How often does the Exchange Database Maintenance need to run?

Hi again,

Can you please tell me what a good plan is for the Exchange Database maintenance?  At the moment it is running 1AM - 5AM.  My backup is running from 10PM - 6AM and only backing up around 35 GB of data.  This is really slow.  According to what I have read now is that it might be slowed down because of the Database Maintenance Or/And Authetication from Veritas backup that I am using.

How often does the Database maintenance have to run?  Will it be fine to change it from daily to only weekends?  Or adjust the time from 6 PM - 10 PM??

I don't want to disable it because I know that might coz some probs later on.  

Thanks for your advice.

bitwise-saAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Unfortunately Veritas will say that a database is corrupt when it cannot back it up. In most cases it is not corrupt. What the error actually means is that it cannot access the file or object.

Have you looked at the Symantec KB for this problem?
There are at least two articles that explain what can cause the issue:
http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/270459.htm
http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/275213.htm

Simon.
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
online maintenance and backups should not run at the same time
online maintenance is required to run as it processes the deleted items in the database and marks the space as white space which can be used by the database
you can customize the time online maintenance runs
check http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996226.aspx
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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
It really needs to run once a day to clean up exchange - however as rakeshmiglani says you sould not run it at the same time as the backup - you need to adjust one of them so that they follow each other - both will then run faster.
best practice dictates that you should backup first, then run the exchnage maintenance.
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SembeeCommented:
If your backups are taking 8 hours to backup 35gb then you need to look at why it is taking so long. Are you are backing up both the information store and the mailboxes? That will often cause a prolonged backup time because mailbox backup is so slow and inefficient. If you are doing that then you are backing up your data twice. Mailbox backups are also useless for most data recovery scenarios. You can restore anything you need to from a full information store backup.

Simon.
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
I did change it to start the maintenance at 7PM - 10 PM on exchange.  The backup should start around 10:30PM.  

Usually it is the Mailboxes that takes forever to be backed up.  

Yes I do backup the Information store and the mailboxes.  I will see how it went this weekend and maybe change it on Monday.

Can you maybe explain why it is better to run the backup first and then the maintenance?

Thanks
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
Well that didn't work.  It still takes ages...

The Database in the MDBDATA DIR is not being backed up and that is why I have to backup each mailbox.  I believe this is because the Information store is still mounted and we do not have OFA installed on Veritas and our version is to old to buy it now.  We will have to upgrade Veritas.  

Backing up each mailbox takes ages because I believe there is authentication issue around this.  I did read that best is to backup the database itself.  

Is there any way to backup the MDBDATA DIR without OFA and not to mount and dismount the database manually??

Thanks
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
if you do an online backup of the exchange databases, you don't need to dismount any of the exchange databases
check this
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-Backup-Strategies.html
http://www.petri.co.il/backup_exchange_2000_2003_with_ntbackup.htm
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996125.aspx

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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
I don't really believe in Online backups.  Our ADSL company isn't that good here, hehe.. and it will be a bit pricey.  

Any other way to backup the MDBDATA (database) to out tape drive??

Thanks
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
use ntbackup to do the online backup to the tape drive
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
I am using Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 and I just found AOF.  Can anyone confirm what I have seen on a few places.  

They say I have to install this on the Local server (Server1) and also on the exchange server (Server2) else it will not work.  Is this true?  I have installed in on server1 but it's not working.  It give me a error because the Information Store is still in use.  If I install it on Server2 will this work?

Thanks
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
Ok, After some testing... It didn't work.  

I don't want to use NT backup and I don't want to come in every night at 8PM to dismount the IS.  Can ANYONE please assist me.  It takes for ever to do a backup on each mailbox.

If there's no reply withing 24 hours please close this topic.

Thanks

SA...
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SembeeCommented:
I would have thought it would be obvious how to speed up the backups.
Don't try and backup the store as physical files using the open file agent and don't backup the mailboxes individually. The backup of the information store only should be over in a few hours if you are backing up to high speed media. As I stated a long time ago, mailbox backups (aka brick level backups) are slow and inefficient and close to useless for most backups.

If you are backing up the Exchange server from another machine then you must have the Remote Agent installed on the Exchange server and the Exchange agent licensed in the main application.

Simon.
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
Thanks Sembee.  That is true.  It is really obvious.

At the moment I am backing up the mailboxes (brick level)  I do have a Exchange server agent installed (on SrvExchange) and in Veritas (SrvFile) I do have the license key.  

But it doesn't backup.  It will backup the IS if I dismount it but I don't really want to do this.  Is there anything else I am overlooking?
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SembeeCommented:
I don't think you are selecting the right thing.
To backup Exchange you should be selecting the information store - NOT the mailboxes. If you don't see the information store listed as an item to select then speak to Veritas/Symantec. I had the issue in the past and needed a new key to be issued.

Simon.
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
I do see the IS.  But I have to backup the mailboxes because that is the only way to get a full backup of the emails.  

I would like to backup IS.  I did try it again last night.  Backup failed.  This is the issue:

Network control connection is established between 192.168.XXX.XXX<--> 192.168.XXX.XXX
Network data connection is established between  192.168.16.XXX.XXX<--> 192.168.XXX.XXX
Database Mailbox Store (MailSrv)
Error, Unable to open \ because it is currently being backed up by another process.
WARNING: "\\MailSrv\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (MailSrv)" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
Database or database element is corrupt
Database Public Folder Store (MailSrv)
Error, Unable to open \ because it is currently being backed up by another process.
WARNING: "\\MailSrv\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group\Public Folder Store (MailSrv)" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
Database or database element is corrupt
Log Files
Error, Unable to open \ because it is currently being backed up by another process.
WARNING: "\\MailSrv\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group\Log files" is a corrupt file.
This file cannot verify.
Database or database element is corrupt



That is why it is failing.  We did do a repair on the database and doesn't seem to be corrupt.  And it's not being backed up by anything else BUT It is mounted.

If we Dismount it it will backup.  We don't really want to use a script to do the mount and dismount every night.  We also don't want to use NT backup to backup the database and dump it onto the tape drive.

Any tips again? :-((

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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
I have found this article earlier this morning.  I did the changes and now I'll have to wait and see.  It really looks like this can solve the problem.  

I will give my response tomorrow morning.  Thanks for all your comments so far.
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bitwise-saAuthor Commented:
Congrats Simon,

Working.  Now I have only 1 last question.  What is the difference between these 2 selections?
 
Backing up the Exchange - Information Store

And

Backing up the shadow copy components - User Data- Exchange - IS


Which one is the best and how do I recover single emails from someone's mailbox?

Thanks a LOT!!!!!!!!
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