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Exchange 2003 > 2003 Database Limit Question

Posted on 2011-05-09
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Hi,

We successfully completed the interim upgrade from Exchange 2000 to 2003 (as we can't make the jump straight from 2000 up to 2010), and everything is working well.

I've configured the database limit at 32GB, which will give us a bit more space on the database to work until I can get Exchange 2010 installed on our new server.

I just have one question regarding the database...

The 32GB limit was applied OK and shows up in event viewer when the database is mounted, yet every morning the MSExchangeIS Mailbox 1221 event (online defrag) is telling me there's only 982MB free.

Will the database auto-expand up until the 32GB limit, or will I have to run an offline defragmentation in order to re-create the database within Exchange 2003?

I thought it would auto-expand, but I just wanted clarification in case it gets up to the old Exchange 2000 limit (16GB) and dismounts.

If anyone has been in this scenario, or knows a bit more about upgrading from 2000 > 2003, I'd like to know your thoughts.

We're adding the Exchange 2010 to our license agreement next week, then I can get on with the 2003 > 2010 upgrade onto a new Win 2008 R2 box.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:robsamuel2k8
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pritamsh
ID: 35718659
Apply Exchange 2003 SP2 and your database size limit will increase to 72 GB.
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Author Comment

by:robsamuel2k8
ID: 35718667
I've installed SP2, and seen that the limit is 72GB. However, I've applied a limit of 32GB as the database is still sat in our old server with a relatively small hard disk. At the moment the database is around 10-12GB, so an increase up to 32GB will suffice for a couple of weeks until I can get Exchange 2010 installed and configured.
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Expert Comment

by:pritamsh
ID: 35718677
If your Exchange 2010 setup is ready, start moving heavy mailboxes and then go for defragmentation during off peak hours.

Exchange 2010 as such doesnot have database limit and you will be able to do transition properly.
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Author Comment

by:robsamuel2k8
ID: 35718714
Sounds good to me, I'll be moving the heaviest ones over first - those mailboxes will perform quicker too compared to the current server.

I haven't installed Exchange 2010 yet, I've downloaded the trial from Microsoft's site and I've run all the pre-requisite checks.

I'm hoping to do the install at some point next week, until then I'll just keep an eye on the database size.

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Dave earned 2000 total points
ID: 35727927
The

"MSExchangeIS Mailbox 1221 event (online defrag) is telling me there's only 982MB free."

The 1221 event is reporting the unused space within the database file. This is space left when folks delete messages, but which hasn't been re-used by new messages. Its an "estimate" of how much space you would get back if you did an off-line defrag, not how much the file can grow by.

Thats fairly typical for a newly created database with few deletions. Over time it will grow. If it gets very big you may wish to do an off-line defrag  to free up the space. The following KB Articles may help:-

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324358
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555323
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/186291

Hopw this helps.
Dave

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Author Comment

by:robsamuel2k8
ID: 35730657
Hi g4ugm,

This does help, I now understand that it's more of a notification to report on the unused space within the database (i.e. If I archive 500MB of users' mails to PSTs, then this figure will increase).

As I am now running Exchange 2003 with a 32GB database limit, I'll still monitor the space free shown in the 1221 event but as least I'm safe in the knowledge that the database can gradually grow up to 32GB.

This will buy me enough time to get Exchange 2010 installed on new metal (Dell R710 / Win2008 R2) where there will be no limit (within reason). We have 2x 300GB SAS 15k drives ready for database storage so a limit of 250GB for the store will be plent.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave
ID: 35730770
If you just have a single server you "should" have a separate drive for logs. It helps with performance, log access is sequential, database is random, and it helps with recovery, so on a restore you won't loose any e-mails.

Might be worth reading through these:-

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832789.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832791.aspx

but it is heavy going. Also make sure you have enough RAM. Exchange 2010 relies on using RAM for cache so you can use slower cheaper disks. If you don't have enough RAM it will crawl. Again check the TechNet site for details

Dave
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Author Comment

by:robsamuel2k8
ID: 35730801
Great links thanks, I'll have a good look through them tomorrow. With the price of RAM being so low these days I am thinking of upgrading it from 8GB to 16-24GB but will look at the optimum settings.
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