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Exchange DB Size

Posted on 2013-01-27
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Last Modified: 2013-02-13
I have a DB that is 108GB. Is that too big? If so how can i decreases it? I have users that have mailboxes between 2gb - 16gb.

MY worry is one day this will crash. I do not know what is the rule regarding sizes of DB's and mailboxes before you start to say its too big.

Thanks in advanced
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Question by:IT_Fanatic
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825325
What version of exchange are you running, how many users and what server O/S?
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by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825348
Exchange 2010
Around 61 users
Windows server standard 2008 R2
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825366
Here is your answer. It depends if you have standard or enterprise. Standard requires a reg edit to go over 50 gigs. You are over that, so you probably have enterprise

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange2010/thread/48431bab-4049-47db-9a84-359d5123d247/
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825375
I am running Exchange 2010 on a Virtual Machine via Hyper-V. The Virtual machine has Windows server 2008 standard R2. We do not have Windows Server enterprise.
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by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825382
Correction. I logged into the EMC. I verified we have Exchange standard
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825383
Verify if Exchange is standard or enterprise?

Not the server O/S
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825391
Then look at the link I sent. You might need to make the reg edit it mentions.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825394
How can I shrink user mail boxes? Whats best practice?

Apparently Microsoft says standard DB can go up to 1TB. I rather not let it get  to that point. So If i take care of the user sizes then we will be good.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825409
You can have users archive old mail or move it to PST files. After that;s done, the only way to shrink a mailstore db is to run an offline defragmentation.

Exchange runs a nightly maintenance process, but that does not shrink the db size.
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by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825453
Any simple instructions for the offline defragmentation? I heard running defragmentation is dangerous.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38825487
#1 rule: backup before defraging

My rule is to have 3x the db size in free drive space.

I didn't realize but they changed 2010 and it's offline defrag. Here is a link to that doc

Look for the paragraph named Offline defragmentation
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125040.aspx#NewESE
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38825538
Do you do a full backup using Windows backup?

Just looked at the instructions and they don't even say how to do the offline defrag. It just says what's it about.
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by:imkottees
ID: 38825605
if you think your edb size growing rapidly when compare to users mailbox size. you can upgrade to SP2 RU1, which would help you. i had same problem, my users mailboxes size was 250 GB but my edb size was 800GB. After i installed RU1 the rapid growth stopped.

Just created new db and moved all the users to get those size immediately
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by:Suliman Abu Kharroub
ID: 38825616
As offline defragmentation can't be done on db while it is online, it is better to create a new db, move users mailboxes into it and database white space will be solved.

I used to create 3 databases ; one for cheafs/ directors, one for managers and one for normal users. Each db has its own settings depends on needed availability and db limits.
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by:gsmartin
ID: 38827252
I also have multiple databases to spread out the load and risk in case of a database issue.    
We won't recommend separating databases based on department, management, executives, etc...  In the event you have a database issue everyone in that particular function just lost their access, mail, until it has been restored.  Divide the mailboxes amongst the exchange information stores based on size.  This way you don't necessarily have everything in one mail store that could be impacted.  Just imagine if all of your general user mailboxes were impacted at the sametime.  In most businesses general users at the one doing the majority of the work and for them to all be down at the sametime.  Further, if applicable, if you have key departments (such as Custmer Service and other critical departments) that rely on email to effectively support the business; you can leverage distribution lists that have only select mailboxes assigned for key departments.  In the event of an information store issue you can apply other mailboxes temporarily that are available to the distribution list until the issue is resolved.  This keeps the overall impact to the business down.  In my environment, we do this even with a Exchange DAG configuration due to past experiences.

Also, If you are doing journaling I would recommend a separate database just for that mailbox function.
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38827820
If that's how much mail your users have, then that's how big your database will be..  In otherwords, dont bother doing a bunch of defrag'ing the database unless you know there's some white space in there to recover.

As mentioned, 1tb is the largest recommended size, and your size is just fine.

I run an Exchange environment with 30k mailboxes, and we're designed for 500g database size, and 54 total databases to support the 30k mailboxes (yeah - we restrict users to 500m..) and the biggest problem we faced was that for corporate compliance, we were forced to use SAN storage, so performance suffered (not to mention budget!) as opposed to having a local mirror on each server.

The biggest problem I see with your database size is that your backup and restore times have to be considered.  If you want to make it smaller, consider splitting into 2 databases..  To do that, I'd create 2 new databases, and move half the users to one new one, and half to the other, and then just delete the old large database.  If your backups can handle it (or you use DAG copies instead of backups) then dont worry about it..
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38833217
Have you resolved the exchange problem?
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by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38837557
Ok I checked today and the DB is still at 108GB. Ive deleted all the trash and emptied out the  files from recvoer deleted items folder. I even archived some users entire mailboxes into a pst and out of exchange.

I ran a script on powershell and I saw that their mailbox size has decreased by a lot. So I look at the drive where the DB is stored and it is still growing in space. So the DB has not grown in size but the drive still is.

I noticed inside the mailbox folder where the DB is. There is a lot of txt and JRS files. Which totals to 70.4GB. I have a feeling thats what is growing in size. I attached an image and as you see the DB is there still at 108GB. But theres about 72,000 txt and JRS files which add up to 70.4GB. What can I do to make this growth stop?
File-Size.JPG
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38837945
This may be the answer

The jrs. files are reserve transaction log files and therefore act as placeholders. They are only used when the hard disk drive that contains the transaction log runs out of space to stop the queue database cleanly.

