SBS 2003 & mailbox size limits - increasing default limit concerns

kevin1983
kevin1983 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,
We have a Small Business Server 2003 with only about 30 users and have some users mailboxes that are close to the default mailbox limit of about 2GB (about 12 users) and it’s difficult to get them to delete enough email as they say they need to keep some old email for a while in case they need it.

Im aware that’s its possible to increase the default mailbox size limit but im not sure if this is such a good idea as already some users are reporting it seems to take longer to sync there email with the server (we use cached exchange mode) than usual.
Also I’m concerned mailboxes might more easily become corrupt if I increase the default mailbox size.

I thought about implementing an email archiving solution such as webroots web based service which automatically archives all incoming and outgoing email. However we don’t really want to have to pay a yearly fee to use this service. I’ve tried archiving email using .pst files but these can become corrupt and when a user requests to view some old email its not so easy for them to do. Alternatively I thought we could consider migrating to server 2008 with exchange 2007 as I believe the default mailbox limits are higher in exchange 2007? I believe about 10GB – is this correct? But I’m not sure if it’s actually currently worth us investing in a new server just for this.

Any help/comments on if we should just increase the default mailbox size limit on the SBS 2003 and it should be ok without casing any issues or if we should instead consider getting a new server with exchange 2007 would be appreciated. Or any other alternative solutions you would recommend?

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Commented:
You can set the limit over 2GB see here: http://www.petri.co.il/setting_mailbox_limits_over_2gb.htm
The limit is a restriction of the GUI rather than the database, if you remove the limit from that particular mailbox it will keep growing, I have users that have mailboxes over 9GB on Exchange 2003.

However, you should be encouraging them to clear up their data as Exchange is a colaboration tool not a storage mechanism!
There is a max limit on Mailbox store (the Exchange database for all your mailboxes) of 75Gb in both SBS2003 or SBS2008.  Your Exchange Info Store will NOT grow pass this limit so be careful if you increase your mailbox limit for your users.

You can of course set the individual mailbox to over 2Gb, as mentioned above.

You do not gain any advantage moving from SBS2003 to SBS2008 if you just want bigger mailbox.
Awarded 2009
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
"There is a max limit on Mailbox store (the Exchange database for all your mailboxes) of 75Gb in both SBS2003 or SBS2008"
Sorry that is wrong.

Exchange 2007 on SBS2008 does not have a 75GB limit, by default it is 250GB but this can be changed.
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Yep my mistake.

Author

Commented:
hm so overall it sounds like i should be able to safely edit some of the individual mailbox sizes using the Adsiedit.msc tool and increase some users mailbox size limits provided we dont go over the 75 GB overall database size limit? without the risk of mailboxes becoming corupt or having any major perfomance issues?.

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Commented:
yes you should be fine, but you may just want to remove the limit in the GUI rather than tinker with ADSIEdit.

Author

Commented:
demazter: ok do you mean just edit the settings within the exchange system manager tool on indiviudual mailboxes? but wont i get that error messge decribed on the webpage you have: "You will receive an error saying: "The value for 'Issue warning at (KB)' is not valid. Specify a value from 0 through 2097151". if i set limits higher than 2097151?

Currently the total size our our mailbox store is about 42GB so theres a fair amount of room left.
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Commented:
Yes I am saying just uncheck the message that says limit mailbox size so in effect the mailbox doesn't have a limit.
If you are only doing certain users, this way may be handiest.

   1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
   2. Expand your domain tree, find the user account you need to modify.
   3. Right-click the user account, select Properties.
   4. In the Exchange General tab click on the Storage Limits button and increase limit as required.
   5. In the Storage Limits window, click to un-select the Use Mailbox Store Defaults checkbox. Then click to select the first of the 3 limits settings, and enter the right limit in KB.

Great article here on the multiple ways this is possible to do.
http://www.petri.co.il/setting_mailbox_limits.htm

Author

Commented:
Thanks you all for your help and comments.

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