms that are shown.
2. You are told to by a Microsoft employee during a support call
3. It fixes a security issue (like the hot fix on Tuesday).

Deleting the mailboxes will have no effect on the performance of the machine, so I wouldn't bother removing them.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:Donnie4572
ID: 16661171
I would say give exchange what it wants.

If I knew of a tool to limit store.exe memory consumption I wouldn't use it. My Exchange store.exe uses over 1GB. I do know memory consumption rises with additional stores/databases/storage groups added to the server.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823440
 
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16661195
My only other thought was to run the Exchange Best Practises Tool on the machine. Free download from Microsoft. If there is a problem that will flag it.

In my experience Exchange looks after itself. The problems start when people start to "optimise" it and actually end up making things worse.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:Raynovac
ID: 16661905
I receive one of the symptoms based on that hotfix:

Microsoft says:
Alert on ServerName at date time
The store.exe process is allocating more memory than usual.
Check to see if you are having problems with e-mail. If so, stop and then restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.
You can disable this alert or change its threshold by using the Change Alert Notifications task in the Server Management Monitoring and Reporting taskpad.

My server says:
Alert on AFADC01 at 4/26/2006 9:02:43 AM
The store.exe process is allocating more memory than usual.
Check to see if you are having problems with e-mail. If so, stop and then restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.
You can disable this alert or change its threshold by using the Change Alert Notifications task in the Server Management Monitoring and Reporting taskpad.

Since I have one of the symptoms, that would constitute using the fix right?



As far as the best pratices tool this is the output for current issues:
3GB is not set
HeapDeCommitFreeBlock Threshold not set
Volume shadow copy service update avaiable

The 3GB confuses me a little but I wont implement it since people say dont use it if you are SBS.  
Can you tell me what the other 2 items mean?


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Expert Comment

by:Donnie4572
ID: 16661978
I beleive what you are seeing is not an exchange error but an alert or notification that has been setup using a user defined threshold. You could set this to send you an alert if memory usage went above any amount of memory.


Exchange System Manager, Tools, Monitoring and Status, Status, in the right pane right click your server and add or modify the trap.
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Author Comment

by:Raynovac
ID: 16662531
But should I use that hotfix?

And what are the last 2 items?
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Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 600 total points
ID: 16662711
Are you seeing the EXACT issue in the hotfix? Just because Microsoft have released a hotfix, doesn't mean you have to install it. Hotfixes are released for many reasons. If you aren't seeing the exact issue, then leave well alone - it will be in the next service pack.

EXBPA should tell you how to set the HeapDeCommitFreeBlock Threshold. There will be a link to the article.

The last one means what it says - there is an update for Shadow Volume Services available. Have you got automatic updates enabled? It should come down with that.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:Donnie4572
ID: 16662725
Volume shadow copy service update avaiable
This means that if you go to windows update you will most likely be prompted to install this update


HeapDeCommitFreeBlock Threshold not set
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315407/
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