Exchange 2003 Defragmentation

Is there a way of not impacting my uptime for my Exchange environment while running a defrag to the database?  
dlabbadia01Asked:
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Andres PeralesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could create a new mail store and then move mailboxes between old store and new store.  And then hppscotch them from time to time.
Of course you must have the enterprise version of exchange.
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
I have enterprise.  I've had problems with EXMERGE between datastores not moving things correctly due to the 2GB PST file size restrictions.  So I think I want to avoid that.

D
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robrandonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The online defrag will not impact your uptime.  Unfortunately it won't clear up any of the white space in the db and return it to the file system.

For an offline defrag, you can go with peralesa's comment.
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robrandonCommented:
You don't need to use EXMERGE to move the mailboxes from one store to another.  You can just use the Move Mailbox tool built into AD.
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
Yeah i'm talking about recovery space.  I have a 100GB database but the actual size is probably half of that.  So basically backups take twice as long..
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
And how long does the move mailbox tool take?  Is it as simple as AD changing it's address space?  I have 35 mailboxes so it's not a lot.  And Exchange will know which mailstore to look when a user comes in to login to their mailbox without me doing anything additional?
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Andres PeralesCommented:
I was not talking about using EXMERGE.  Just create a new Store, then move using the builtin move in exchange.
The new store will be a clean store.  Move mailboxes one at a time or in groups of 10 or what ever you feel comfortable with.  Once you have all the mailboxes moved over then take the old one offline do a defrag, clean up you white space and it is ready for the next time.  Then you can move you mailboxes back to that store say in three months or 6 months and then do the process all over again.
 
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Andres PeralesCommented:
When you move all you are doing is moving the users mailbox from store to the other store, it will be transparent to the users.
time of the mailbox being moved will be dependent on how big their mailbox is...test it out you will see it is an easy process.
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
sweet i'll try it out and let you know how I make out.  i'm relatively new at advanced exchange tasks (not that this is advanced).  I just am tentative to try anything crazy cause this is all a result of a major catastrophe that I would like to never experience again.

Dave
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robrandonCommented:
The time it takes to move depends on how big the mailboxes are and how fast your mail server is.  Don't do all of them at once.  Do a few at a time.  It will not be as fast as changing the address space as it actually has to move the data, update the database, retain SIS, etc.  Moving a gig mailbox will probably take you 10 minutes on the same server - just an estimate.

Users will not need to update their outlook profile.  Exchange will be smart enough to connect them to the correct store.  They may need to restart Outlook after the move.

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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
Will they still get mail during the move.  I have one user with 7 GB mailbox.  so based on your estimations this could take around an hour.
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robrandonCommented:
Do that user after hours.  I don't know for sure if they will see it when it arrives, but they will definitely see it after the move completes.  Messages will not be lost during the move.

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Andres PeralesCommented:
Messages will not be lost during the move, old mailbox will continue to get messages and they will get moved to the new store after move is complete.
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Andres PeralesCommented:
I would also start to implement limits on your users, this would be part of your diaster recovery process.  The big you mailbox stores are the longer they take to backup, and the longer they take to recovery, hence longer diaster recovery times.
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
That is the whole thing i'm working on now.  Implementing an attachment removal tool and running against everyone's mailbox, using your solution above, and then setting caps on everything.  We just never had them before so everything was out of control and impossible to recovery efficiently.

Thanks again.
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dlabbadia01Author Commented:
I need clarification about this:

"You could create a new mail store and then move mailboxes between old store and new store.  And then hppscotch them from time to time.

Of course you must have the enterprise version of exchange."

Is it ok/recommended to create the new mail store in the same storage group as the first mail store or is it better practice to create a second storage group so that you can keep logs and dbs seperate?
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