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Unmount and Defrag Individual Database in Storage Group

Posted on 2006-05-30
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We currently have three databases in a single storage group.  We have our private database, our public database, and a journaling database which contains archived copies of all email in the private database and the contents of that get sent nightly to an offsite system.  The journaling database has been collecting mail for a long time now and has grown quite large though it doesn't need to keep any messages once they have been sent offsite.  I've set it up for Mailbox Management to purge anything older than 30 days and now I would like to run an offline defrag on that database to shrink the file size.  Is it possible to just take a single database offline or must I take the entire storage group offline?  Also if I can just shutdown that single database what will happen to the messages that are archived from the private database to the journaling database while the journaling database is offline?  Do they just queue up and go once it's brought back online or are they gone forever?
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Question by:CCMITServices
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mass2612 earned 500 total points
ID: 16795482
Hi,

Selecting to dismount one of your databases at a time should only remove access to that particular store. Whilst the mailbox store is offline data destined for the store will be queued until the store is available again or the rety delivery interval for the message expires.

For example if you dismount your journalling database then your private and public databases should remain available whilst you defragment the journalling database. Remember that defragmenting a database requires 110% free disk space of the size of the database you wish to defragment. This is used when eseutil creates the temp copy of the database. Review the following article for details - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=192185
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by:CCMITServices
ID: 16802365
Thanks for the help.  I'm adding some more disk this week and look forward (not really) to defragging the database this weekend.  The additional disk isn't necessary for the journaling database (28 GB data file with only 2.5 GB used) but the main private store database may need more space than will be available even after the defragging of the journaling database.

That actually brings up another issue.  I have a priv1.edb file of 55 GB and a priv1.stm file of 18 GB and by deleting old accounts I have about 15-20 GB of whilte space in the database.  Unfortunately that white space will most likely be used up again in the next 12 months.  Is there really any point in running a defrag on that database?  I've heard conflicting stories about seeing performance improvement following a defrag versus strictly just shrinking the data file.
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by:mass2612
ID: 16803730
No problem. I hope it all goes well. To be honest with a database starting to get to that size I'd be starting to seriously consider creating another storage group or at least another mailbox datavase and migrate some users to the other database so that you have a fairly event split. The benefits are mainly maintenance related. For example it will be quicker to backup and restore the smaller databases. If one database goes down you only have half your workforce offline whilst you restore the database. In my current situation we have two storage groups with multiple databases stored across sepearate RAID controllers and disks. Therefore if we lose one controller we only lose one storage group. This might be a bit much for your environment though.

With regards to doing the defrag to be honest I never see any big performance improvements that the users notice but I do thnk its a good idea.
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by:mass2612
ID: 16803927
Hi again,

Something else I forgot to mention is don't forget Exchange 2003 Standard has a size limit of 75GB per store. Enterprise is 16TB so not problem there.
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by:CCMITServices
ID: 16806901
Regarding splitting the users into multiple storage groups with multiple databases that is something I would like to do but I read somewhere that doing so while also archiving all messages to a journaling storage group could multiply the load on the server by however many storage groups you have minus one.  Does that sound familiar?  I think I may do so even if that is the case since we have adequate resources on the server (or can get there easily enough).
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by:mass2612
ID: 16812006
To be honest I have never been in an environment where journalling was enabled however I believe that you need to configure journalling for each mailbox database. i.e.e "Journaling is enabled at the mailbox store level. " - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/E2k3Journal/2ebbad24-a063-42c2-ae1c-a511b9f8ef0e.mspx?mfr=true.

You may want to read through some more info on it before you commit yourself or try creating a new database with a few test mailboxes before migrating any production mailboxes to the new database.

See - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/library/journaling.mspx
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Author Comment

by:CCMITServices
ID: 16836850
Thanks for your help.  The defrag was successful over the weekend and following the mailbox database being brought back online the message archiving proceded as expected.
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