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How do I check the status and health of my Exchange 2003 databases?

Posted on 2008-06-11
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I recently gained administrative responsibility for and Exchange 2003 Server for 100+ users.  What can I check to be certain I'm not running out of storage in my Exchange databases?
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Question by:harveystephenb
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by:LegendZM
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You could always go to the information store database location and see how big it is
If you upgrade to SP2 exchange 2003, you can also have the information store up to 75 gigs. http://www.petri.co.il/change_store_size_limits_ex2003_sp2.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828070

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by:fishadr
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The following article also provides additional information as to the helath of the Exchange databases:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html
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by:harveystephenb
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It looks like its size is about 19 GB.  But when I see event viewer messages regarding defrag of the database it shows free space between 150mb and 600mb which doesn't seem like much.  There is plenty of GB on the volume where its located to continue growing.  Does Exchange Server just keep growing this database up to a limit of 75GB and I shouldn't worry until it approaches that limit?
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by:fishadr
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If you search the Application log for Event ID 1216, this will show the maximum size of the database. If the database maximum size is set to the maximum (75GB) then Exchange will keep extending as needed.

If the Exchange (Standard version) has been upgraded to SP2 you can set the maximum size (up to 75GB) by following the following article:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Explaining-Database-size-limit-changes-Exchange-2003-Service-Pack-2.html
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by:harveystephenb
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I don't see any event ids 1216 in my log.  Exchange is Version: 6.5.7638.1.
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by:fishadr
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If you Start the Exchange System Manager and go to the Servers option, in the right pane you will see a list of all the Exchange servers, next to the server it will show which edition of Exchange is installed on the server (Standard or Enterprise). If it is Enterprise it will be 75GB limit, if it is Standard it will be 18GB unless it has been modified,

If you look at the registry entries in the following article you can see what the maximum size of the databases has been set to
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Explaining-Database-size-limit-changes-Exchange-2003-Service-Pack-2.html

Once they have been altered the Information Store has to be stopped and restarted to apply the changes (this will stop access to the information store until it is back on line), this generates an eventID 1216 disaplying the size. It could be that it has already been applied but is difficult to check if the IS has been restarted.

It might be worthwhile doing this out of hours.
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by:harveystephenb
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It is Enterprise, Version 6.5 (Build 7638.2 Service Pack 2).  I checked the registry and no data base limit size is in the registry per your reference.

Should I conclude that my database size limit is the default 75GB?  In looking at your other references the event log entries that caused my concern are actually showing that the exchange server is automatically and successfully managing its free space to be a minimum of 10%?
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fishadr earned 500 total points
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Yes, if the server is Enterprise then the 18GB limit does not apply and by default, the size limit of each database on a server running Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition is 8,000 GB (not 75GB as previously mentioned). The 8,000 GB maximum size is generally a theoretical limit. The actual limit of an Exchange database is based on your server hardware and on the hardware of your storage subsystem. After you install Exchange Server 2003 SP2, you can customize the database size limit to a value up to 8,000 GB.

The Exchange system will expand the database as needed.
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Author Closing Comment

by:harveystephenb
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Great job!  Thank you!!
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