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Prerequisites for Exchange SP2

Hi...

I would like to upgrade my exchange Exchange 2003 servers with SP1 (based on windows server 2003 operation system)
to SP2 (and meanwhile I will upgrade the operation system to SP1 too).

The exchange is up and running till one and a half year, it stores 400+ users in two divided databases.
The databases were never offline defragemented yet.
The database sizes are: 23,1 GB MDB + 8,03 GB STM and 21,5 MDB + 8,9 GB STM

I would as the following:

Do might I need to check the databases first for consistency?
Is there any harmless method to check the consistency of the health of the databases?
Which would be the best test utility Ese, or Isinteg?
If the test will come out that the database is corrupt, what steps would ne needed?
What type of harm can I have if I am running the offline defragment on a corrupt database?
Anyway is there any need for the offline defrag?
If there would be any problem, and I cannot mount the databases back, but I've done an offline database backup
is it possible to put it back and mount it without any problem?
When doing offline defrag, all the exchange services should be stopped?

:)

Sorry for the much questions, but I wants to be ensure the success...

Thank you...
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domokosvarga
Asked:
domokosvarga
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2 Solutions
 
rakeshmiglaniCommented:
>Do might I need to check the databases first for consistency?
You don't need to check the databases for consistency. If Exchange is running fine and the stores are mounted then the databases are consistent by default

>Is there any harmless method to check the consistency of the health of the databases?
To check the database consistency you have to dismount them first. Dismouting them means downtime

>Which would be the best test utility Ese, or Isinteg?
Eseutil /mh can be used to check the database state. Eseutil /g can be used to check the database integrity

>If the test will come out that the database is corrupt, what steps would ne needed?
If everything is working fine then the databases are not corrupt

>What type of harm can I have if I am running the offline defragment on a corrupt database?
Offline defrag (eseutil /d) does not work on a database that is not consistent (clean shutdown)

>Anyway is there any need for the offline defrag?
Offline defrag depends on the amount of white space that you have in your database. That again depends on the mail flow and number of mailboxes that have been deleted. If the white space that can be reclaimed is very less then there is no use running offline defrag. Offline defag is again a downtime

>If there would be any problem, and I cannot mount the databases back, but I've done an offline database backup
is it possible to put it back and mount it without any problem?
If the offline defrag is consistent then those databases can be mounted back

>When doing offline defrag, all the exchange services should be stopped?
Exchange services should be running but the stores should be dsimounted

You can check the following articles regarding white space

Determining the True Amount of Space in an Exchange Database
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/insider/trueamountofspace.mspx

Event ID 1221 and Database Free Space
http://www.amset.info/exchange/event1221.asp
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SembeeCommented:
There are only two things that you need to do before you install Exchange 2003.

1. Take an online backup.
2. Ensure that IMF has been removed.

Nothing else is required.

Simon.
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domokosvargaAuthor Commented:
On the other hand another idea come into my mind regarding to the databases...
Please correct me if I am wrong...

Would it be a better solution (maybe more time saving for donwtime) to create a new database, and move the mailboxes to this new database? If course if will making some traffic to the transaction logs, so online backups will
be a must... but... on the other hand, the new, fresh database will be defragmented...

Does anyone knows what should be an ideal size of an exchange database?
On the microsoft exchange size calculator I saw that it would be below 25 GB / DB.
If we are speaking about an enterprise version of the exhcange server...

Regards,

dv
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
What exactly needs to be done here?

Are you planning to update to SP2 or defrag the Exchange databases?
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domokosvargaAuthor Commented:
The database is more than 1.5 years old... There were no offline defrag from then...
The database is groving, and I might would like to discover that it would be necesarry to defrag it,
as less pain as it can do... and on the other hand it will need to be upgrade to SP2 too...
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
To upgrade to SP2 defrag is not required.

To defrag you need to find out the free space that can be reclaimed with the defrag. You can check the KB articles that i had mentioned earlier to find out how much free space would be claimed after offline defrag.
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SembeeCommented:
I have upgraded systems that were installed soon after Exchange 2003 was released, with no problems.

Despite the marketing FUD from certain Exchange utility companies coughGocoughExchangecough you do not need to regularly defrag the database, nor create a new one. Exchange does maintenance on its databases on its own. A properly configured Exchange server, using good quality hardware will run for years without any maintenance other than what is done by Exchange itself.

Simon.
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domokosvargaAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comments. :)

dv
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