Exchange 2003 Performance/Management Advise

Hi everyone,

I am looking for advise on the following:

I have takening over an exchange setup where the follow is true:

1. Exchange database is about 69GB in size
2. Exchnage 2003 Standard Edition is installed with SP2 and reg switch to allow full capacity db.
3. Performance is poor and time unworkable
4. Mailboxe sizes are massive in some cases, due to lack of inforcement
5. some users have already lost hugh amounts of data due to hardware damage on their workstations as they had been archiving their mailboxs locally.
6. antiVirus and AntiSpam is on the same box

I have made the following changes:

1. Move Exchange to a new box with better spec. Exchange is the only software running on this box now.
2. Went with a hosted Antispam/AntiVirus solution for Exchange (Postini). This service has been great so far. I get very little spam now.
3. I have also started setting limits on mailboxes, but this will not be an easy task as users are used to a no-limit setup.

Performance has got slightly better.

I am wondering what more I can do to get this setup working on a more streamlined basis, health and performance being a big priority.

I also need to consider a good archive solution so that user do not loose any more data.

Please note that my budget is very low, close to non-existant so I am doing what I can, so please keep this in mind when suggesting solutions.
fasulnAsked:
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Jerod SandersonCommented:
Here is a link to a few 3rd party archiving software.  http://www.msexchange.org/software/Email-Archive-Storage/
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PostmasterCommented:
If not already done - add additional Network card and TEAM the cards together. This will double your IO capacity and provide fault tolerance.

Check if the disk array (database) has RAID. If so, AND the RAID controller has a battery backup, then enable buffered writes to the disk - this speeds up your disk writes.
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Jerod SandersonCommented:
For archiving purposes set up a share for the users to map to.  In our case all our users have a home drive.  All my huge mailbox pack rats I create an archive pst file to be located on their home drive which gets backed up every night.  Turn on archiving configure the settings to best fit your needs.  Good luck.  
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Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

 
Malli BoppeCommented:
As suggested by bbtmhmr you can create PST files. or you can upgrade to exchange 2010 or 2003 enterprise edition.
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fasulnAuthor Commented:
Hi Postmaster,

Yes, I have already done that, but thanks for the suggestions.

Hi bbtmhmr,
Although your suggestion will work, I am not interetsed in create and storing PST files. This is already what they and trust me, it's a complete nightmare to maintain and back for systems admin point of view.

Hi mboppe,
As already stated, I am not interested in PST file useage.

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I am just wondering if I should consider 3rd application for archiving? Aslo, going to exchnage 2010/exchnage 2003 Exterprise would work out very costly at the moment.

Any other suggestion are welcome and thanks in advance
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Malli BoppeCommented:
Its less expensive to go for exchange 2010 then to get a archiving solution.
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fasulnAuthor Commented:
Has anyone else, got anymore suggestions?
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fasulnAuthor Commented:
I was happy with the comments provided. Not exactly what I was hoping for as the final solution, but good comments
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