Should I use a New Storage Group on E2K Standard on a mapped net drive?

Hi all

The other day I encountered an exchange 2K Standard server at a site which I occassionally do work for, where it had hit the 16GB limit on the mailbox store. There is one storage group.

As usual, it was management had the largest mailboxes. To get the store remounted, I applied the E2K patches to allow me to use the temporary limit, then autoarchived some stuff from the management mailboxes (manually on their PCs), online defragged, then offline defragged, and now everything is fine. Well, for now...! :D

Priv1.edb is now about 14gig (with stream file). All log files etc are all in the same folder on a RAID-5 array on a SBS2000 server.


Options I was thinking through to prevent this happening again, which is where I would please like some advice.

1) Force auto-archive (although managers arent keen on this - what a surprise!)

2) As I cannot create a new mailbox store, can I create a new Storage Group and place the management users into the new storage group mailbox store?

If I can, I don't have enough space on the drive to be able to facilitate this. I was going to map a network drive for our newer 2003 "server" and store it on there. This machine was configured by someone else to not actually perform as a Windows server. Instead, it runs a bespoke Oracle database system.

BUT - what happens if (in my absence) someone reboots this server? Will exchange horribly fall over because the database has suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth without being dismounted? Or will it gracefully recover when the machine comes online.

3) Find E2K Enterprise from somewhere?!

4) Use 2003 server to make use of Ex2003 as well, and host the larger mailboxes on there. (Again as in point 2, what happens here?)

5) Move everything to E2003



My preference is Option 2 but I am worried about the server reboot issue.

Thanks for your help.
matthewhamerAsked:
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ormerodrutterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I personally favour option 1 but they are your clients so you do what they told you to :)
From your option3,4, & 5 you need another server to run (as your present box is running out of space as you said).

I wouldn't recommend using another database server to host the new storage group. Apart from the point you raised regarding corrupted database due to a  server reboot, database is a resource hungry monster and may give you network performance issue for those mailboxes hosted on the server.

You may consider using NAS (network attached storage) - it is not running as a server, the operating system and other software on the NAS unit provides only the functionality of data storage, data access and the management of these functionalities.

http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/reviews/advice/network-attached-storage.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage
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matthewhamerAuthor Commented:
Hi Ormerodrutter

Thanks for that , but just to clarify, you think I should choose option 2 and use NAS to host a new storage group and mailbox store?

Thus this will give standard users a combined 16GB limit and management another 16GB limit, and this is poss with E2K Standard?

This would certainly fit the bill.

.. For a year or two at least!! :D :D :D
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ormerodrutterCommented:
Correct. Although this is NOT my preferrence, base on your "options" it seems to be the best one available to you. However please have a look at the links below, I think there are some restrictions on multiple storage groups (in Ex2000) if you want to use OWA.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/251123
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296614
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cvanhoudtCommented:
You are on a E2K standard and your mailbox database (priv.) is almost at full capacity. There is no use in attaching additional storage to that server, because you cannot create an additional mailbox database in those SG's.
Even if the articles referred to above, claim you can create 4 SG's on a standard edition, this will bring you nowhere: you are limited to 1 mailbox database.

If there is no archiving mechanism available, you can
- Upgrade standard to Enterprise edition: this will allow you to create additional mailbox databases.
- Add an additional Exchange server

Cheers,
Kris
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ormerodrutterCommented:
According to the articles I thought you can have 4 SGs each with its own mailbox store.
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matthewhamerAuthor Commented:
Ahh this was also where I was getting confused also.

Maybe I should just try and create a new DB store...although I've read somewhere before something about not being able to delete them afterwards?! (don't know the exact circumstances though)

Cheers
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SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You are getting your versions confused.

With Exchange 2000 standard it is one storage group with one mailbox and one public folder store.
With Exchange 2000 ENTERPRISE you can have the additional storage groups and mailbox stores.
With Exchange 2007 STANDARD you can also have the additional storage groups and mailbox stores.

Storing Exchange databases on a NAS is not a good idea.

I would suggest an upgrade to Exchange 2003 standard. That will give you a 75gb limit. Otherwise get used to doing offline defrags as they will become very frequent.

Simon.

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