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Logs not clearing with circular logging enabled

Posted on 2011-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have running Exchange 2003 server. I have been having some issues with my backups so I enabled circular logging temporarily to keep the log files from growing till I resolve my backup problem. I have 2 information stores on different volumes with two transaction logs also on different volumes. On one of them the log files have not completely deleted. I have about 10 GB of log files still lingering from 3 weeks ago. What can I do to reclaim the space?
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Question by:InSearchOf
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by:It breaks therefore I am
ID: 36551366
Did you enable circular logging on both storage groups ?

Also you might be better running NTBackup and purge the logs this way until you have a more solid way forwards.
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by:5g6tdcv4
ID: 36551408
did you restart information store after enabling circular logging?
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 36554172
Yes, I enabled circular logging on both storage groups and restarted the information store service. I tried with NTbackups but it did not clear all my logs.
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by:5g6tdcv4
ID: 36554180
you can just manually delete the log files as long as you have a good backup of your databases
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yo_bee earned 167 total points
ID: 36554195
They should be purging if you are doing Full Backups and incremental between the Fulls
I would never suggest that you manually delete the logs unless you cannot find out why they are not purging after your backups.
If you say you are not backing up, your employer has  more issues then they would want to know.
If you purge the logs manually and the system crashes you will not be able to replay the events to get the system back to working state.

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by:It breaks therefore I am
It breaks therefore I am earned 167 total points
ID: 36554264
I agree, but if you do delete manually make sure you read the following article first:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240145

The irony of course is to have a good backup first. The other thing that did spring to mind is wether these TL's are left over from an old removed database.
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36554272
@Johan
Interesting observation, so if that is the case the creation date of the logs should be much older than either of the current creation of the two Information Stores.

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by:yo_bee
ID: 36554281
Sorry for the verbiage.  
My Information Store comment should have been Storage Groups.
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by:It breaks therefore I am
ID: 36554303
Yes, it would show in the time stamps. I would run NTbackup onto a USB HDD or get an eval of backup exec, I think you can run bew for 60 days without a licence. Also rather than delete logs it would make sense to move them to a directory on the desktop or in the root.
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36554335
I have used NTbackup for Exchange in the past with very positive results.  Currently I am using Backup Exec 12.5 w/ Exchange Agents with very similar results.

If the poster has not made it a routine to backup then he should do ASAP and schedule this at least once a week.
This will keep the logs down.


Moving them does not address the issue.  The user is experiencing lack of space because of these logs (whether there is an issue not purging or lack of backups).  Which ever it is the moving just prolong it for a bit.

I am hoping it is the later of the two and a nice full backup will address his log growth.


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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 36554856
Thanks for the useful tips. I guess I should clarify things a little. We use FalconStor as part of our disaster recovery solution. It backs up our critical servers and then transmitts the data off site. The problem is that the version of FalconStor backup is not Exchange aware so it does not clear the logs after a backup. So I was using CA Arcserve 12.0 to backup my Exchange as well to clear the transaction logs which worked well for a while. Then I started having problems with Arcserve backing up one of the databases and the associated TR log was filling up and dismounting that particular information store which caused al ot of stress because users would complain. So I stopped using CA and started using NTbackup instead out to a USB drive. That caused some issues as well because the backup would take a very long time to run, over a day to run sometimes. So I just turned on circular logging on both databases. Before that I only had circular logging turned on for one database. So I notice that the tr logs for one of the databases, the one which never gave me problems is not clearing all of the logs and the one that was problematic is fine.
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Expert Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 36555018
How would you restore your exchange db from your DR if the state of it is dirty since the service is not exchange aware?
I think you might need to rethink your exchange portion of your backups.

What is the size of your storage groups that it take a full day. My exchange backups take 12 hrs that is for 750 GB worth of data using Backup exec 12.5.
Could it be your USB bus is the bottleneck. What about another technology like   Esata hdd or scsi tape.

I would try to resolve your CA issue before you go any further.
In the meantime I would run at least one full backup using NTbackup then incrementals to your USB device to keep logs at a minimum until you resolve your CA and your exchange in a clean state.


IMO You are going to run into issues the way you are doing thing now.


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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 36555354
Understood. Thanks for the advice.
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by:yo_bee
ID: 36555359
Are you running a backup with NTBackup to at least clear your logs?
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by:5g6tdcv4
5g6tdcv4 earned 166 total points
ID: 36555438
so here is the skinny:
 (server 2003 ) will write log files up to 20MB. Then they HAVE to be committed to the database Once the log files reach a max of 20mb ( 4 log files) they are written to the DB. Any logs files past the 20mb have already been written to the database.
So you can delete those safely. As a matter of fact you can delete any log files past 5mb since you have circular logging enabled, as circular logging just overwrites the log file as needed.  (depends on mail volume)

You said the log files are three week old files. They have already been committed to the database. Delete them. That will free up your disk space.

Now on to the real issue. It is okay to use a non-aware backup program for exchange. With that being said, be advised when you are trying to recover a dead mail server, the last thing you want to be running on your backup is eseutil, to fix a backup that is in a dirty shutdown. Use an exchange aware backup. You do not want to find yourself saddled with the load of repairing a backup file when you are trying to restore a mission critical service

in short, you need to disable circular logging, and if you are not going to upgrade your version of falcon to an exchange aware copy you need to use a valid exchange backup method to create your backup, and then use falcon to move that to your DR recovery site.

Please post the exact issues you are having with ArcServe, and/or Falcon and I can assist you with them
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 36580683
This is one of the errors I get:
Error AE9698

Exchange Server Error. HrESEBackupGetLogAndPatchFiles failed. Check Backup Agent Activity Log.

Module:

Agent for Microsoft Exchange

Reason:

The Exchange server can not get the list of the log files or patch files.

Action:

Check the agent log or application event for detail.

And the other which is a warning is this:

Warning AW9622

Failed to back up [number] root public folders.

Module:

Agent for Microsoft Exchange

Reason:

This message indicates that a root public folder failed to be backed up.

Action:

For more information, view the logs generated by the agent on the Exchange Server.




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Expert Comment

by:5g6tdcv4
ID: 36580787
Have you enabled circular logging on the PDB?
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 36580806
I try to run NTBackup to clear my logs but it does not complete.

Should I have Volume Shadow Copy service started or not?

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by:yo_bee
ID: 36581471
NTbackup will manage the why it backups the Inforamtion Store.

When if fails to you have an error or an eventlog that can add some insight to this.
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 36581584
OK. I just found out where the Ntbackup logs are written to. Let me see what info I can get there. Thanks
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