Database size Best Practices

We are running Exchange 2003 Standard.  I arrived here about three months ago to find that the company had never bothered to write any policies relative to email retention; consequently, the size of the Database is enormous (50GB).  The limit was set in the registry to 52GB.  I have since altered the registry to reflect 75GB; however, I have spoken with a couple of Exchange administrators who have told me that it is risky to house the information store in a single DB file of this size.  The recommendation has been made to upgrade to Enterprise Edition and migrate the information store to the new environment and split the DB files into multiple Mailbox Stores (Standard Edition does not support multiple stores).  I am experiencing some resistance from the decision makers (who frankly have not made the best decisions in the past) about doing an upgrade.  They would prefer that we stay in the Standard edition environment and encourage users to delete and archive.  This may very well help in the short term but, we have a terrible storage environment and I don't feel that we can support a decent archiving policy until we get our hands around the storage issue.  I am concerned that we are running a risk with keeping such a large DB (even with archiving ...Exchange still just creates "White Space" and does not actually decrease the physical size of the DB files.) I have been told running such large files can lead to corruption.

Does anyone have any advice about an appropriate tact to take.

Upgrade?  Stay put? No brainer?

Thank you
Paul

saxophobe60Asked:
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ATIGConnect With a Mentor Commented:
50 GB edb is nothing....... MS does recommend that you attempt to keep it under 100gb but this mainly has to do with recovery.....

yes if you can get EE edtion and create more SG's then you have access to more store cache since the cache is at the SG level.

of course the smaller the db is the faster you backups and restores can be, you need to define what your SLA is which can dictate you design.

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SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As you are running standard edition you have no options when it comes to splitting the data up. As already mentioned, 50gb is considered nothing. You can go up to 75gb which around the point i would suggest second databases anyway. If I am doing a large deployment then around 50gb per mailbox is where I want to be - for the same reason as above - backup and restore.

If you want to upgrade to Enterprise edition you would have to buy Exchange 2007 Enterprise edition and use downgrade rights. If you are going to buy Exchange 2007 then you might want to look at how much a new 64 bit server is with a copy of Exchange 2007 standard. All versions of Exchange 2007 have (theoretical) unlimited database store size.

Simon.
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