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Way to Reduce Size of Exchange 2003 Transaction Logs While Preserving Incremental Backup Ability?

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We've got limited space on our exchange server. Although the db is only about 16gb, and we've got 55 gb, believe it or not the daily transaction logs build up to almost fill the drive to capacity each day. If our backup fails for some reason, the store dismounts because the disk is full.

Is there a way to reduce the volume of transaction logs without compromising our ability to do incremental backups or any other big issues?

Cheers,

Jay
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Question by:jbreg
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17056639
This may not be the best answer, but.... why don't you just get more disk space?
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by:Sembee
ID: 17056781
Are you doing full backups every day?
If not, then you should. I don't do incremental backups of Exchange unless really tight on backup space. With a store of 16gb you shouldn't have any difficulties doing a full backup every day.

You can't compress transaction logs, as that will kill the performance of the server.

Simon.
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by:bilbus
ID: 17064112
cant you put the logs and the store on a seperate HDs?
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by:jbreg
ID: 17065863
We do backups (incrementally) each day but the backups truncate the transaction logs. This is because we back up to a remote location over the Net (making full backups difficult because of bandwidth considerations).

Can't put logs and store on separate HDD as there is no other drive on the machine with nearly enough capacity.

I suppose we could add another few disks to the machine and store the logs there, but I'd rather not do that if there is some other way. The transaction logs are building up 30+ gb per day prior to the backup.
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 17065914
I think your backup plan is not sufficient.  And the server lacks capacity.  You may be able to work around things, but your BEST option is to manage the server in a manner that makes sense.  Add capacity and change your backup plan.  You need to do full backups that truncate the transaction logs - if the remote backups won't cut it, then you need a different backup solution.  Probably an external hard disk or two cycled so you can take one off site.
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by:jbreg
ID: 17065924
The backups we do do truncate the transaction logs, I just was interested as to why they grow from 0 to 30gb each day (they are truncated each night) and whether anything can be done about it.
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by:Sembee
ID: 17066537
A daily 30gb of transaction logs is an awful lot of email. If your database isn't growing by that much, then a lot of email is not being retained by the store.

Have you run perfmon or use message tracking to see what sort of message numbers are going through the server?

Simon.
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by:jbreg
ID: 17067474
Not really--can you suggest exactly how?
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 250 total points
ID: 17068494
First thing I would do is run the Exchange Best Practises tool on the machine.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/downloads/2003/analyzers/default.mspx

Message tracking needs to be turned on.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/message-tracking.asp

For perfmon, click Start, Run and type perfmon.
Change the type of display to Report by pressing CTRL and R

Then you need to add counters to the system. You can delete the ones that already there as they aren't relevant to this problem.

The counters are since the server or services were last restarted.

I would probably start with SMTP Server performance objects.

Inbound Connections Total
Messages Delivered Total
Messages Received Total
Messages Sent Total
Total Messages Submitted

Then move on to MSEXCHANGEIS Mailbox

Messages Submitted
Messages Sent
Messages Delivered

Repeat with the same counters for MSEXCHANGEIS Public

That will give you some idea of the message flow.

I can't tell you what is high or low numbers because every site is different.
However if you have 10 users and you have processed 250,000 messages since the server was last rebooted (which, if you are keeping it up to date will be at most 25 days ago) that would mean that your users are sending 1000 messages a day or 41 messages an hour - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can get Perfmon to tell you how long the server has been up - (System, System Up time) but it shows it in seconds.

Simon.
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