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Exchange Store creating excessive disk activity

Posted on 2007-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are running Exchange 2003.  About once a day, sometime more, the exchange store seems to go a little crazy to the point that disk access becomes very slow.  It is not taxing any other resources, cpu and memory usage remain low, but actual disk activity is very high.  I have verified this using diskmon.exe and store.exe is repeatedly performing write operations on the priv database.  At first we though it was normal, this is a 10 user organization.  There was an unused server and we decided to move exchange to it so that it could have it's own server and not slow down the main file server.  Well now exchange is just slowing down the new server the same way it did on the old server.  I have scoured the event logs and nothing appears to be wrong.  Are there any suggestions to find out why exchange is doing this?
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Question by:lukeca
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20112583
Exchange does maintenance on the database. What time is that set to? It is on the Properties of the Mailbox and Public Folder store under the Storage Group.

Simon.

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by:lukeca
ID: 20135846
Maintenance is set from 1am to 5am.  This is defiantly happening during the day, 8am to 5pm, so I don't think that is the problem
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by:Sembee
ID: 20139787
Have you got the indexing service set to run?
Anyone using desktop search tools that could be reindexing at that time?

Simon.

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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:lukeca
ID: 20140289
No I have the indexing service disabled, and this server does nothing except exchange now.  Also I mentioned that I used diskmon.exe to monitor the drive, I actually meant filemon.exe and you can see that store.exe is just excessively using the disk, to the point that nothing else can access to the drive.  If you restart the information store everything is fine.  Or if you just wait it out it usually is fine within 10-15 minutes.  But this happens at least 5 times per day.
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Author Comment

by:lukeca
ID: 20149292
Well I have opened a ticket with Microsoft, and we have determined that the IMAP service is causing the problem, we are just not sure why yet.  We only have one user that uses IMAP so I wouldn't think that should overload the server.  
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by:Sembee
ID: 20149956
Is the IMAP user a MAC user?
If so, MACs with their email client are notorious for thrashing the disks.

Simon.

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by:lukeca
ID: 20153234
Yes it is a mac user
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Sembee earned 1000 total points
ID: 20154030
Get the Mac user to leave their email client closed, or use OWA only for a morning. I expect you will find that the disk activity stops.
One Mac user can generate a lot of traffic - notorious for it.

Simon.

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by:lukeca
ID: 20172191
Thank you, on further investigation it actually seems to be because the mac is indexing the mailbox with spotlight.  If we disable spotlight for mail the problem goes away and the mac can continue to use the Apple Mail program via IMAP.  Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
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