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Overcoming the 74GB database size limit

Posted on 2008-11-03
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Last Modified: 2008-11-18
We currently use Small Busines Server 2003 which has the inherent database size limit.  Although we are a small firm, we are coming up on a direct collision course with this size limitation.  My question, is there a way to upgrade just the Exchage portion of SBS 2003 to the full blown Exchange that doesn't have this limitation?

Please no lectures on how users shoul manage their mailboxes as this is beyond my control.  We have looked at moving folders to PST files, but this creates more problems than it solves.  Have also looked at programs like the Sunbelt Exchange Archiver (which may be a valid option), but am concerned about disaster recovery.

I am also aware of 2007 versions, but have no budget for this type of upgrade for another year.
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Question by:HCPCJJ1
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tigermatt earned 126 total points
ID: 22869402

If you try to perform such an upgrade, I suspect there will be some issues with doing it in-place on the same server, and I would not recommend it. The only way I could foresee doing it so that things are reliable is to uninstall the present Exchange, then reinstall Enterprise Edition of Exchange 2003. This causes a problem because Enterprise wouldn't have been installed using the SBS Integrated Setup, which is recipe for disaster in an SBS environment.

I would either look at purchasing another server and running Enterprise Edition on there, or look at Symantec Enterprise Vault for archiving your Exchange Server. According to some reviews I've read, it is one of the best Exchange archiving products out there, although the name of the company who produce it put many people off.

-tigermatt
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by:andrew_aj1
andrew_aj1 earned 126 total points
ID: 22869413
The best solution would to buy a second server with Sever 2003 or 2008 and install Exchange 2003 or 2007 on that machine. You can then transfer the mailboxes from one machine to the next. I know this may conflict with the budget issue, but it would be the best way.
Also ask you users to delete old email that they do not need and avoid sending forwards with attachments.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 123 total points
ID: 22869423
If you have no budget for an upgrade to 2007, then you have NO OPTION but to use PST files and manage the mail better.

Exchange 2003 Standard has the SAME 75 GB limit.  If you needed to stay with Exchange 2003, then your option would be to POSSIBLY add an Exchange Enterprise Edition copy to the network - but the Enterprise version costs $3000 - if it's even still available.

Instead, you're better off spending the $1100 on a new SBS 2008 license which includes Exchange 2007 AND NO LIMIT on the Exchange Database.  You MAY also need a new server as well.  But the only choice is to get Exchange 2007 which requires a 64 bit operating system.
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