Exchange 2003 running out of disk space

Robert3rd
Robert3rd used Ask the Experts™
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Scenario:
 I have a physical Exchange 2003 box XEON 3.00 GHZ with 4G of memory.  
C: OS Drive  = 27GB. with 2.65G free
E: = DATA Drive 245G with 10G free  
F: Log Files Drive 68.2G with 66.7GB Free

I just started with this company approx 2 months ago.  As their Exchange Admin, here are my findings of our Exchange Server.  As you can see i am running out of disk space for my data drive E:.  Due to company policy i cannot delete (YET) terminated employees mailboxes and i have approx 20GB's worth of terminated employees mailbox.  Also I only have 1 mailbox Store.

I also have 4 clustered VMWare ESX 4.1 VSphere servers.  With enough resource to virtualize exchange.  But with Exchange 2010, i am trying to decide the best approach to upgrading and fixing my current state.  So my questions have multiple parts.  

Preferred Solution:
1.  Can Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010 Co-Exist using the same domain?
2.  Can Exchang 2003 and Exchange 2007 Co-Exist in the same domain?
3.  If the answer to Question 1 is Yes, dont answer Question #2
4.  If the answer to Question #1 is NO but answer to Question #2 is yes, if i buy Exchange 2010, i do have rights to install 2007 yes?  then upgrade 2003 to 2007, then do it again from 2007 to 2010?

I can virturalize Exchange and give it more disk space.  Since i only have 1 mailbox store, i can create another mailbox store for my terminated employees, but i need drive space.

Temporary Fix
1.  is it OK to map to a shared drive from another server and create a mailbox store there and put all my terminated employees to that store?  since most likely, these mailboxes will not be viewed.  Only when needed and probably only 1 mailbox at a time?
2.  If that is not adviceable, or will it be better if i connect a USB drive on the exchange server itself, can i create the terminated employee store there?
3.  Or can i put the terminated employee store to the F: drive and put its log files on the E: drive the reverse of the primary store?

       
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
1. Yes. You can use Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Setup to install the first server running Exchange 2010 in an existing Exchange Server 2003 organization.

2. Dont answer this.

3. No answer required.

4. No answer required.

You can virtualise, and create additional mailbox stores, providing you have the storage space.

Temp fix.

1. No.
2. USB External Drive - Umm, possibly. A better solution would be purchase a quick iSCSI NAS, and then you could add iSCSI based disk to existing server, and create mailbox store on it.
3. Yes, you change change logs and database around.

But keep this simple, and do 2. but with iSCSI based storage.

Author

Commented:
i just want to make sure we are on the same page regarding the temp fix option #3

Currently my 1 and only Mailbox store is on the E: Drive and its logs are in the F: Drive

I wanted to create another Mailbox store.  Can i put the 2nd mailbox store to the F: drive and its log files to the E: drive.  Along side with the current mailbox store located in the E drive and its log files on the f:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
yes.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
just make sure you create separate folders for this otherwise you will get in a mess.

Author

Commented:
Okay.  
So in my ESM, I drill down to Administrative Groups, Servers, Right click on "Exchange", New, Storage Group.  I will call this group Terminated Employees.  In the Transaction Log Location i can put E:\Program files\Exchsrvr\terminated\mdbdata and for the System path location, i can put f:\program files\exchsrvr\terminated\mdbdata.  The current mailbox store transaction log is on f:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata and its sytem path location is e:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata.
this config is ok yes?


 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
yes, looks okay. I usually use shorter paths at the root of the drive

e.g. E:\MDBDATA etc

but it's up to you.

Author

Commented:
I am just following suit.  since the first one is already in that path.  So i thought i'd put it close.  this route is the quickest and easiest and will probably buy me a year.  we are planning to upgrade to 2010 in 2013 budget.  this company has a very tight budget that getting an iSCSI drive might be like pulling teeth.  i just quickly browsed and a good iSCSI SAN is more than $1000.  

One thing i dont like about this temp solution is even when i move the mailboxes to the new store, i cannot reclaim the white spaces unless i run ISINTEG which i cannot due to limited space.  Is it true that IF i did install an iSCSI drive and i created another store there and I moved my mailboxes to the new location, it will be just like running ISINTEG?  reclaiming all the white spaces?  will i loose performance if i did that being an external resource?  that's probably a dumb question.  and its probably not a good idea if its a production store yes?  
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
I would not be tempted to run ISINTEG, it take hours if not days to run, and you could lose data.

much safer, to create a new store, and migrate mailboxes to it.

Author

Commented:
yes i cannot run it anyway not enough space.  but you didnt address my questions below.  regarding performance issues with an iSCSI versus internal drives
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
i did not see that question anywhere.

local drive performance can be faster than iscsi, depending on what local storage is.

Author

Commented:
I pretty much agree with your assesment, thank you very much.  But i wanted to see if anyone else had a different opinion.  If you dont mind, can i accept this as a solution tomorrow end of day?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
if your question is related to iscsi performance, this would be better as a new question, it would have higher visibility in a different thread and title.

Author

Commented:
no my original exchange question
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
ah ok. no problems.

Author

Commented:
thanks.  so far your the only one that has reponded.  maybe i have too many questions.  LOL

Author

Commented:
awesome job

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