Concerns over size of mail database and individual users mailboxes

I am running Exchange 2003 enterprise SP2 on a Dell Poweredge 2800, dual 3GHZ xeon with 4GB RAM.

I have approx 80 users, of which about 40 are using the system at any one time. My mailbox database is now 29GB and public folders is 5GB. Several users have mailboxes of 3 to 4GB and most are between 300 and 400MB.

Can anybody advise whether I have any cause for concern about the size of the database and the mailboxes? I have noticed that Outlook is getting a little slow to respond but apart from that everything seems to work OK.

Would i see any performance benefit I have a clampdown and reduce the mailbox and database size? Is the database more liable to corruption the larger it gets?
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Matthew MillersCommented:
I dont see any problems with the DB size, 29gb is not that large.
The only concern I have with single large databases (or many large) is the restore window in the event of an outage. Still you can use a dial tone restore to get around the immediate outage.
I wouldn't have any concerns about performance or corruption.  As stated, you could reduce backup/restore times by using multiple stores.
And I'm assuming you have plenty of disk space left on the drive with the stores?
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The number of items in folders is what causes end-user performance issues. I would recommend size limits, however, to keep individual users from becoming excessive in their storage.

Like matee76 says, your concern with size is backup and restore times. Also consider time to repair if the DB becomes corrupt. I've heard a recommendation to keep DB's under 40 Gb each for that reason, but there isn't a hard rule.
metamaticAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the replies. There is plenty of disk space so i'm not worried about the users filling up the disk

I like the sound of multiple stores. Is it possible for me to split my 29GB store? If so, could you point me in the direction of some resources on how to do this.

Also, I am thinking about introducing mailbox quotas for some users. I see that it is possible to set them individually in AD users and computers. Is this all I need to do or does the deafult limit have to be activated in ESM first? .Most users will have diffent levels of mail box size (depending on how important they are!) so i would rather do it on an individual basis if possible.
metamaticAuthor Commented:
I raised some additional queries as a result of the replies i received to the orginal question. I would be grateful if these could be addressed before the question is closed.
Metamatic - My apologies for not following up.  Adding stores in Enterprise is not too difficult at all.  Here is a link to it:

To move users to that new store, please refer to these steps:

And lastly, to answer your questions about the mailbox limits, here is an article that explains it all:

It would be easiest to but users of the same limits on the same store so that you can just set the store limit and not have to go into each user's settings.  But this may not be practical, and you would rather group users in a store by their department.  If the latter is the case, then you could probably set a store limit that the majority would use as their default, then adjust the execptions manually.

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metamaticAuthor Commented:
Many thanks!
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