The catalog folder is created when you enabled Local Continuos Replication (LCR).

http://forums.msexchange.org/m_1800428661/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm#1800428661
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38837954
I suspect you're talking about LOG files, not TXT files?  Those log files wont be deleted until you get a good, complete, exchange-aware backup.  The log files are there in case the DB gets corrupted.

If you can't back it up because it's too big, and you need the space, go into the DB properties and set on the "Enable Circular Logging" and then dismount / remount the database.  That should delete the log files, and it wont create any more.  If you do that, be careful to make sure you get good backups.

If you ARE getting good backups, another reason the logs might be staying is if you have replication turned on (You said Exchagne 2010, right?  So, it's probably a DAG replica, but 2003/2007 could be LCR, CCR, or SCR replication).  As long as there's a replica which hasn't acknowledged receiving a log file, that log file wont be deleted, so if you took a replica offline without disabling replication, those log files will grow forever (even WITH circular logging)

DO you back up the server with an Exchange aware backup program?
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38838170
We use to.have exchaNge 2003 and migrated to.exchange 2010. The.server that had exchange 2003 we also took it.offline back in May. But the increase in space just started in a span of two weeks. This has never happened.

We use acronis to backup
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172pilotSteve earned 500 total points
ID: 38838196
Only 2 weeks?  Are you sure?  Check the dates on the .LOG files (I'm still assuming you have .log files, not .txt files)..  Anyway - Lots of log files means that something is going wrong with your exchange backups, and they're not truncating the logs because Exchange isn't thinking that there's been a complete backup

Open an exchange powershell and run:
get-mailboxdatabase -status | fl name, database*, Last*Backup

You will get a report that will show you the name of the databases, whether it thinks there are copies of the database on another server, and the last time it thinks a successful backup was done.  If you dont have  recent full backup or that there's a copy you dont know about, that's why your logs aren't truncating.

Can you post the results?
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38838327
Name.                                 Mailbox Database 0921183
DatabaseCreated.               True
DatabaseCopies.                {Mailbox Database 0921183\DH124ABC}
DatabaseSize.                      108.1GB. (116,109,410,304 bytes)
DatabaseExtensionSize
LastFullBackup.                   1/9/2103.     7:36:25 PM
LastIncrementalBackup
LastCopyBacup
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38842357
OK..  SO, this is a little stranger than I had assumed...  Did you by chance TYPE that stuff in, and not copy/paste?  What's with the "2103" for a year?  I assume that should be 2013?

In any case, the 1/9 part of it lines up with what you were saying - Your log files probably haven't cleared since 1/9, which is the date of your last good backup.  If you have been getting backups since then, I would not trust them - Something is going wrong, and I'd investigate the backup logs, and/or the event logs on the server, because it doesn't THINK it's getting a good backup..

Now.  That being said, if the date on your server was off, and truly it thinks that the year was 2103 on 1/9 because of a mis-typed date, then it might not be updating that field, because you haven't yet run a backup on a date later than 2103 (which would make sense, if you realized the wrong date, and fixed it)

IF that's the case, let me know - There's got to be a way to clear that date..  I'll look.  

The good news is that the copies field shows only one copy, so it's not trying to keep the logs to play into a backup copy.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38842383
It's 2013. I typed it wrong.

I deleted the log files manually and recovered 128gb. Event logs does not mention anything about bad backups
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38857593
Ok im stomped I cannot run a backup on my exchange server. Even if the external HDD i have had double the space as the server itself. It keeps failing saying there is not enough space. So the log files are just piling up and i have to delete them every 2 days if not ill lose space.

Any suggestions? I noticed the exchnage backup service and volume shadow copy shut off after every failed backup
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38868479
I tried a different method. I sent the backup to a network drive. Instead of full backup I am only backing up the C and D drive. The backup passed. I did not select bare metal nor system state.

I ran your script
Open an exchange powershell and run:
get-mailboxdatabase -status | fl name, database*, Last*Backup



Name                              : Mailbox Database 0921183040
DatabaseCreated            : True
DatabaseCopies               : {Mailbox Database 0921183040\DH124ABC}
DatabaseSize                   : 108.1 GB (116,109,410,304 bytes)
DatabaseExtensionSize    :
LastFullBackup                 : 2/7/2013 6:30:22 PM
LastIncrementalBackup   :
LastDifferentialBackup    :
LastCopyBackup               :

Looks like the log files cleared up. My question is if this server dies. Can I restore it with just the backup im making of the C and D drive?
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38869143
Well, if Exchange thinks the DB is being backed up, then it must be in there somewhere..  I'd say that the backup program you're using must be Exchange aware, and is probably then getting good backups.

If you have the ability, it might be nice to try a restore, off the LAN or at least off-machine if possible, just to see that the EDB files come back (you may not be able to create a situation to mount them, but maybe you could restore the EDB files from backup and run an ESEUTIL to validate that they're valid, but it sounds like what you have is probably OK.
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Author Closing Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 38885244
This was the issue. Your script helped me determine the issue that the backups have failed
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by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38887761
That's awesome news..  Glad you got it figured out..  I would hate to hear of someone losing an Exchange server when they thought the backups were good...
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