Exchange Transaction logs truncation concerns

Hi All,

I'm running Exchange Server 2013 that was inherited or not properly deployed and planned:

Windows Server 2008 R2
C:\ 200 GB [OS - 70GB remaining]
D:\ 1.95 TB [Mailbox DB - 50GB remaining free disk space]
L:\ 200 GB [Logs - 30 GB remaining free disk space]

P:\ 100 GB [Page file - 10 GB remaining]

So If I run the Exchange backup to truncate the log files now during the business hours, does it can cause any mail flow impact ?

Does the D: drive of the Database will run out due to the very large transaction logs being committed to the Exchange database ?

Note: The D: drive cannot be extended anymore to 2 TB due to NTFS - MBR partition
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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAsked:
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John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
If you run a backup during production hours there will more than likely be some noticed slow down or delay.  But what is the processor and memory config?  That will help to determine how much impact a during business hours backup would cause.  The database will grow until it has no more space.  At that time the exchange service will not run so you should start with a backup for sure and see how much space you free.

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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
John, thanks for the reply.

So does Exchange Transaction Log truncation at the end of the backup process, will also growth the database size ?
I'm running out of VMFS datastore LUN to provision new Exchange Database and I cannot extend the D: drive due to NTFS drive.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
So If I run the Exchange backup to truncate the log files now during the business hours, does it can cause any mail flow impact ?

likely to be minimal but as mentioned, depends on your cpu/memory config and how many mailboxes are involved

Does the D: drive of the Database will run out due to the very large transaction logs being committed to the Exchange database ?

if the logs are not truncated and gets to about full on drive L, the databases will dismount causing an outage for users (incoming mail will stay in queue until they are mounted again)

is this a vm?  i would look at adding another virtual disk, creating a new database and moving some mailboxes there
not sure what your database setup is now on D but you could move some things around to (potentially, depending on database config) free space on D
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
So does Exchange Transaction Log truncation at the end of the backup process, will also growth the database size ?

if the backup works the way it's supposed to, it will clear the transaction logs after the backup is successful

I'm running out of VMFS datastore LUN...

well, that's another problem you need to fix with your storage that will cause issues trying to fix exchange
though if you can get the logs cleared, that will buy some time
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
Once you backup then truncate the logs it will free space.  Then in the exchange manager you may want to look at who your biggest space users are.  Do you know if exchange quotas were established? You mentioned you inherited this config which is why I asked.

https://resolve.co.uk/blog/article/changing-mailbox-size-exchange-2007-2010-2013

If you are low on overall space you should look at total drivespace available and then divide 60% evenly for users and set some quotas.  If people are unhappy that they are limited, it's a good lead into a conversation on a hardware refresh.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
And the biggest space users you may want to ask if they will do some cleanup!  When users clean up they should also clear the deleted items and clear the deleted items retention:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee364752(v=exchg.160).aspx

Automatic cleanup is a good option too for certain folders:
https://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/how-to-automatically-empty-outlooks-deleted-item-folder/

All these things bloat the exchange DB taking an approach and addressing these will help you maintain a healthy Exchange instance.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
deleted items retention settings too high is a real bloater :-(

Hope this helps!
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Yes, this is a VM.
Specs:

16x vCPU
32 GB vRAM

1000 User mailboxes (no quota defined).

The Transaction logs is about 182 GB out of 200 GB disk space total.

The D: drive is concerning me since it has only 65 GB free. So does the backup with transaction logs truncation can grow the database more than 65 GB?
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
Are you running VMWare Esxi or Hyper V?
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Vmware for all of my environment.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
It shouldn't but having no quotas is SUICIDE.  That definitely needs to be addressed.  People use email like a personal file folder and that really is not the purpose.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
So are you using a SAN or a disk space located on the VMWare host itself?
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
If you are using a SAN and have space on it you can easily add drivespace to your 2008 server VM.
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Yes, I am using SAN, so I will add it by 100 GB just in case, since the log is growing 7 GB per hours.
The full backup will be done after 3 AM.

I cannot extend the D: drive anymore due to the NTFS limitation, so I guess I will have to do the circular logging and migrate the database over other exchange server 2013 in different data center (and different AD sites).
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
Sounds like a good plan.  Once you get the backup sorted, I would get some quotas implemented.  And the largest offenders of space usage need to be contacted and have them slim down.  It will be a good idea to do this as it will be a smoother data migration if there is less data to move.
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
One more thing to clarify John,

Does migrating the mailbox Database from one Exchange server to another one that resides in different AD sites, cause the email flow issue for the user mailbox being migrated  ?
John Gates, CISSPSecurity ProfessionalCommented:
I believe it will cause a disruption but the mail will Queue and then be delivered after the move.
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
OK, I end up turning circular logging on, since I cannot run the backup due to not enough free disk space in the D:\ is just 3.4%, I cannot expand it anymore since the disk space is already 1.95 TB on the NTFS with MBR.

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Unable to release guest. Error: Unfreeze error: [Backup job failed.
Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data.
VSS asynchronous operation is not completed. Operation: [Shadow copies commit]. Code: [0x8004230f].]
 

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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys!
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