Exchange 2003 Questions - Mailbox size and Database size

We run a single Exchange 2003 server.  The priv1.edb size is pretty large at 51,076,552 KB (48.71GB).  I read an online article that said even though Exchange 2003 SVP2 now can have a database size of 75GB, the default size is still 18GB.  Since my database is still running I assume the 18GB default size has been changed at some point in the past, but the article said there should be a DWORD entry in Regedit specifying a new Database Size Limit in GB.  I don't have this entry in my registry, so I am wondering how I am still operating on a 48GB database size?

Also, we have a few large mailboxes.  One mailbox is over 6GB, and a few others are in the 3GB - 5GB range.  Is there a certain point where the mailboxes get so large that it is unhealthy for the server or does mailbox size really make any difference?

I want to separate some mailboxes out into a secondary database on the same server.  I have already created a second database, and I will start moving some mailboxes over to it soon, so we don't have all our mailboxes in one huge database.  I figure this will help offload the data when I do offline defrags or other maintenance things.  Is this a good idea for the most part?

Finally, once I do split out mailboxes into two separate databases, will my public folders be accessible to each database?  We rely heavily on public folders and I want to make sure separate databases won't affect the public folder operation.

Thanks!
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jbobstAsked:
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Alan HardistyConnect With a Mentor Co-OwnerCommented:
The size of the database is virtual and is calculated by adding the size of the .EDB file to the size of the .STM file and then subtracting the space identified in Event ID 1221 in the Application Event Log for the same database.

If you don't have the registry key - you probably have a lot of "white space" - which is what Event ID 1221 shows.

To increase the registry settings - please read this article by MS:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912375

Alan
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you have Exchange 2003 Standard - you can't add another Database, but if you have Exchange 2003 Enterprise, then you can and you also won't suffer the 18Gb limit problem that the Standard version has.
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Felix LevenConnect With a Mentor Senior System and DatabaseadministratorCommented:
For Standard Edition, you can set the database size limit between 1 and 75 GB. By default, the limit is 18 GB. For Enterprise Edition you can set the database size limit between 1 and 8,000 GB.

Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
•One storage group
•One mailbox store database and one public folder store database

Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
•Four storage groups
•Five databases per storage group

Mailbox Size:
I learned that the the size of a mailbox on the exchangeserver is not a problem, but older Outlook clients for example, will have a lot of problems with big mailboxes cached offline to their local hdd (8-12G+).
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jbobstAuthor Commented:
I forgot that we did purchase the Enterprise edition, so that answers the question of database size limit (which is basically unlimited at 8,000 GB).
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Yep - that's why your database is still mounted :)
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jbobstAuthor Commented:
So at this point, since I have the Enterprise edition, I really don't need to be concerned with size limits.  Even the 6GB mailbox sizes are ok, although probably slow in the client experience.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Exactly - you are free from the regular constraints that the Stabdard version imposes and 6gb, whilst large for some people, isn't massive for others, as long as it isn't causing problems with anything, you should be fine.
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