Exchange Server Issue

Anthony H.
Anthony H. used Ask the Experts™
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We have a server that stopped receiving emails due to HD capacity issues.  We moved the QUEUE processing to another partition to make email flow temporarily.  The database HD partition is at 1.79 TB of 1.81 and filling up fast.  We tried backing up using windows to clear the 700K+ log files but it failed.  I tried Shadowprotect server but it also failed.  I'm thinking there are problems with hardware.  We want to migrate but can we?

I personally wanted to clear all the log files before trying to migrate, but that's not working.  Can we dismount the database and delete all the log files?

considering the situation.  What would be the recommended approach?

the server is also the DC/Exchange/Endpoint Protection server/etc... I know - big issue.  Right now the critical issue to backup Exchange but it's not working and I'm sure I will run into big issues migrating. Running 2008 R2.
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Co-Owner
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
If you enable Circular Logging that will clear the log files and then you MUST immediately backup the server.

http://henrysluiman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/enable-circular-logging-in-exchange.html

That will allow your mail to flow and should sort out your disk space problems.

Once the backup is complete, you should disable circular logging and then investigate why your backups are not purging your log files.

Alan

Commented:
Agreed with Alan on few points.
Set-MailboxDatabase -CircularloggingEnabled:$true
By using above cmdlet, you will be able to enable circular logging and then take the backup of server. (You needn't do Dismount/Mount for DB's which are members of DAG with two or more copies, after enabling Circular Logging. )

Author

Commented:
what could/will happen if I enable circular logging and it won't backup for X reasons?
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
You won't be able to restore Exchange and replay all messages received since the last backup!

Worst case, try a trial of BackupAssist and get the server backed up with that.

Alan

Author

Commented:
Thanks Alan - i'll try BackupAssist.  I've already tried Symantec, windows, and shadowprotect but no luck.

Author

Commented:
what happens if I delete really old logs? or move them to another drive?  

will exchange crash?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
It won't crash, but you can't replay them if the server dies and your backup is old, so there is the potential to lose data.  Worst case, move them to a different server / hard disk / computer or enable Circular Logging, then install BackupAssist and shout if that gives you trouble and get backing up the server.

Alan

Author

Commented:
I tried to install BA and it errored out too.  something about VSS time out. can I move log files without dismount or stopping exchange services?

Author

Commented:
WTH!  It has reached over 1 million log files!

any ideas? still circular loggin?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Ouch!  Yes - you can move the log files as they have been written and are just for reference.

If you can move them, please move them, otherwise enable Circular logging and then get fixing the backup problems.

Author

Commented:
so why can't I leave circular login ON?  Do I have a timeframe to disable back?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
You can leave it on, but it means you don't keep the logs, so IF there is a problem and you need to recover from your last backup, you will end up losing data.

It's not a problem as long as you have good, regular, reliable backups.

Author

Commented:
I plan on migrating data to new server over the weekend. can I leave circular login ON while migrating?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Absolutely - and it's a good idea to enable circular logging when you are migrating so you don't fill up the disk with tons of logs anyway, so in that case, just enable away and get migrating.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Looks about right.

Author

Commented:
it wants me to dismount and remount DB. is that ok?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Yes - it needs to or it can't enable circular logging.

Author

Commented:
do I need to have circular loggin enabled on the new server before migrating?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
It saves writing a ton of logs on there too, so it is a good idea.

Author

Commented:
are mailbox moves a lot slower if I have circular loggin enabled on the destination server? I had to enable it to move the database to another partition and my mailbox moves seem to be taking a lot longer.

Author

Commented:
Can I disable circular loggin and not have a problem??? mailbox moves are SUPER SLOW.

I had to move the database to another partition so I had to enable circular login on the DESTINATION server too.  Is it OK if I disable it to make the transfers faster?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
You will interrupt the transfers if you change and restart the store service mid-transfer, so pause the remaining ones, then enable circular logging and then restart the store and unpause the transfers.  Not ever noticed the speed increase / decrease with/without logging as I usually set the transfers up and then get on with something else on another system!

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