Moving exchange database on SBS 2011 as little space left on exchange drive

HI all

Please can any one help with below

SBS 2011

Customer has little space left on exchange drive (only has exchange data on) and we need to move the database to another drive. I know how to do this which is via the SBS console but my 2 questions are

Do you need any space on current location to be able to perform the move?
How long will it roughly take to move 70GB Database?

Other option i thought off, was to create new database and move each mailbox to new location as this could be done online without any down time for company but as it SBS im not sure if this is right call. as all new users would be placed in original database location.

All ideas would be appreciated

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Online move will not fetch you the free space on the current drive. The best option is to move the database to other drive. 70 GB database to move will depend on the server speed. Is the server VM?
MARKWILKYAuthor Commented:

Physical Server spec is

Xeon 6C
exchange partition and new database location is same Disk inside SBS which is running on 10K drives on RAID 10

Will it move OK if no space on current location?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Can you post a screen shot of Disk Management?

If it's on the same RAID 10, then performance will be affected as you're spindles are being forced to both read and write the data - unlike a different set of spindles where you could have one set (the originals) reading, and one set writing.

I disagree with R--Rs apparent recommendation and analysis.  While it is true that moving the mailboxes will not immediately regain space, your concern is with the available space for the mail.  If you have a larger array, you can and I would say SHOULD move the mailboxes to a new database.  Once all mailboxes are moved you could take the old database offline and compact it - or remote it entirely while not affecting all users for an extended period of time.

There should be no problem moving the databases.  As a worst case, you COULD shutdown all exchange services, move the entire directory structure using Windows Explorer, then change the drive letters so the new drive has the old drive letter and restart Exchange services - the exchange server wouldn't know what happened.  BUT, that shouldn't be necessary.
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
How much free space is on the existing Drive?  I've used the SBS wizard to move databases that have very low free space...  This being said, I've never done it with zero free space so I can't say for sure.

With regards to time, its how longs a piece of string really.  It could take an hour or so.

I would take a backup prior to the move either way.
MARKWILKYAuthor Commented:
Hi All

Thanks for your quick response.

David - There is 7GB free on exchange Drive. I was going to move the exchange to the data drive where we have 240GB free.  i was thinking it would take longer that 6 hours to move form what article and forums ive been reading online.....

Lee - as it an SBS server if we just move the mailboxes to a new database within exchange will it still need the old one as wont SBS still think the old one is the main database.  so if i created a new user in SBS console it will put in old database and if i tried to run the move database wizard in SBS Console it will still think the old one is database
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If you create a new database then you are correct, the wizard will fail to mail enable the new users.
That is easily fixed.


Change the name of the database in that key.

David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
7GB of free space shouldn't cause an issue with the wizard. Personally I would continue using the SBS Console to move the database.
MARKWILKYAuthor Commented:
Simon - what do you think is the best option to fix the issue.

I think using the console to move database will be cleaner  but not sure how long it will take. prob be best to action over a weekend ?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Over the weekend may give you enough time to move the data, and by doing so within the SBS console you keep everything inside the SBS ecosystem.
The downside is that once you have started, you cannot stop, so if it takes longer you are looking at extended downtime. A database of that size shouldn't take that long though - a couple of hours maybe.

MARKWILKYAuthor Commented:
OK thanks - let hope it does only take a few hours... cant see it taking over 2 days to move....

but will the 7GB free on current drive be OK or is this likely to cause issues.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
As already outlined, 7gb of space on the drive should be fine. The process doesn't generate logs.


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MARKWILKYAuthor Commented:

Sorry for delay. I used the SBS console wizard to move the database, it moved over 60Gb in about an hour and all is well..

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