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Need to Slim Down Exchange Server

Posted on 2014-04-15
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Last Modified: 2014-05-06
I have two large Exchange servers in a DAG they are almost 3TB each. I need to slim them down and keep them up at the same time. We have a new SAN installed so I have room to move things around now. I was looking for a game plan to do this. If I copy boxes to a new database I would also see the benefit of new database with less white space but wanted to get some thoughts from all of you.

Thanks in advance

George
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Question by:EmigraSupport
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by:lciprianionut
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Hi, "3TB each" you are referring to DB size ? What you want to archive: decreasing DB size ?
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by:EmigraSupport
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No the entire server is 3TB the largest DB is 300+ GIG. There was no policy set when this system was setup so everything is unrestricted and some users have 20+ GIG mailboxes. So now I am pushing the walls so to speak. I would like to put in an archive database and limit everyone to 5 gig with a 5 gig archive and limit the archive DB and then have the mail go to our permeate archive in the cloud with McAfee.
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by:Bembi
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I guess there are two aspects. First your big mailboxes. Sutre you can create an archive mailbox and setup some retentions policies to move the content. But this just moves the content, so 20 GB mailboxes have still 20 GB mailoxes, just distributed to two databases.

First aspect my be to create a limit, for this you first have to split up the users, which are already inside the limit. These users you can move to one database with default limits.

The overdriving users need a kind of motivation for clean up, so have a good idea why they should do it. Some users just use outlook a sdocument management system and all trash is important, even it is 20 years old. At least every user which follows the advices can be moved as well into a limited database.

From my experience, there are some power users, which need more space or are just messy and do not really want to clean up. You can create a seconf db for power users with enhanced limits.
Nevertheless a I guess there is not really a way around a cleanup .
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by:lciprianionut
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First I would say, before starting to do all this is to talk with management and get approvals for all this. Bembi suggestions are like a general guidelines, usually each environment is unique with their constraints. After approval you will be covered and nobody will point your finger at you as the "bad" guy. After this set several quota levels and based on this move the users in new DB's. Communicate all the changes to the users as definitely will be some angry ones.
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by:EmigraSupport
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Thank you for the advice. At this point I am more interested in forming a plan to get this done. End user concern as well as upper management is not an issue at this point.

Thanks again.
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I guess my plan I posted before, but again in steps...

a.) create one or more new databases for user mailboxes
b.) set general limits on database level.
c.) if you create several policies (i.e. standard user, power user), create the number of databases as you have policies.
d.)  every user, which fits to his futher policy, just move to the according mailbox-db.

e.) to move the users to cleanup their mailboxes, just tell them a nice story, why it is essential for them to reduce the size of their mailboxes. Give a deadline which some horrible expectations about what will happen with the not cleaned up mailboxes after the deadline. Don't forget the sent items and deleted items folders.

f.) All remaining users need possibly a personal invitation or a more drastic second cleanup request.

You can also setup some retention policy to automatically delete content, but maybe a very rude method. Otherwise I do not see so much other methods to force a cleanup.
Some users react on cleanup mail, some of them react on the mail warnings if limits are set and some of them just need a phonecall and their personal reminder.

After the cleanup, you can think about, what and how much you want to archive. From my experience, only 30-50% of users really need an archive, andpossibly 10% are left over after the default archiv policies, which need some further investigtion, how to catch their personal folder structures or to educate them to use the archival rules.
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