Log Files folder after migration of Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 is taking so much Disk space


I almost completed the Migration of Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 three days ago. Everything are working OK. I did not turn off the old Exchange 2003 yet.
My major problem is the Log files on the Exch 2010 taking so much space and I am quickly going run out of disk space.
Any suggestion to resolve this problem is much appreciated.

Jay
Jay555IT DirectorAsked:
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
sorry i posted wrong link however here is steps :

Open EMC
In the Tree click on Organization Configuration to expand it.
Click on Mailbox and the Mailbox Database stores will be displayed.
Find the Store that is overflowing. D: in my case. Right click and go to "properties"
Navigate to the "Maintenance" tab
Below you'll find-"Enable Circular Logging"
Go ahead and put a check mark next to it.
Click Apply
Unmount the store
Remount the store
*POOF* Log files are gone!
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tigermattCommented:

That is entirely normal behaviour for your transaction logs. You have moved a large amount of data to the new box, and all those commits must be logged somewhere.

You should take a backup of your Exchange Information Store using an Exchange-aware backup utility. The built-in Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 R2 can do this, provided you choose a "VSS Full" backup. Alternatively, Backup Exec, Microsoft DPM, Acronis, Backup Assist are all possible alternatives.

The alternative option is to enable Circular Logging on your Exchange 2010 databases, restart the Information Store service, disable Circular Logging and restart the service again. However, this will not provide you with the required disaster recovery tolerance if you were to sustain a failure of the disk array containing your Exchange databases.

-Matt
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
Thank you Matt for your quick posting.

1- As an alternative option you mentioned to Enable Circular Logging then Disable it after restart. Did you mean it or it's a typo?
2- Can I use the alternative option to take care of my urgent problem, then later put it back to what is was before for the future disaster recover?
3- In the Log files folder I see a month of Log files kept there. I am assuming that I can reduce the one month to 2 weeks of log files to be kept in that folder
4- I am running Excahnge 2010 on a Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise. My question is if I run buit-in Windows 2008 Backup, do all Log files go away? or I should manually delete them?

Thanks

Jay
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I have 389 mailbox.
Total size of the Mailbox folder is 139 GB
Total size of Log Files is 170 GB
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
try to remove transaction log files :


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240145
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
Jordannet:

The link you shared with me is talking about Exchange 2003 and 2000 not Exchnage 2010.
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
Jordannet,

Do I need to make a back of the Log files before I follow the instructions you posted lastly?
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
do backup just in case of  any needs.
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tigermattCommented:

Jay,

Are you familiar with the purpose of transaction logs? As the name suggests, they simply log every write which takes place against a mailbox database - that may be a write action due to inbound email, a user reading or deleting a message, a calendar appointment being added, a message moving to a different folder and so on.

The purpose of this feature is two-fold: efficiency, and disaster recovery. Best practice stipulates that transaction logs and mailbox databases should be stored on separate RAID arrays/LUNs in a SAN.

The transaction logs will typically be in a disk configuration which supports heavy, consecutive write operations, whereas the databases need to be in a configuration which can support lots of random reads and writes. As such, it can sometimes be quicker on busy systems to write data to the logs, reply to the database engine to indicate the change was made and accepted (actually, it wasn't), but then commit the changes to the databases at a later time as load permits.

For disaster recovery purposes, the reason for this is in the first line above: they [transaction logs] log every write which takes place against a mailbox database. Supposing the array containing all the mailbox databases was destroyed, all the data contained therein can be restored from backup. This takes the server and all the user data back to the time of the backup, which may be several days prior to the failure, dependent on backup strategy. However, if the logs are in tact, they contain a transcript of all the actions which need to be taken to return the databases to the time of the failure, so they are just "replayed" in order into the restored database, and the server is returned to within moments of the failure.

When a full Exchange-aware VSS backup of the information store is taken, all the committed logs are flushed and deleted, since they are deemed no longer required. The transcript of actions against the database is no longer required, since the entire database has essentially been backed up/copied to another, safe, backup location.

So, to answer your questions:

>> As an alternative option you mentioned to Enable Circular Logging then Disable it after restart. Did you mean it or it's a typo?

Yes, I did mean to disable it again. Circular Logging essentially keeps the logs just as long as it takes to commit their data to the DB. Once the data is committed, they are removed.

Enabling this will flush all the logs on the server. You can then disable it again. The logs will only start to build-up from the point when it was disabled, and the original logs which were deleted will not return, so your space concerns are no longer an issue.

>> Can I use the alternative option to take care of my urgent problem, then later put it back to what is was before for the future disaster recover?

Yes, see reply #1 above.

>> In the Log files folder I see a month of Log files kept there. I am assuming that I can reduce the one month to 2 weeks of log files to be kept in that folder

Which log files folder are you looking in? You might be looking at message tracking logs, which are just text files which note the sender/recipient/subject/timestamp of messages passing through the server. The time to clear these can be reduced, but that is not the same as the transaction logs which will be found in the Mailbox Database folder by default.

>> I am running Excahnge 2010 on a Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise. My question is if I run buit-in Windows 2008 Backup, do all Log files go away? or I should manually delete them?

TRANSACTION Log files go away, but the other Exchange logs (such as Message Tracking or Protocol logs) which are used for diagnostics do not. All the other Exchange log files are purged after a given time delay anyway.

-Matt
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I have a folder called ExchData on E drive.
I am attaching the print screen of the folder. As I mentioned before:
Total size of the Mailbox folder is 139 GB
Total size of Log Files Folder is 170 GB
Exchdata.doc
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tigermattCommented:

Yes, I suspect you are looking at Transaction Logs. Not sure how the folder sizes add up, though. How big is the folder named Public Folder?

In any event, the steps above will clear those logs for you. Either take a full VSS backup, or go down the circular logging route.

-Matt
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
The Public Folder is only 220 MB
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nashim khanExchange AdministratorCommented:
Hi,

See the below link it will help you to move the log file.

http://exchangeshare.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/move-committed-exchange-transaction-logs/

Thanks & Regards
Nashim Khan
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Jay555IT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I used Windows 2008 R2 Backup and ran a backup of the Exchdata folder, containing the LogFiles, MailBoxes, and Public Folder, last noght.
It did not help at all. The LogFiles folder grow from 170 GB to 175 GB.
I used Circular Logging option, the LogFile folder was reduced to 199 MB !
I was wondering if I uninstall and shut down the Exchange 2003, this problem will disappear!
I did Circular Logging option before I opened my page on Experts-Exchange today. I will check the link Nashim posted on my case.
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tigermattCommented:

The Circular Logging reduction to 199MB proves these are indeed transaction log files you are looking at (I suspected that was the case).

When performing the Windows Server Backup, did you click 'Advanced Settings', VSS mode and ensure a 'VSS FULL' backup was performed?

The default is a VSS Copy, but this will not flush the committed logs for you.

-Matt
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tigermattCommented:

In fact, and my apologies for the second post, but check this blog post: http://www.mikepfeiffer.net/2010/03/backing-up-exchange-2010-using-windows-server-backup/

Scroll about half way down to the point which reads "Next, click on Advanced Settings:".

The two screenshots after that line show you exactly where to go to set the VSS Full option.

-Matt
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