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public folders replication problem

Posted on 2009-04-19
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Hi

I am running two exchange 2000 servers, recently i built 3rd exchange 2003 server. And when i move one mailbox to this new exchange server i noticed that i could not access public folders from that mailbox which i moved to this new exhcange server.  And this was probably because there was no public folders replica available on newly installed exchange 2003.

So I installed PFDAVAdmin on this exchange server (new) and tried to create PF replica on this server by going on each parent public folder showing under PFDAVadmin and added my new exchange server in the replica list. After i done this, next day i noticed that all my users complaining about email delay that there is a long delay in the email which any users sending to other users (internally) between all exchange servers.  So i immediately thought that this is because i created replica last night and which is probably still going on in the background.

Also i noticed that my public folder store database on new exchagne 2003 server (pub1.edb) is getting bigger and bigger in size every second. And also there are lots of strange messages building up in my "message awaiting lookup queue" from Microsoft Public Folder and subject of these messages are "backfill request" and some message has no subject. So to get rid of this issue i dismounted the public store on my new exchange server and also stop public folder replication via right clicking on organisation, which temporaily resolved my problem as now my PF store databse size is not increasing any more and there is no delay in the email.

But now the problem is as soon as i mount my public folder store on the new exchange server, it again start doing the same thing. please tell me how can i resolve this issue permanently.

Many thanks in advance.
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Question by:tech2010
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Expert Comment

by:Girish_2500
ID: 24181547
Hi,
This could be a public folder replication storm.

http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2006/06/05/427875.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24183180
You haven't said how large the source public store is, but if you force the content to go across then it will thrash the link. If you have a public folder store of 30gb, then 30gb of data will be sent across, all at once.

If you want to minimise the replication flow you need to set the replication in chunks, so that only some of the content will go across at once.

The bulk replication content only has to go across once, but as you have started the process you have no option but to let it complete. Exchange has already created the messages for them to be replicated across, and it needs to complete.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tech2010
ID: 24183708
Mestha, my public store database size on all three exchange servers are different.

First Exchange 2000 Server -- pub1.edb = 11GB
Second Exchange 2000 Server --pub1.edb - 14GB

And on third exchange 2003 server which i had recently built and tried to create PF replica on it, the PF dataabse size is currently 16GB, and this is where the problem is because this PF database is keep increasing. Currently i have dismounted the PF store on this server and that's why it is stopped at 16GB. And i believe there will be lots of rubish messages will be in this database e.g. backfill request etc..

Please guide me how can i proceed now. I can rename or delete the PF database on this server if it is ok to do that. Because i have not moved any mailboxes on this new server just apart from my mailbox.
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by:tech2010
ID: 24184568
can anyone advise?
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by:Mestha
ID: 24187098
You cannot rely on the database size to be the same. There can be any number of reasons why the database sizes can be different. Furthermore if content is being send to the server and then dropped the store will clean it up and it will be marked as white space for use at a later time.

You cannot just drop that public folder store, because of the connection with the AD. You will need to remove that public folder from the list of replicas on all of the other servers. You will probably also find that you have messages stuck in the queues. What has probably happened is that both servers are trying to replicate to the new server, so there is duplicated content.

Simon.
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by:tech2010
ID: 24189216
please explain steps by steps what should i do to fix the issue? can i delete the public folder database on the new server without impacting other server's public folder tree.
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by:tech2010
ID: 24189340
i can mount public folder store on my new server but the fear is it will again cause lots of email delay in my production enviornment and building up message awaiting queue with backfill etc.. message. if anyone can give me solution to fix it i will be greatfull. thanks
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by:Mestha
ID: 24192303
You are going to have to take that hit at some point, because as I said above, Exchange has already generated those messages. Until those messages have flushed out, Exchange will continue to process them.

The warnings are there with the script that it can generate high amounts of traffic.

Simon.
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by:tech2010
ID: 24196073
ok that's fine i understand the amount of traffice it will generate or it should generate while replicating but why or what are the unknown messages build up in the queue which are definately not orginal messges in my public folders?
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24196303
The public folder content doesn't go across message by message.

Exchange bundles them up in to larger messages and sends those across, so there is no way that you can know that those messages are content that are not in your public folder store.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tech2010
ID: 24197590
ok thats fine. Can i control the replication timing / schedule. I am happy to happn this out of hours, so can i set the replication to do this out of hours, and how long it will take more as my PF db size is already at 16GB
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by:Mestha
ID: 24199654
Replication is set by default to replicate constantly.
You have a number of options.
1. Only do a subset of the folders at once.
2. Check the properties of the folder have their replication set to use the store properties, then change the replication settings on the public folder store to only sync at specific time.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tech2010
ID: 24203016
thanks for this, yes i think this is the better approach doing by subset of folders at one time.

One thing i noticed, when i go to the 'Replication' tab on the folder and then click on 'Details' it shows me replication status. Some folders replication status is In Sync but some of them it shows "local modified" which obviouse means that those folder have not properly replicated. so should i just then set the replication interval on those whose status are not In sync?

Also there is another question: I have few servers which does not exist but still shows under ESM and on the root Public folders. Is there anyway i can carefully delete those servers? thanks

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by:tech2010
ID: 24203648
Also please confirm me that the tool (PFDAVAdmin) i used initially to add the new server name on each public folder was the correct way to setting up PF replication when i have new server in place? Or how would you do if you have new server and want to create a replica of PF on that server? Can you do it from ESM?.....
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24203848
PFDAVADMIN is not the only way to set replicas, it is just one of about three ways that it can be set. Personally I never use PFDAVADMIN for migrations, I prefer to do it manually.

You can simply add the server to the list of replicas through ESM, under Folders, Public Folders, by right clicking on the folder and choosing Properties.
If you want to add the replica to a set of folders in a tree, for example you have a folder called Sales, and sub folders called Sales Contacts and Sales Calendar, then add the replica to the top level, then use the wizard (Right click on the folder and choose All Tasks, Manage Settings) to set the replica on the sub folders. That allows you to manage the replication in a way that does not change everything at once.

Simon.
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by:tech2010
ID: 24206936
thanks alot Simon, you have put me in the right direction. I wish i could have taken advise before i have done this.

Anyway i think add/remove replicas can't be done on the public folder root level (ESM > Folders> Public Folder) as it only show associated servers?
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24207111
You cannot change the replica settings it at the root level, you can only do it one step down.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tech2010
ID: 24232105
Hi Simon

One thing i would like to ask, As i have two exchange 2000 server under one Admin group and the new exchange 2003 i had installed in new Admin group in the same organasation. The idea was basically basically because we will get rid of two exchagne 2000 servers once migrated every users to the new exchange 2003. Anyway i would like to tell you that In my ESM, when i go to the admin group where my old exchange 2000 servers are, i can see public folder tree under Folders node. But when i expand my new admin group where my new exchange 2003 is installed, there is no public folder tree under the folder container although i am able to access all public folders via outlook from the mailbox which is on new exchange. So do i need to create a public folder tree under folder container or not?

What will happen when i will decommision old exchange servers, will the public folder tree gone disappear with the old servers when demission?

please advise. thanks
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Accepted Solution

by:
Mestha earned 2000 total points
ID: 24232461
The placement of servers in Admin groups wouldn't affect public folders. If I look at my own system, which is an Exchange 2003/Exchange 2007 co-existence system, I have a single public folder tree under the original admin group. That is fine.

However, if you are removing the other admin group then you will need to move the public folder tree in to the other admin group. That is something that is done once you are ready to remove the last server in that Admin group.

Simon.
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