Mailbox database in SBS 2011 - Size issues

Posted on 2011-10-09
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a new SBS 2011 server in our office and it's been running great for a few weeks now and we started to set up and move our mail in house over the weekend. Things were going well and we were able to send and receive as DNS updates were taking place. We have two partitions on our server c: 120 gigs and d:342 gigs. Prior to moving the mail in house we used the Backup and Server Storage wizard to move the Exchange database, Sharepoint, and User files to the D: drive so we would not have to worry about space. We currently only have four users on this server.

First question is that I noticed when checking on the location of the Exchange (mailbox database), it shows that Mailbox Database path is D:\program files...... which is where we wanted it....but the log folder path is still to the c:\program files \microsoft\exchange server.....folder on the c:drive. Should we, can we move the log folder to the D: drive as well??
The Public folder database is the same, should it be moved as well??

Second question....... all of sudden after moving the mail in house our C: drive has gone down to little or no free space. No obvious reason for this at first. But after doing some looking I found that at C:\program files\microsoft\exchange server\v14\mailbox\mailbox database folder... has nearly 62gigs of data in it...????   Checking each users mailbox we might have a total of 6 to 7 gigs of email....and it should be on the D: drive........ Looking at this 62 gigs of data it's all text files except for a catalog data folder in there as well.  

Are these the exchange log files and should they have been moved with the mailbox database to prevent this space issue from occuring?? Should i change the path so that these log files are stored with the mailbox database??
Question by:holcomb_frank
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    by:It breaks therefore I am
    It's a best practice to keep transaction logs and the database separate so keep the TL on c: as it is.

    C: is OS and TL
    D: is Exchange Db,s

    Make sure you run a back up of your Exchange which will , providing you have an exchange aware backup utility, purge committed transaction logs which will increase free space on your c: partition.

    Author Comment

    we are using the sbs backup .....assuming this will purge the log files........we are doing one now to see if the size of that folder will go down now.....
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
    Agreeing that backup should clear out the logs.

    You should also run either windirstat or treesizepro to see what else might be using space.  Be sure to right click the executable and "run as administrator".
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    1st Question:
    Yes you can move the log folder path to D:\ drive as well. Create a new folder for Logs on D:\ drive and move Exchange DB logs there.
    Here is the best and safe process but it will require downtime:
    1. Dismount the Database you want to move the logs for.
    2. Open ADSIEDIT.MSC and navigate: Configuration > Services > MS Exchange > Org name > Administrative Group > Exchange AG > Servers > Server Name > Information Store > Storage Group Properties > here you will see the path for Log files which will look similar to msExchESEParamSystemFilePath.
    3. You can edit this attribute and update the path here.
    4. Now you can mount the Database and run Full backup first.
    5. Also you can delete the old logs which are no more required once your full backup is completed successfully.

    2nd Question:
    When you move email database probably between stores (databases). It creates Exchange logs also in the background so thats is the reason that size has grown up.
    If you follow the above steps, later you can delete or move the logs and avail good free space on the C:\ drive.

    Author Comment

    Ok. I ran a full backup and it still didn't purge all the files. But once I rebooted the server all the files were purged and I recovered tons of disk space. Now today I go live with email and the office opens at 8:00am eastern time....and by 2:00pm eastern time, four people have enough activity to create enough log files to fill up over 70 gigs of drive space and the server is full...... the database dismounts and everyone is sad.....   what do you do with these log files..... this can't be right....I can't be running a few backups a day to keep up with these log files..... there has to be a better way to control this. I know it's best to seperate the log files and the database.....but a 120 gig drive partition is filling before the end of the day??  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    by:It breaks therefore I am
    This might help.

    Enabling circular logging is normally not recommended however you can disable this when you have worked out what is causing the excessive TL generation.

    Author Comment

    johan strange,

    I enabled circular logging and we are doing ok....i understand what this is doing. But with it off...the logs grow quickly. This makes me wonder how much disk space you would need for these logs to work in this configuration....and with the limitations from hardware vendors and the OS on the size of the partitions.....  how do people do this, how do you predict the needed drive space for a new server. I have supported Exchange 2003 for quite some time, no expert by any means, and i have and exchange 2007 server to support....never had issues like this before. Is this just characteristic of Exchange 2010??
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    There are a few factors that dictate TL generation, and for you this might be normal. It might also be a sign of a problem. Read the following article which gives you an idea of how transaction logs will be generated.

    If you read the following plus by previous post it helps you determine if this is an issue.

    Its important to have a proper backup in place that purges transaction logs, not just to keep the logs from building up obviously but to ensure you can recover from an issue. I personally am really into Symantec Backup Exec , with an Exchange Agent. It allows for brick level restores and for me has been an essential for the last 15 years.

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