[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now


Best way to move mailboxes off large mailbox store in Exchange 2007

Posted on 2014-09-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-09-05
I inherited a massive 450 gig mailbox store that houses the majority of our mailboxes in Exchange 2007. This store is apparently heavily fragmented, and it's not unusual for it to take a long time to process larger e-mails. It's also not unusual for a lot of e-mails sent and received to be over 20 megs in size.

That being said, I'm thinking that I really need to move these mailboxes to alternate storage groups to minimize this issue. However, given the large fragmentation and mailbox sizes (most are in the 5 - 10 GB range, some as high as 28 GB), it takes forever to move. I tried to move four 5 gig mailboxes over the long weekend, but had to cancel it after they ran for 48 hours and didn't finish.

With regard to the fragmentation, I've held off on running a defragment, since my understanding is that it would take many days to complete and would even further impact this database. Perhaps my logic here is incorrect?

So, this leads me to my question of what strategy should I take to address this issue while minimizing the impact to the staff actively using it? I've asked staff to start emptying their deleted items and archiving more to help reduce the mailbox size, but I'm wondering is perhaps restoring an old backup to another server and doing some sort of move and merge, or something along those lines is possible?

Question by:ruhkus
  • 2
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Amit earned 2000 total points
ID: 40298907
450GB database is not that big. Exchange server performance depends on server hardware, especially disk speed. Best approach here would be, as you already ask your staff members to reduce mailbox size or archive. once that task is completed, you can start moving the mailboxes to another DB, basically distribute it to other DB's. Also implement mailbox limit, 2GB would be enough. You can also move to Exchange 2010 or 2013, which support much larger mailboxes and databases.

Before mailbox move, first take full source DB backup, then enable circular logging on target DB, start moving the mailboxes. After mailbox move disable circular logging, take target db back up. Skip corrupt items. Plan to do it during weekend.

Author Comment

ID: 40299083
Yeah, it's an older server (>5 years) and is using SATA 7.5k drives which doesn't help things. My big concern though is the extensive time it's taking to move a mailbox. As noted, four 5 gig mailboxes couldn't complete their move in a 48 hour period. It seems if I do a move during the day, it slows down mail processing, so that doesn't seem to be an option either. Even with reducing mailbox size, I don't know if it's going to complete during off-hours.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 40299153
That's it only way you have to go. Reducing mailbox size will surely help, in case of large mailboxes, I normally export data into multiple PST's. Then remove all data from the mailbox, move the empty mailbox and merge PST's again. I know, it is a tedious task, however it completes pretty fast.

Featured Post

Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

As much as Microsoft wants to kill off PST file support, just as they tried to do with public folders, there are still times when it is useful or downright necessary to export Exchange mailboxes to PST files. Thankfully, it is still possible to e…
How to effectively resolve the number one email related issue received by helpdesks.
The basic steps you have just learned will be implemented in this video. The basic steps are shown to configure an Exchange DAG in a live working Exchange Server Environment and manage the same (Exchange Server 2010 Software is used in a Windows Ser…
how to add IIS SMTP to handle application/Scanner relays into office 365.
Suggested Courses

830 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question