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Exchange mailstore

Posted on 2011-10-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a big issue to deal with - My predecessor built an Exchange 2007 server and combined 5 drives into a single drive when they built the system, I cannot put another drive in the system and really need to rebuild it properly.  Problem is that the mailstore is 118Gig in size and I know if I just keep a copy and rebuild the system it will be useless.  I want to reconfigure the raid to mirror the first two drives, have drive 2 for programs, drive 3 for data and drive 4 for swap and temp as well as logs.  What can I do about the large exchange store?
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Question by:Atlanticnetwork
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Author Comment

by:Atlanticnetwork
ID: 36936047
More information:  This company has about 150 users and more than have are either off-site or mobile users.  This elliminate the ability for me to just set everyones system to download the mail to a pst file easiy.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 36936142
What server do you have?  Make / Model please

Is your server configured with RAID 5 using the 5 drives?

If you plan to break up the drives, you will lose the ability to have redundant disks and the way you have suggested would be suicide for your server, so I would not advise you to follow your suggestions as any loss of a drive would be catastrophic for your company.

What drives do you currently have configured and what sizes are they and how full are they?
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Author Comment

by:Atlanticnetwork
ID: 36936153
The server is an HP Proliant ML350 G5, it had 4 gig of ram I put 16 in it last night and when I found it contained 5 165 gig physical drives instead of a single drive I went into the raid and found that 4 drives have been spanned into a single drive and one is set to spare but I can't break that one out either.  
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 36936166
Okay - so you have 5 x 164Gb drives - there should be space for a 6th drive in the server.

If you have 4 + a Hot Spare, then you have about 492Gb of disk space in the system.

How is that broken down?  Do you have a C: drive and a D: drive? If so - what sizes are they?
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Author Comment

by:Atlanticnetwork
ID: 36936200
Just a C drive no D drive and the system will not give me access for some reason to the spare. I don't like having swap or logs on the same drive area, have seen issues with this setup before and this is in VA we have a lot of storms that cause power issues even with good UPS in place the potential still exists.  There is a space for drive 6 I have ordered the mounts for it,  Still I would rather take precaution to ensure no down time for client, plus I want to reduce the mail store size this is probably a lot of white space.  They are also getting messages that there is an issue with mail.  While I was in Iraq this system crashed due to bad administration, another company rebuilt it and then force fed the mail into it from a 2003 mail server the out come was not good they were down 3 months.  I am just trying to get their systems back up to what they should be.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 36936231
Event ID 1221 will show you the message store White Space.

You can add a new 146gb drive to the server, extend the array, add a new volume in the new 146gb space for logs / Swap file, but I seen reason to rip the server apart and break up the drives as then you will be in a whole heap of hurt if you lose a drive.

Not sure why you need mounts - just buy the relevant HP drive and plug it in.

There is no need for down-time as the drives are hot-plug.
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Accepted Solution

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Alan Hardisty earned 1500 total points
ID: 36936316
If you want to lose the White Space in a database, you can simply move all the mailboxes out of the store into a new store, which will eliminate the white space and any possible corruption too, plus it means you don't have to dismount the store(s) and run eseutil /d against them, which will mean ALL users in that store are down for the entire duration, rather than just the individual users whilst their mailboxes are being moved who won't have access to their mailboxes.

Do you know if your array controller has memory on the controller / a Battery Backed Write Controller attached as if it doesn't, you may not be able to expand the array without one?
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Author Comment

by:Atlanticnetwork
ID: 36944860
I am going to close this and award the solution to Alan although I don't like the single system Raid 5 approach in a single server environment it will be easier to add a drive (we already have some drives) once the mount arrives to drive 6 slot and ship the swap and logs to this drive.  In a server farm I am all about Raid 5 but with a single system and this much of a mail store it is not an optimum solution in my opinion.  I have worked enough forensic cases and know how hard it is to recover these setups when a failure occurs.  I do; however, have good backups and they are running fine so I have some comfort level here.  My thanks to Alan for his input and persistance.
V/R
Del
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Author Closing Comment

by:Atlanticnetwork
ID: 36944866
Thanks Alan
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