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Splitting up priv.edb on Exhange 2003

rosenblumm asked
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Is there an easy way to split a priv.edb file up on an Exchange 2003 box?  I'd like to limit different IS to different limits, and my IS is now over 40GB.  I'd like to split it up if there is an easy way, both to help with DR and to help with defrags.
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There is an easy way and it's called buying Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition.  Seriously, Microsoft have made the upgrade path an absolute doddle - stick the Exchange enterprise CD in your server and re-run the installation and re-apply service pack.

Another option is to look into an archive solution and enforce strict mailbox quotas, but this is more of a long term solution.
Top Expert 2006
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Is that the best practice for splitting it?  I can do that, I was hoping for an ez tool.  :)
Top Expert 2006

i don't think there is another tool which can break your exchange database into smaller parts


Last question, do you have a step by step on the best way to move the mailboxes to a new IS?  In other words, should I use something like the Exchange Migration Wizard, or is there a better way.
Top Expert 2006

Check the following

Move Mailbox improvements in Exchange 2003

Moving mailboxes in Exchange Server 2003


Thanks!  That should work.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

rakeshmiglani - you can have a 40gb store on standard edition... or have you forgotten about the 75gb upgrade in SP2? <grin>

Therefore the first question that MUST be asked is whether you are using Enterprise edition or not. If you are not, then you cannot split up the database as standard edition doesn't support multiple databases.
If you don't have Enterprise edition you will have to purchase a copy.

The Exchange migration wizard is for migrating between servers in different orgs. Once you have created the new stores, just move the data using the move mailbox wizard.

You can't just "split" the database up - the only way to move data around is via the move mailbox wizard.

Also, the old database will not shrink automatically. You would have to do an offline defrag to shrink that database. That will mean total downtime of the entire Exchange server. A defrag is usually done at between 1 and 5gb per hour, so you could be looking at almost two days of total downtime while it is being done.

Although a 40gb store isn't really that big. I have clients with much larger stores in a single database.

Top Expert 2006

Sembee is correct. My fault in missing the SP2 part.. I guess it is time for me to go home now.. it has been a very long day


Hello Simon,
I do have Enterprise edition, rakeshmiglani mentioned that the database would have to be defragged after the move.  Actually, the main reason I'm doing this is to help facilitate easier defrags.  You are correct about the time, it took me 8 hours to defrag the database last weekend, and I want to be able to cut that time in half.  Thanks for your input, I would have given you some split points, but I already had closed.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

You are doing it to make offline defrags easier?
Consider this - I don't do offline defrags unless for three reasons only.

1. Microsoft support tell me to during a support call.
2. The server has hit a 16gb limit (so standard edition on Exchange 2000 or older).
3. I am going to gain more than 50% of the database and there is no chance of gaining that space back.

Otherwise I cannot justify the downtime.

Offline defrags are NOT a recommended procedure to be done to Exchange as part of a regular maintenance cycle.


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