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Mailbox Manager Reports different number of mailboxes processed on each run

Posted on 2008-06-17
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Last Modified: 2008-07-11
We've started deleting mail over 90 days from Inbox, Deleted Items, and Sent Items. I have the policy set to apply to all 'Users with Exchange Mailbox' and when I do a 'Find Now' it returns ~1200 mailboxes. I have also set this policy to delete based on 'Received Date' using a MS KB article covering the 'how to'. So what we're seeing from the daily email that runs, is fewer and fewer mailboxes being processed:
6/1/08 926
6/8/08 932
6/12/08 914
6/13/08 752
6/14/08 707
6/15/08 665
6/16/08 629
6/17/08 458
I can't find a rhyme or reason as to why it would do this. I thought initially it was only the mailboxes that met the 90 Day threshold, but there are lots of mailboxes in the report with no mail to be deleted. It's odd that it would progressively go down. Anyone know why this happens? Is it normal?
thanks,
Skee
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Question by:skeedawg
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by:kieran_b
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>>I have also set this policy to delete based on 'Received Date'

Can you explain that?

The mailbox management process lets you pick an age, not a received date.  That "age" changes for a multitude of reasons; such as last _access_ time
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by:skeedawg
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MS has an article documenting how to change the behavior so that it only looks at 'Received Date' and not 'Modified Date'. This way you can truly delete email that is over the threshold regardless of when it was modified. Here's the article ID: 326397.
It doesn't mention E2K3 only E2K but works for both.
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by:kieran_b
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What have you set it to?  3?
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by:skeedawg
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Yes I have it set to 3.
This is the strangest problem??? I'm not even sure about it being a problem. It could very well be by design. I would think that the policy has some tracking to keep up with the messages reaching the 90 day threshold or at least it could be doing that. Either way it's weird because there's no documentation, that i can find, indicating it does that.
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by:kieran_b
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Are you doing brick level backups by any chance?  Backing up the mailboxes individually?
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by:skeedawg
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Actually we do not perform Brick level backups. We brought in the Symantec Enterprise Vault product in 2005 which we would use to restore missing date versus backups. Much easier.
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by:kieran_b
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It could be that which is logging into the mailboxes and touching items.  Other than that, I am not sure
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skeedawg earned 0 total points
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I had to call MS about this since I was unable to find any clues as to what was happening. The answer is below and the support engineer got straight to the problem which was that mailboxes were not being stamped with the MM policy because of erroneous entries in the GatewayProxy on RUS. These entries were caused by AD replication getting out of synch.

Problem description:
Mailbox manager policy is not processing all the mailboxes
Resolution:
Mailbox Manager Policy was not processing Mailboxes as required. Every time it is running no of mailboxes being reduced from processing
Checked the MM policy filter and found to be OK
Took Two users accounts
Took an LDP dump of the users
Luis (working user)
         msExchPoliciesIncluded: {3D441344-7AB9-493B-B225-2428C1C9FCD5},{3B6813EC-CE89-42BA-9442-D87D4AA30DBC}; {405389C1-166C-4FD8-AD35-86C6ABD4C4D3},{26491CFC-9E50-4857-861B-0CB8DF22B5D7};
Thomas *(Non working)
         msExchPoliciesIncluded: {405389C1-166C-4FD8-AD35-86C6ABD4C4D3},{26491CFC-9E50-4857-861B-0CB8DF22B5D7};

Ldp dump shows that Thomas does not have MM policy included in his ldp dump
Checked gateway proxy attribute on domain RUS and deleted the entries that were present.
Forced AD replication and then did an "Update" on the RUS.
Using LDP again checked the above accounts and they had the MM policy entry with the correct MM policy GUID stamped on them.
Ran the MM policy now it is processing all the users mailbox

Related articles:
Troubleshooting Mailbox Manager Policy Application
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Troubleshooting-Mailbox-Manager-Policy-Application.html
Exchange 2000/2003 Mailbox Manager and msExchMailboxManagerAgeLimit
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2004/08/17/215807.aspx

Taking a good look at Exchange 2003 Mailbox Manager
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/03/21/399807.aspx
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/04/11/403574.aspx
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/04/18/403819.aspx
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